Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why Publix is Better than Kroger

It's a nasty, rainy day.  Just cold enough to be dank, if that helps you imagine the scene here.

I was so, so lucky to be able to go kid-less grocery shopping this afternoon.  I don't mind taking them, and in fact I enjoy having the kids with me and we have a ton of fun grocery shopping.  Usually.  Sometimes they act like, well, monsters.  But on rainy days, it's just FASTER to not have to buckle and unbuckle car seats as I stand outside getting soaked, so I was especially appreciative of Mick's presence today.  I had to get certain things at Kroger and certain things at Publix.  The two stores are essentially across the street from each other.   But this was a two-store trip, so the fact that I could dash around on my own was glorious.  (The fact that I get excited about going grocery shopping alone -- maybe not so impressive, huh?)

Photo credit:   last visited 2/16/2012

I went to Kroger first.  Cashier and bagger were both nice, even if -- as per usual -- the groceries were bagged in a completely haphazard pattern completely counter to how I had specifically loaded up the conveyor. (I know, I'm anal.  But I do these things for a reason. Like, all the delicate breakable/squishables together, and all the cold stuff together, all the cleaner stuff together ... work with me, you know this makes sense.)   I loaded up the trunk of my car and started to walk the cart to the little cart corral.  There were two Kroger people gathering and sorting the carts.  (Yes, sorting.  Kroger has four types of carts. It's pretty awesome, actually, if you get into that sort of thing.)  As I walked with mine towards the corral, one of the girls was walking towards me. We made eye contact, and instead of reaching to take my cart, she went into the corral and let me wheel the cart right up to her. 

Photo credit:    last visited 2/16/2012

 Kroger points: 0  Publix points: 50

(It's an arbitrary system, but the point is that Kroger loses. Big.)

Now, don't get me wrong -- the girl was pleasant enough if I were in NY and thanked me when I brought my cart to her.  But that's the point: I brought my cart to her.  At Publix, by contrast, even if I politely decline having them walk me to my car and load it for me, if I were to be walking with a cart and a Publix associate saw me, no matter how far away I was it's almost a certainty that the Publix person would walk to me and take the cart from me and put it away.  And wish me a nice day.

Just sayin'.

I don't know how Publix finds the right sort of people who just know what courtesy means, and/or how they train their associates to know what that little extra is (although I did once-upon-a-time see a thing from Publix that said they don't hire people and train them to be good; they hire good people and train them to work in a grocery store).  But whatever they are doing, they are doing right.  Publix and Chickafay ("Chick-fil-A," in WHM-speak) just have courtesy down pat.  Plain and simple.

Even if I actively can't stand one of the cashiers at our local Publix.  But that's a different story.



  1. I grew up in a town with one grocery store so I didn't even know there were choices, really, until moving to Tuscaloosa. I was sold on Publix when I was browsing the bagels one day while in my first trimester with Darius and simply THRILLED that I felt like actually eating. Anyway, I was looking at the bagels and they didn't have any blueberry ones. An employee saw me looking, asked me if she could help and I mentioned I had been looking for blueberry. The immediate response, was "oh I'm sorry, let me bake some for you! How many would you like?" After I picked my jaw off the floor I told her 2 since I couldn't imagine all the trouble for one and I came back a few minutes later to a hot, fresh blueberry bagel. (By then I had spent my few nausea free minutes collecting just about every breakfast food they offered since I was suddenly craving everything under the sun). I will always choose a Publix when I am able - just because they made me a bagel. Seriously.

    1. That is a super cool story. I definitely love Publix. For certain things I will specifically shop Kroger, but most of the time if I'm going grocery shopping, it's to Publix.

  2. I do the same thing with my conveyer loading! And it frustrates me to no end that the bagger invariably ignores my pre-sort. Do not put my whole chicken on top of my chips or produce! Look, I've already made it so easy... I'm glad I'm not the only one.