Here's How Aldi Keeps Its Checkout Lines So Short

Aldi has grown from a small European grocer to a worldwide phenomenon, thanks to its wide range of groceries and other handy products, all of which are priced at a reasonable level — particularly in comparison to other big supermarkets. Considering Aldi hails from Germany, we shouldn't be surprised by the store's efficiency, whether it's foregoing grocery bags for boxes (thereby encouraging shoppers to bring their own reusable bags, which cuts down significantly on waste), or rotating certain items so nothing is left to go bad on the shelves.

The most noticeable difference between Aldi stores and traditional American grocery stores, however, is evident right at the end of your visit, once you've reached the checkout and realize this isn't going to be any ordinary line. Regular Aldi shoppers will know that, typically, when several shoppers gather at the only available till and a queue begins to form, suddenly a buzzer sounds and a couple more magically open up. Before you know it, you're out the door, shopping in hand. 

Aldi employees are trained to run a very tight ship

Aldi Reviewer advises that, generally speaking, the buzzer calls employees out from the back office or the floor to help out on the checkouts, which streamlines the whole process regardless of how many customers are waiting to pay for their shopping. No matter how busy it is, you're unlikely to ever spend long waiting in line at Aldi. Staffers are trained to do every job in the store, so they can easily hop on the checkouts when necessary and busy themselves elsewhere when things are slower.

Aldi barcodes are also present on several sides of their labeled packages (three to four barcodes is the norm), so they scan through quicker because employees don't waste time searching for the right spot. Plus, workers are trained to memorize the item codes for many of the most popular products, meaning they can key them in by hand if necessary. Sometimes, they can actually do so faster than scanning the product in question. They are encouraged to work quickly and are often offered statistics for how fast they are, so the extra pressure increases their speed, too.

While it may seem impersonal to certain shoppers, the supermarket promises that it cares about customer experience, as well as speed. "Our employees are trained to operate the checkout at the right pace for each individual person they serve," an Aldi spokesperson told The Sun. There's no doubt that Aldi's efficiency makes for a less frustrating experience with minimum fuss and not a second wasted of either your time or theirs.