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If You Dare Suggest Raising The Price Of The Costco Hot Dog To The Co-Founder Of Costco, He Will Kill You (His Words, Not Mine)

Usually on Twitter when I get tagged in a tweet it means something very good or very bad happened to my teams (usually very bad because my teams are usually very bad). However, I think this tweet may have topped any actual sports story, which warms my old dad heart. This excerpt is from a 2018 Mental Floss article.

When Costco president W. Craig Jelinek once complained to Costco co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal that their monolithic warehouse business was losing money on their famously cheap $1.50 hot dog and soda package, Sinegal listened, nodded, and then did his best to make his take on the situation perfectly clear. "If you raise [the price of] the effing hot dog, I will kill you," Sinegal said. "Figure it out."

Taking his words to heart, Jelinek—who became Sinegal's successor in 2012—has never raised the price on Costco's hot dog. Incredibly, it has sold for the same $1.50 since the retail club first introduced the dogs to customers in 1984. The quarter-pound, all-beef tube and 20-ounce soda combo appears to be inflation-proof and immune to the whims of food distributors. 

Now I knew of this story already because my mom is the biggest fan of Costco I know and she somehow can fit it into every conversation we have. 90% of the stuff in her house was bought at Costco and my dad breaks into cold sweats when she goes there because a $500 day there is a slow day. She actually told me over the weekend she joined a Facebook group devoted to just Costco and its products, which makes me happy since it's probably safer than 99% of Facebook groups for the boomers these days.

Anyway, the jist of that article is that while people would pay $1.75 or more for the hot dog but say it's not worth it because the thought of paying $1.50 for the biggest, most delicious hot dog on the planet (this side of my pals at Feltman's of Coney Island) along with all the soda you can throw down your gullet is what keeps the customers coming. And as one of those customers, I agree! I may not NEED to buy 800 batteries or 5 gallons of ketchup. But being able to comfortably feed a family of four for under $10 is like something my grandparents would tell me about, not something I can do in 2020. I'm not talking about just a bunch of rice or spaghetti either. It's delicious food with plentyyyyyy of calories for a standard meal (or two).

Do I drive 25 minutes to my nearest Costco just for the hot dog on a packed Saturday? Heavens no. But I'd be lying if I said the thought of diving into that giant dog and unlimited tub of soda wasn't the Mo Rivera closer that caused me to spend a few hundred dollars on things I didn't need because I love packing my trunk like a Tetris trunk since my obsession with packing the trunk has gotten to the point where I am actively asking people to send me their trunk pictures on Twitter and I'd prolly sign up for a Trunks of Costco OnlyFans if there was one (Is there one?).

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Giphy Images.

I even have a text chain with that Friendly's hoarding fuck Joey Langone of just us texting pictures of the hot dog on the menu whenever we go to Costco, which is about as much as you would figure two hefty dads that work at Barstool. 

Which is why if Jimmy Sinegal is willing to slit someone's throat at the mere suggestion of raising the price of the greatest bargain in any food court across this great nation, so am I. Which makes this quote even less shocking.

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Honestly, they could replace Costcos with factories that make Costco hot dogs and I think I'd be just fine with it. And anybody that doesn't include the dog on this question is either a liar or allergic to hot dogs (and even then you can't turn it down BECAUSE IT'S SUCH A GREAT FUCKING DEAL).

Also I had to shout out Barstool producer Tom Leigh for this incredible tweet of his dad's text thread alerting his family every time he was making a Costco run. As someone whose mom does the same, it is an honor I hope I am able to carry the torch of one day.

While I am here talking about oversized delicious foods, bring back the full sized cakes, Costco. I don't care if most responsible people aren't having ragers during a pandemic. You take away those cakes, COVID wins. That simple.