This company is totally ripping off the Costco food court

And we are so confused.

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Recently, photos have been circulating online showing a “Costco food court” that looks a little strange. For what? Because it’s outside. At Allrecipes, we know the Costco food court like the back of our hand — including the latest menu items and the best ways to hack it — so immediately, we needed to know what was going on.

Turns out it’s not a Costco food counter at all. This is an outdoor concession stand located in a busy shopping mall in California and it was created by Skechers. Yes, the shoe company. We know what you’re thinking: What?

The Skechers warehouse in Gardena, California, is indeed behind the copycat food counter. About four months ago, the brand quietly launched a new restaurant on the side of the store and, crucially, modeled it after the Costco food court. With the flavorless name of Food Spot, the restaurant takes overt inspiration from Costco’s signature style.

The look and feel is almost identical, right down to the retro-looking menu fonts and food photos. There are even the same bright red borders outlining each photo – no subtlety to be found here.

Almost all offers are also the same. There are soft serve sundaes in different flavors, churros, Caesar salads, pizzas, and of course, all-beef hot dogs. However, the mock menu items are more expensive than those at Costco, proving that you really can’t find prices this low anywhere. Plus, the menu is missing a food court favorite: baked chicken.

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“Have you ever seen a company imitate Costco’s style so directly?” one Reddit user asked, and others on the thread shared their thoughts.

“Um, can they do that?” and “I’m irrationally annoyed by this,” were some of the comments that followed.

While Costco sells Skechers shoes in its stores (and has for years), it’s not the same kind of brand partnership moment happening here.

So what East the story here? Obviously, the shoe company’s president and co-founder, Michael Greenberg, came up with the idea to improve the customer experience in the Skechers store, the same way other department stores offer restaurants unique on site. The inexpensive shoe brand was looking for an inexpensive menu, and what menu exemplifies that concept better than that of Costco’s food court?

The idea was simple: no-frills food that didn’t disappoint and at a good price (sounds a lot like what we like about Costco’s spread). Apparently, the appeal of the Costco food court extends beyond Costco’s walls, especially when no membership is required.

The Costco-style counter sells hot dogs for $2.50, pizza slices for $3, and salads for around $6, which are more expensive, but still affordable (especially for Los Angeles). The Food Spot also offers unique options including a Crispy Chicken Sandwich, a Nashville Spicy Chicken Sandwich and a Double Cheeseburger. Fries are also available with these sandwich options (an item we wish Costco would bring to America’s food courts).

As bizarre as it may sound, the company calls the idea a success. According to Eater, this side business has boosted store sales and continues to attract new crowds, including influencers and bloggers looking to share their opinions.

Will Costco expose its blatant copycat? We’ll just have to wait and see.

We are all an ode to the beloved warehouse store, but an overpriced knockoff, in our opinion, is simply in bad taste. One Reddit user said, “I’m so confused by this,” summarizing our thoughts here pretty well.

Read the original article on All Recipes.

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