First off, Costco co-founder Jim Sinegal has been adamant (to say the least) about the company’s hot dog pricing for quite sometime.
In fact, a while back, he told Craig that he would kill him if he ever raised the price.
The story goes, Craig approached the co-founder one time regarding the store’s need to raise the hot dog price. Sinegal was having none of it:
“I came to Jim once and I said, ‘Jim, we can’t sell this hot dog for a buck fifty. We are losing our rear ends.’ And he said, ‘If you raise the effing hot dog, I will kill you. Figure it out.’
That’s all I really needed. By the way, if you raised to $1.75, it would not be that big of a deal. People would still buy. But it’s the mindset that when you think of Costco, you think of the $1.50 hot dog.”
So maybe it’s just the fear of death that keeps the Costco CEO from raising prices, but nevertheless, the hot dog price has remained at the glorious price of $1.50, and has been the fixed price since 1985.
However, one would think that the drastic rise in inflation would make ol’ Jelinek have second thoughts about keeping the price of their signature dogs so cheap as inflation rises, and who could blame ’em?
But Jelinek is standing his ground.
When he was asked by CNBCin an interview on Monday if he would even consider changing the price, he responded with one word that speaks absolute volumes:
Back in January of 2020, he assured his stakeholders that regardless of the economy’s impact, the combo price isn’t gonna be touched, saying:
“We have no plans to take that hot dog above a buck fifty. End of story.”
Unfortunately, the hot dog prices don’t correlate with the prices of food from their iconic food courts, as according to Business Insider, the price of the company’s chicken bake prices have raised from $2.99 to $3.99, while the 20-ounce sodas have spiked from $0.59 to $0.69.
Ya can’t win ’em all, but it’s pretty wild that you can go to Costco and about buy a couple of hot dogs for the same price of a 16-oz. Coke at your local gas station.
Costco for the win.
Now, if only they could bring back Kirkland Signature Light: