The Question You Should Ask When Grocery Products Are Out Of Stock

When you need a very specific ingredient for a dish, you typically head to the grocery store that always seems to have everything. However, there are times when you'll notice there's an empty spot exactly where that one item should normally be. Even the best grocery stores in the U.S. will have periods of items being out of stock, often due to supply chain issues with the manufacturer. Frustration from this missing item can lead you to do a wide range of things. Perhaps you scan the shelves, move things around, and hope something is buried behind a box.

Then you might decide to get some help and turn to the person stocking nearby. They go off to the back to find out if they have what you're looking for, while you continue shopping. But perhaps you're impatient and on a tight timeline and you ask someone else to check for you too. That's a mistake and likely will just frustrate the staff. Instead, ask a different question. "Do you know when this product will be back in stock?" Here's why the question you ask can make a big difference in the results you get.

When is it available?

It's frustrating to staff when you ask multiple people to head to the back to find out if a single item is in stock. Their time is valuable too. The better option is to ask when an item may be restocked. If the product is in the back, they may be able to run to grab it for you. By asking a question like this and asking just one person, you're being respectful and polite instead of saying, "Hey can you check the back for this?" They're more likely to get right back to you.

If that doesn't work or you cannot find someone to help you in the aisles, head up to the customer service desk. They can use their computer to look up current inventory on a product and if it's available, they will know exactly where it's being stocked in the store. If it's not available, they may be able to give you an indication of when a delivery will be made. It's a simple way to be polite and courteous to workers and allow them to continue to do their job without having to leave empty-handed. They may even help you find an alternative ingredient that may do the trick.