Costco has sold more than 100 million of its $4.99 rotisserie chickens annually since 2020, so it’s safe to say that those beloved birds are a staple on many Americans’ shopping lists. But have you ever headed over to your local Costco to pick up a chicken only to find that they’re completely sold out? Well, a Costco insider just revealed why it can be so hard for workers to keep those birds in stock for the rotisserie chicken-loving masses.

A Costco deli worker took to Reddit this week to share a PSA on what members should keep in mind the next time they’re on the hunt for a hot rotisserie chicken. For starters, the employee claimed that leadership at Costco asks workers to predict how many birds they’ll need in two hours. And if they overestimate the total, then leadership will “get mad at us,” the employee said. 

RELATED: I Tried 3 Grocery Store Rotisserie Chickens & One Bird Rules the Roost

This is one of the main reasons why we may run out so often. This is very difficult to do and an inefficient process,” wrote the worker, whose Reddit handle is u/General_Watercress32.

The worker also revealed that there is no limit to how many chickens a single shopper can purchase at one time, at least at the warehouse where they work. This puts even more pressure on their rotisserie chicken supplies because one customer could take dozens for themselves and leave little to none for others. On the same day that they wrote the post, for example, u/General_Watercress32 reportedly saw one customer grab 50 chickens. And the very next day, they witnessed another member attempt to take 40. 

The deli worker added that they alone are responsible for producing chicken, wings, and ribs in their section. The employee revealed that they’ve been drinking five energy drinks every eight hours just so they could work as fast as possible, but said they’d look for a different way to keep up their energy after plenty of concerned comments from other Costco fans.

rotisserie chicken costco
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This PSA is especially relevant in light of a recent viral video that showed Costco members clearing out a whole cart of fresh rotisserie chickens in seconds before a Costco worker had the chance to unload them. The video demonstrated just how intense the demand for those famous birds can be at some locations—and how hard it can be for deli workers to try to meet that demand.

RELATED: Costco Members Share Tips on Choosing the Best Rotisserie Chicken

In the comments section under u/General_Watercress32’s post, several fellow employees backed up just how tough it can be for deli workers trying to keep their warehouses stocked with rotisserie chickens.

“I worked chickens for over four years. That is one of the hardest jobs in the warehouse because of all the extra thought and planning you have to do. Just pace yourself as best as you can. Speed and efficiency will come with time and practice,” one Redditor commented.

“I used to be the chicken guy back 18 years ago and had the same issue. I told them ‘I’m only one person,’” another wrote.

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