Aldi is a grocery store that likes to do things a bit differently, which is a big reason it has so many loyal shoppers. One curious tendency you may have noticed is the cashier's request that you place your debit or credit card into the reader before your items are tallied up. While other stores typically accept payment once all items have been scanned, Aldi prefers it this way because it helps staff remain fast and efficient when checking out customers.
According to a Reddit thread, the chain requires cashiers to maintain a certain items per hour (IPH) rating, meaning they are supposed to scan a specific number of items throughout their shift. While these ratings and the way in which they are calculated are unverified, employees claim many stores strive for an IPH rating ranging from 80% to 90%, which means they have to move quickly. When the customer submits payment prior to scanning, they're free to transfer items from the cart to the register, which then enables staff to work at top speed.
Aldi's Main Goal Is To Save Customers Money
Lots of people praise Aldi for allowing its cashiers to sit while checking out customers, as this policy appears to favor the well-being of staff. While that may be partially true, research conducted by the chain shows that sitting ensures a faster check out process, thereby moving customers through the line more efficiently and requiring fewer staff to handle cashier duties. Seated cashiers are just one of many unique practices the chain utilizes to save shoppers money.
For instance, asking customers to deposit 25 cents to borrow carts while shopping relieves the need for additional staff, as shoppers are encouraged to return their own carts to get their quarters back. Similarly, Aldi does not provide paper or plastic bags to customers, and instead asks them to bring their own to keep supply costs low. Affordability is also why most of the items in the store come from Aldi's private line of products, as these products cost far less than name-brand goods (though Aldi states the quality of their branded products is comparable to national brands).
What Employees Think About Time-Saving Policies
According to another Reddit thread, some Aldi staff members really feel the pressure to maintain their IPH ratings when working at the grocery store. Many also find it frustrating that certain aspects of the customer interaction are out of their control. For instance, a customer preferring to provide the cashier with exact change for their purchase would naturally slow the process down, regardless of how efficient the cashier was when handling the transaction.
Staff also lamented that this policy actually prevents them from providing exemplary customer service. As one poster put it, "Aldi can be summed up as decent products, low prices, and mediocre service." One example of how customer service suffers from these policies is how cashiers will quickly toss items into the shopping cart in an effort to speed up the process. This technique often raises the ire of shoppers concerned about their goods, but Aldi staff are under pressure to move quickly. It just goes to show that running a successful grocery chain requires a delicate balance between customer satisfaction and profitability, which can leave staff members in the middle.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.