The 16 Most Annoying Whole Foods Customers, According to Whole Foods Employees

If you've ever walked the aisles of Whole Foods, you've likely observed a huge cast of well-fed characters, from women wearing $400 worth of Lululemon to guys there specifically to pick up women in $400 worth of Lululemon. It isn't hard to pick out the stereotypes, but you never truly understand the horrors that shoppers are capable of until you've been paid to smile politely as someone eats fistfuls of spring mix straight from the salad bar.

To understand the folks on the other side of the check stand, we asked an anonymous group of former Whole Foods employees to rant about their least-favorite customers. Don't be one of these people.


The Supplement-Trend Zealot

Whenever the Doctor of Oz pokes his head out of his daytime TV curtain and proclaims black soybeans to be the ruby slippers of the day, or cod liver oil to be the only thing that can supplement a cowardly heart, a pack of flying monkeys descends onto the vitamin shelves.

The Incredulous Inventory Sleuth

The world would be a much safer place if police had as much gumption toward finding criminals as this guy has for hunting down his specific brand of hummus.


The Bulk-Bin Number Ignorer

The only person worse than this is the guy who thinks that cashiers can't tell the difference between peanuts and cashews. Likely to also treat the bulk bin as a free sample buffet.

The Cell Phone Diva

People who talk on the phone at checkout have a special line they wait in when they die. It's called hell, and reception there is terrible.


The Hot-Bar Cattle

Just ambling around. Grazing on everything. Not a care in the world. Or a fork in the hand.

The Fad Scientist

News just broke of a study that says eggs are unhealthy. No matter that the data was from 15 years ago and they only tested 15 subjects and the findings are so thin nobody over the age of 14 believes them. You can still expect a lecture, along with a contradictory update the following week, in the checkout lane.

Flickr/Leon Brocard

The Bag Hoarder

A single lime doesn't really need a bag. Ma-Ti from Captain Planet is crying on your behalf, partly because of the bag, but partly because everyone just calls him the heart kid. He has a name, people.

The Armchair Environmentalist

Having ethics is a wonderful thing, until they become so rigid and inconsistent that a customer triple checks the carbon footprint on their hamburger and complains about apples not being organic enough, then buys kiwifruit that have been jet-fueled in out of season from New Zealand.

Flickr/David Berkowitz

The Over-Sampler

Totally irresponsible food sites will reveal hacks about how Whole Foods employees are required to let you sample items for free. Suddenly every cheapskate in town is trying seedless watermelon for the very first time. Over and over again.

The False Returner

Another little-known fact: you can return literally anything to Whole Foods, even if you've used all of it. So the customer buying bottles of body oil and filling them up with water to return them technically doesn't even have to go through such an elaborate ruse. But kudos on their ability to "stick it to the man!"


The Time Exaggerator

Every delivery pizza this customer orders must be a free pizza, because they have the incredible ability to shift time such that eight minutes waiting in line somehow becomes 35.

The Food-Allergy Faker

This person thinks that a cashier should somehow know the gluten content of every item in the store. Also, they've never even heard of Celiac disease.

Flickr/Eva Rinaldi

The Disappointing Celebrity

Michael Cera, we're looking directly at you. And also at almost every other celebrity Whole Foods patron who is never as good looking or charming as they are in major motion pictures. Except Jennifer Lawrence! She's the best! 

[Editor's Note: The Whole Foods employee who had it out for Michael Cera does not represent the opinion of Thrillist toward Mr. Cera or Nick & Norah's  Infinite Playlist, which we found underrated and unexpectedly poignant.]

The Prepared-Foods Stalker

If a man insists that one specific woman make his tacos every day, odds are, there might be something more sinister at play than an unhealthy obsession with grocery store Mexican fare.


The Soap Eater

The self-serve soap-cutting table is not full of candy, it is full of soap. Do not eat the soap. Why do you always eat the soap?!

The Manager Narc

"Can I talk to your manager?" are every employee's least-favorite words, other than "When is the baby due?" It's tough enough being the face of problems you have no control over (sale items priced incorrectly, long lines, asparagus costing $5/lb). It only makes matters worse when someone feels the need to blame you directly to your superior.

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Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's national food and drink team. His favorite awful Whole Foods customer is the Soap Eater. Follow him to never eating sanitary products at @Dannosphere.