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New Retail Custy: The Grazers


Freddy Coffee 2From: shanewater

For anyone unaware what grazing is, it's the act of eating or drinking a product in store without paying for it first, and then taking the empty can/packet to the till and ringing it through as a purchase.

For years I was convinced that 'grazing' was just an American thing, that because the stores are so big there that it was semi-socially acceptable to do it, but nope, ever since I started working with food in a reputable UK store I've dealt with at least one 'grazing' incident a week.

Most of the time it's nothing particularly big, just a can of coke or a packet of ham that they fed to their children, but I have one little story that particularly irritated me.

A customer picked up something from the bakery, now as it's baked in store it doesn't have a barcode on it or even it's own special packaging (you just picked it up with tweezers and put it in the bakery bag) the idea is to identify the product on the till from what it looks like.

Jason friesThe problem was he'd eaten it, and all that was left was the tinfoil case that the product was in. The customer had no idea how I couldn't just scan it through as a 'chocolate tart' when there was five different types of tart with chocolate on it, with three that look semi-identical. He couldn't describe what was on the tart, what was in it or if it had a specific design on it.

The problem was eventually solved by him going back to the bakery section and picking up another one in a packet to show me, but he could have easily picked up a cheaper one. I honestly couldn't care by that point, he'd managed to turn a simple 20 second transaction into a 5+ minute one and clogged up the queue so now every till was occupied to try and fix the mess. He paid for his product and left, I got the death glare from the floor worker who had to occupy a till and the next ten minutes were hell as it was lunch time.

Technically I could have just picked a chocolate tart at random, but it messes with bakery stock and items baked are semi related to how many customers buy them over the past X days.

In hindsight that was probably the best option because he most likely messed up bakery stock if he brought back the wrong one, but I still like to put the blame on him because HE WAS IN THE STORE FOR LESS THAN TEN MINUTES AND COULDN'T WAIT ONE MINUTE MORE TO EAT HIS F*CKING TART!




Double U Gal

Excellent story!Thank you for sharing this, it was really fun to read.

Account Deleted

I recall only one incident of seeing this happening and that was some years ago, here in Germany and it was done by a Turk. I personally avoid doing this, mostly cause I would feel weird doing it and, even if I'm hungry, I tend to not do it, anyway.


Grazing gets food crumbs all over the store. Also, the customer is eating food without washing ✋ first and could end up getting sick.


Grazers are annoying. The most annoying are those who eat produce and go "Oh, add one apple to that. I got hungry while I shopped." Then they get upset that I tell them to grab an apple of the kind they ate. "It's just one apple, why can't you just ring it up!" Different PLUs, different prices, and pricing per pound you moron! Or shall I lay the entirety of my 200 lbs on the scale and charge you for the Pink Lady apples like that...

Tech Support Survivor

I have on occasion grabbed a drink when I was extra thirsty, but I try not to make it a habit. I mostly don't like paying a dollar for a tiny bottle of water.

Although my mother apparently let me sip away on a container of chocolate milk every time she did her grocery shopping.


(giggles at the thought of Kitai's 200 pound 'Pink Ladies')


Until you pay for it, it is not your property and you have not paid for the right to eat it. Until it's paid for, it is theft.

Account Deleted

SS, I went shopping with my mom a few years ago and we bought some gum for me, then were at a different store for some other stuff. I was gonna open the gum up and have one, but she said no, because she didn't want to get into a discussion on whether it had been paid for. So I waited until we were out. That somehow reminded me of this.

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