What It Means When You Hear A Bell Ring At Costco's Deli (Hint: Start Running)

You couldn't make a list of cult classic grocery store items without a handful of offerings from Costco. From food court favorites like the hot dog and chicken bake to huge tubs of peanut-butter-filled pretzels, those who shop at the wholesale giant find many of the products worth both the hype and the price. One popular Costco staple is the humble rotisserie chicken. Freshly made in-store, these birds are beloved for their juicy, salty flavor, and at just $4.99, are an excellent way to easily stock up on protein for the week. Unfortunately, the value of Costco's rotisserie chicken is no secret, so actually getting your hands on one can be tricky in certain locations. They fly off the shelves extremely fast (sometimes they don't even make it to the shelves), so unless you want to tussle with your fellow shoppers over the prospect of some poultry (which we don't recommend), you'll need to learn the signal that a new batch of birds is being brought out. If you want to be first in line for a Costco rotisserie chicken, just listen for a bell.


According to employees of the bulk retailer on YouTube, a bell sounding in the Costco deli section means that the chickens have come off the rotisserie and are about to be set out. If you're fast enough, once you hear the ring, you should be able to zoom over to the heated shelves and have your choice of bird.

Fresh rotisserie chickens are put out regularly

The chicken bell is just one of many details that makes shopping at Costco so unique, like the special asterisks on price tags. Needless to say, Costco is aware of the effect its chicken has on customers, and is doing what it can to accommodate everyone. If you miss the deli bell or are met with a mob of chicken-crazy Costco shoppers, don't fret. To ensure everything stays at peak freshness, Costco workers put out new rotisserie chickens every two hours, so there will be other chances. It may even behoove you to chat with one of the deli employees to see if they know when the next round of chickens will be set out so you can be sure not to miss it. There's also no limit to how many rotisserie chickens one customer may purchase at Costco, so feel free to stock up. Just be warned — other shoppers are stocking up too!


After you make it through the checkout line with your chickens in tow, you may want to take a celebratory trip to the food court to try even more secret Costco hacks. The downside to Costco's rotisserie chickens is that some members don't think they stay good for very long. However, now that you know the signal, you can get a fresh one practically any time you want.