Here's What It Means When Costco's Store Bell Chimes

Costco is a source of fascination and mystery for the many who shop there. The warehouse club pricing is reasonable, new product finds populate the shelves regularly, and you can't forget the lure of the Costco food court, where the $1.50 hot dog still reigns supreme, along with those ultra-cheap $2 slices of pizza. 

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But it always seems like there's a secret code behind the store's machinations, whether it's the way Costco employees check your receipts upon exiting the store or the occasional noises that indicate something is going on in some area of the warehouse. 

If you've ever heard the sound of a bell going off near the prepared food section, you might actually want to hustle over quickly — especially if you're there for one of Costco's signature deals, the $5 rotisserie chicken.

That's because that little ding means the next fresh batch of piping hot birds has just come out of the oven, and it's all but guaranteed that shoppers are already circling the heat lamps. Those things get snapped up quickly, especially for those who shop around mealtime, so make sure you're on your toes if the chicken is a priority on your shopping list.

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If you hear that bell, move fast

I have borne witness to this bell ringing exactly once in my life, and I have to say, it was a very subtle occurrence. I just so happened to be grabbing something nearby, heard the sound (which wasn't particularly loud), and saw the employees behind the prep table sliding the hot plastic trays beneath the heat lamps. Customers had already been lining up for their chicken, and more came flocking to wait after the bell rang. 

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What's great about knowing this little bit of intel is that you don't have to stand there waiting for the next batch of roasted chicken to come out. You can continue browsing the deli and refrigerated food section to ensure you're within earshot of the signal while tossing a few impulse buys into your cart. And hey, you might as well crush a few samples while you're at it. 

As advanced as a human being as I'd like to think I am, there's now a Pavlovian response seared into my brain at Costco. If I'm there to grab a rotisserie chicken, I've just got to listen for the sound of that bell. Let this serve as a reminder to all of us to move quickly, because even though they're flightless roasted birds, those chickens fly away fast.

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