Aldi worker reveals why checkout staff scan items at breakneck speed

Secrets of an Aldi employee: Cashier reveals WHY they scan groceries so fast – and it helps you pay less at the checkout

  • Aldi employee Brooke Hoskin has lifted the lid on working at the supermarket 
  • She revealed staff are timed on how quickly they scan groceries at the checkout
  • There’s no minimum speed, but if consistently slow you could be reprimanded
  • The German retailer employs a small number of staff to keep its prices low
  • Less staff means workers receive higher wages and are likely to stay at the store
  • Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID

An Aldi employee has revealed that checkout staff scan groceries at breakneck speed because they are being timed by store managers who constantly monitor their productivity.

Brooke Hoskin is a shop assistant at a Sydney branch of the German-owned discount supermarket chain, where she is responsible for stacking shelves, replenishing stock and taking payment at the till.

Still serving customers as an ‘essential worker’ during the coronavirus crisis, Ms Hoskin shared a TikTok video before her shift on Friday in which she revealed workers are timed on how quickly they scan items and move on to the next shopper.

While there is no minimum scanning speed, staff observed to be overly relaxed about their duties could be reprimanded and even lose their job.

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Brooke Hoskin (pictured) is a shop assistant at a Sydney branch of German-owned discount supermarket chain Aldi

‘It’s not a major part of performance reviews, however if you’re consistently slow, managers might not be a big fan of that,’ Ms Hoskin said in the video. 

Ms Hoskin said while scanning speed is not a ‘major part’ of performance reviews, staff who are consistently slow could be reprimanded by managers

The biggest reason for rapid scanning is to keep product prices and staff numbers as low as possible.

Employing less people means Aldi can maintain its famously cheap prices for its customers.

It also allows the store to pay existing workers higher wages than the accepted retail standard, which means employees are content and more likely to stay with the company.

‘At Aldi, we run a tight ship, which means we have less staff with more tasks to complete,’ Ms Hoskin said.

The faster employees can process customers in and out of the store, the faster they can move on to their next task, which allows the chain to keep staff costs low by reducing the need to hire additional casual workers.

‘We’re happier, and the company has better retention [rates],’ Ms Hoskin said. 

Her video has been viewed more than 20,000 times and ‘liked’ by 2,500 people since it was posted on TikTok on Friday.

In reply to viewers’ comments, she confirmed cost-effectiveness is the reason that Aldi cashiers leave customers to pack their own shopping bags, unlike checkout staff at leading competitors like Coles and Woolworths.

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