Grocery Store Cashiers Explain The Best Way To Arrange Your Groceries On The Conveyor Belt


For cashiers and baggers at the checkout in the supermarket, a work shift is utterly montonous.

The work has many of the quintessential elements of factory life: a never ending conveyer belt, repetative motion, short breaks, and all too much time to let your mind wander.

But grocery store clerks have an added element that the image of an industrial plant lacks. They have to do customer service.

That interpersonal layer can be utterly exhausting, especially when the people a clerk is required to be friendly with are the very people that dictate how ease or difficulty of the work itself.

To inform future customers to make it all go as smoothly as possible, some cashiers turned to Reddit and shared their views of the ideal customer's grocery unloading approach.

MisanthropicMedicine asked, "Grocery cashiers/baggers of reddit, what's the best way to arrange groceries on the conveyor belt?"

Already, Some Customer Backlash 

"Large and heavy items first, this way they can be bagged first and also allow for smaller items to fit between the larger items. This also helps avoid any bags from becoming top heavy." -- FreezeFire9988

"The problem is that I usually put heavier items at the bottom of my cart. So to get to those, I have to empty the cart anyway."

"It'll never work." -- TheDarkKnight1035

An Exhaustive Breakdown

"Heavy items first. They will go in the cart on the bottom and won't crush your soft stuff."

"Frozen and refrigerated items next. I pack them together to keep them cool."

"Hard produce (onions, roots, carrots, etc) I pack them by themselves."

"Soft produce next (tomatoes, avocados, peaches. Same as above. I pack them together and put them on top."

"Bread, eggs, chips last. I always pack eggs alone and if possible put the chips on top of them. The bag acts like an alarm if something gets put on top of them."

-- Imajica0921

Be Mindful of the Cashier as Well as the Environment 

"If you have your own bags, put them first. Don't wait til half your stuff is bagged and then magically whip them out." -- Feign_of_Heart

"THIS!! Do not wait until I have bagged everything, and then tell me 'I have my own bags lol' and make me re-bag everything! I have a line and it is so inconsiderate!! UGHH" -- toothpastenachos

Rolling for Eternity

"Any bottles of liquid (e.g. coke cola 2L) should be lying down in line with the direction of the belt. This will prevent the bottle from rolling." -- CorkHammett

"God, yes. 99% of people I see put them down sideways. And when they inevitable roll back and forth to slam into things, the response is usually to wedge them in between some smaller items...which doesn't work most of the time." -- Kelmon80

Into the Abyss

"I couldn't care less how people put arranged it, but for the love of god, don't put cards/gift cards directly on the belt. The sensor isn't low enough to detect it and stop. Put it on top of something."

-- bangersnmash13

Let Them Use That Scanning Gun Thing!

"Leave the larger items, like cases of water and cat litter, in the cart so the cashier can scan them with their scan gun. Keep all cold and refrigerated items together so that the items can keep each other cold."

"Eggs and bread is always a good combo in one bag together. Sugar and flour in their own bags. All other items can be arranged in any other way."

-- J2418x

The Ol' Hybrid Approach

"I maximize bag efficiency by mixing heavy and light items."

"Every bag is a Tetris puzzle, and a few light/breakable items can almost always be put on top. Otherwise you get a bag with two bags of chips at the end."

-- pntlesdevilsadvocate

Extra Efficient

"In addition to what everyone else says here, while I'm waiting in line I'll flip my groceries so that the barcode is face down and towards the scanner. It allows the cashier to just swipe each item through very quickly rather than have to search for the barcode."

"As a former cashier, I also liked it when all of the produce is placed together, allows you to get in the mental rhythm of entering the PLU codes."

Cultural Rifts

"Just a random European passing through here. We have to bag it ourselves. Somehow I thought it was a bit old fashioned/fake if I saw it in American shows. I never realized it really happens. What do you do meanwhile? Just stare at the bagger?"

-- BombAnne

Plan it Out

"Because of comments in this thread, now I'm getting a big cart every time instead of a basket so I can arrange things better." -- i_like_sp1ce

"If you're close enough to the shopping carts, it's okay to grab an extra one. It especially helps when the customer has a small cart if you grab a big cart--more space, and a safe place for the eggs!"

"I've found it helps to plant an extra cart at the register to be prepared--just make sure nobody tries to put it up for you!" -- nobodyuknow01

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