If you have a Wegmans in or near your town, chances are you are totally obsessed with it. The regional supermarket has 93 stores (in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, and Massachusetts) and a total cult following.
People love Wegmans — like, really love it. They love the buffets, the cheese selection, the sustainably sourced seafood, and the cases of cured meats. People even talk about how friendly and helpful the staffers are. People talk about Wegmans like it’s paradise.
All that’s to say that it’s pretty uncommon to hear a complaint about Wegmans. And yet, I have one!
The Most Annoying Thing About Wegmans
Although I grew up in South Jersey, I am not a child of Wegmans. My parents didn’t get one until after I had graduated and moved out of the house. I was recently home for a few days and joined my mom on a quick trip to Wegmans one night after dinner.
That’s when I realized it: You have to essentially pre-ring every single piece of produce when you grab it before you can even think about heading to the register.
Although my mom said the produce is fresher and cheaper than anything else around (even Costco!), this pre-ringing thing has me annoyed for two reasons.
1. It slows down grocery shopping.
When I grocery shop, my list often includes things like one jalapeño pepper, one red onion, one lemon (you get the gist). If I was shopping for this at Wegmans, I’d have to type in each individual item in order to get a sticker for the cashier to ring up during checkout. Yes, the cashier would have to type in the stuff anyway, but even a part-time clerk has a better chance of recalling the code for an avocado from memory than I do.
And if you’re wondering, even if items are sold by count — instead of weight — you still have to pre-ring it and get a sticker. So you need a sticker — and probably a bag — for three potatoes.
2. It’s wasteful.
When I was there with my mom, I seriously watched a woman pre-ring a bunch of bananas and then put them in a bag just so she could put the printed sticker on the bag. Bananas have peels! They don’t need to be in bags! But it would have been too wonky to put the sticker directly on the bananas. Even for those who put the stickers right on their produce, a sticker is still being brought into the equation for some unknown reason.
I’m guessing Wegmans has a good reason for using this system, but I fail to see it. Oh, and when I was talking to my mom about this story, she added another complaint: “I hate that all the deli meat is presliced,” she says. “If I go late in the day, I can’t help but wonder how long that turkey breast has been sitting out in the case, drying out.”
Do you shop at Wegmans? What’s your take on the produce pre-ringing situation?