Polite Habits Grocery Store Workers Wish You Wouldn't Do — and What to do Instead

Grocery store workers deal with a lot of people every day, and as you can imagine, not everyone is kind and courteous. You might think you’re following all the proper etiquette rules when shopping and even go out of your way to be kind to workers, but some common “polite” habits are actually etiquette mistakes that can get in the way of workers doing their jobs. Even worse, you might make the same mistake every time you step foot in the grocery store. Because employees are likely doing their best to make you happy, they don’t let on that they’re annoyed. Knowing these supermarket secrets will be a win for you, too. 


Bagging your own groceries isn’t as helpful as you think. Grocery store employees say that customers who bag their own groceries may not realize the store has a system in place to make the process faster and more efficient. Instead, leave the grocery bagging to the professionals. If you’re unsure, ask what the cashier prefers.

Leaving your cart in the middle of the aisle while grabbing something farther down only serves to cause a traffic jam, especially if grocery store employees are shopping for pick-up/delivery customers. Stay with your cart at all times.

You’re in the checkout line and change your mind about a package of cookies that’s in your basket, so you put it on a nearby shelf. The problem in doing that is that other workers will now need to take it back to the right spot. Instead, either return the item to its original spot, or simply hand it to the cashier, letting them know you don’t want the item.

Helping yourself to inventory that hasn’t been put away yet is a definite no-no. You might think it doesn’t matter, but it disrupts the employee’s work flow and, in some instances, can interfere with tracking stock. Ask the employee if you can take the item. That way, you won’t mess up an inventory tracking that’s going on.