Choose the Best Time for Pickup
Try Wednesday or Thursday morning to get all the items on your list.
Morning time slots will always give you the best chance of getting the items you want with no substitutions because the store is stocked overnight. Additionally, new coupons and meal deals come out on Wednesdays, so you have the best chance of the freebies not being sold out if you snag them before the weekend rush.
Produce is also freshest in the mornings. 👌
How to Avoid Substitution Issues and Disappointment
Pick Common Items
I know this is easier said than done, but opting for regularly stocked items will help you avoid the dreaded text that your items aren't available. Choose a pre-packaged bagel over a bakery option that's a bit riskier, pick a common baby food flavor, opt for the regularly stocked coffee creamer.
If you want to roll the dice on a bakery item or limited edition pumpkin spice creamer, opt to not allow substitutions for those items so that you're not disappointed with the replacement.
Add Notes Directly on The Item
You can add notes on the whole order, but the better option is to add notes to the item itself so that the shopper sees it while they're shopping for that exact item. If you pick Stonewall Strawberry Jam but have a few others you also like, add those other options in the notes so that you can still get a substitution you'll enjoy.
Give The Shopper the Benefit of The Doubt
The shoppers genuinely try to find the right items. Consider that they might not have the life experiences you've had to know about the products you like. They might not know what preserves are, or an adequate sub for a specific baby food flavor, but they try their best. The notes will help give them a better idea of your exact preferences, so lean on that.
Bulk Order? Make Sure There's Room
As a courtesy for the partner loading groceries in your car, make sure there's space for the groceries you ordered or take time to rearrange when you park. Don't force someone to put the puzzle together and worry about not being able to fit your items. This will also ensure your items makes it home safely.
Should You Tip HEB Curbside Partners?
I read an interesting Reddit thread recently with details from Curbside Partners across the state. It seems policies vary greatly between the stores. Here's what you should know:
You don't have to tip, but it's an appreciated gesture.
$2-3 dollars is the average tip, consider doing more if the weather sucks. Some "curbies" get $10-20 in the freezing cold. If you feel like tipping, the amount is up to you.
Some stores have stricter policies about employees accepting tips.
Certain stores allow curbside partners to take tips, some say they have to resist three times before accepting, others won't let partners accept tips at all. So you can offer several times, but if they don't feel comfortable accepting, don't make someone take the tip. They could get in trouble if they do.
But, how do I even tip when I'm sitting in my car?
Probably the simplest way to tip is to clip some money in the trunk and then to let the partner know before they leave that it's for them. If they feel comfortable accepting they will, if not they will leave it there. That way you allow them to make the decision in a less awkward format.
Do you have to stick to your time slot?
No, but you should if possible.
If you have a personal disaster or hit insane traffic, you can still pick up your order later, but you should always try to stick to your time slot as best as possible. If too many groceries sit in the curbside area without getting picked up, it can really clog things up for the staff.
So don't grab that early morning time slot if the chances are slim that you will actually get up in time to retrieve it.
What did I miss? Let me know your HEB Curbside tips in the comments below.