Bernal Neighbors Exasperated by Long Lines at Local Safeway

Safewaylines

Our Taoist Safeway, is indeed timeless and unchanging. Although, not always in a good way…

Sure, the interior received a sporty makeover a few years ago. But one part of the Bernal Safeway experience never seems to get better: There are seldom enough cashiers, so the checkout lines are infuriatingly long.

This is sad, because in theory, there’s a lot to love about our local Safeway. The location is very handy, and the store’s compact footprint means that finding what you need can be done efficiently. And the prices are reasonable enough by contemporary ridiculous post-gentrification standards. Yet all that is overshadowed by one grim fact: The checkout lines are so insane at our Safeway that many Bernalese have given up on the store entirely.

Complaints about the long lines pop up regularly on social media, but a recent blow-up even got the attention of the hapless soul who staffs the official @Safeway Twitter account. It all started here:

That prompted this Official Response…

… which only generated further rancor, because the long-line problem has been so bad for so long. Pretty soon, the trickle of complaint turned into a flood:

No surprise, then, that the Bernal Safeway gets a paltry two-star ranking on the Yelp. Typical comment:

Screen Shot 2015-02-10 at 10.08.17 AM

So will anyone at the Safeway Mothership actually do anything about this?

Last year, the entire Safeway chain was acquired by a group of private equity investors led by Cerberus Capital Management, which also merged Safeway with the Albertson’s supermarket chain. That does not bode well for the long lines at the Bernal Heights store, because it generally suggests the new leadership team is likely focused on the tricky task of integrating management teams and meeting near-term profitability targets, rather than on the nuts-and-bolts tasks of local staffing and customer satisfaction.

Coincidentally, on January 30, 2015 — one day before the local Twitter blowup — a Supermarket News article marking the completion of the Safeway-Albertsons merger included this comment from Safeway’s CEO:

“We plan to be the favorite local supermarket in every community we serve,” said Safeway president and CEO Robert Edwards, who becomes president and CEO of the newly combined company, effective immediately, in a statement. “We will do this by knowing, listening to, and delighting our customers; providing the right products at a compelling value; and delivering a superior shopping experience. We will also continue to be active members of our local communities.”

Memo to Safeway CEO Robert Edwards: NOT SEEING THIS IN BERNAL HEIGHTS.

But who knows. Maybe someone at the Safeway Mothership will read this and realize they have a problem on their hands at 3350 Mission Street. Maybe they will understand that our Taoist Safeway is a store that many Bernalese want to love, if only the management didn’t make that so difficult. Here’s hoping…

PHOTO: Another long line at the Bernal Safeway, on January 31, 2015, by Li Jiang

91 thoughts on “Bernal Neighbors Exasperated by Long Lines at Local Safeway

    • I totally agree. Im so hopeful the buyout makes improvements. And to add insult to injury i slipped and fell in the frozen food section cause by a renegade ravioli that went undetected by personnel. Luckily just suffered a severly bruised shine bone and not a broken hip.

    • I hate this Safeway so much that I actually drive 20 minutes out of the way to go to the Safeway in the Castro. Not only is the customer service at this Safeway horrible, but they lock up nearly everything. They even lock up coffee! I get it that Tide Pods have a hot black market, but coffee?

  1. stopped going to the Bernal store after shopping there since 1976. Last time I had a full cart that I left behind due to the lines. I see the same deteriorating conditions at Diamond Heights store–no longer patronize that one either. 16th street is much better (although it has lines, they’re not as bad).

  2. Been there – ain’t doin’ that NO MO! Not merely long lines, bad produce, and terribly yellow lighting, but very rude customer “service”, and way too many criminal elements inside and outside the store. Just cannot seethe point for patronizing them anymore. Shop local – GOODLIFE!

  3. Rrasons that I shop at Safeway:
    1. Staff are Union which means a living wage and great benes
    2. I think the checkers are very patient when dealing with difficult customers
    3. They keep expanding their organic line and organics here are more affordable than most other stores
    4. This is a location that lower income people can get to

    My complaint was that they never had carts but this problem seems to have been resolved

    • 1. Having half the number of well-paid workers while there is a lack of employment opportunities still in San Francisco doesn’t seem like an overall win for the community.
      2. Yes, their checkers are polite given the circumstances. That doesn’t excuse the corporate decisions that Safeway makes.
      3. They also keep replacing organics with “Open Nature” house brand which is designed to appear organic but which is now.
      4. They manage it as if their only customers are lower income, and hence they don’t care if the lines are long, the place is clean or other things are inconvenient for the shoppers.
      5. There are still many times when I go there and I have to walk around the parking lot for 5 minutes to find a cart.

      There aren’t excuses for Safeway management to run the store this way. it should be run at a level as least as good as the 16/Potrero one.

  4. The lines do suck at this Safeway. And some of my fellow customers are total assholes, but with a couple of exceptions, the cashiers are competent (& friendly).

  5. Over the last few years, I have sent multiple Tweets to the folks at Safeway about the lack of carriages, ridiculously long lines all hours of the day and night and the consistent lack of decent produce. Each time I got the same response above. I’m pretty sure Safeway HQ could care less about this because for many people, it’s the closest full sized grocery store and they figure that people will just deal with it. It’s gotten so bad that we now refer to it as “Slow-way” and I rarely step foot in there anymore. Between Good Life, the local corner stores and Amazon Prime, I can get most of the things I need without the frustration of Safeway. Which is too bad because it’s so conveniently located.

    • Whenever my partners and I are in a situation where something seems Sisyphean and endless, we refer it is as “Safeway-esque.”

      Love “Slow-way,” we’re totally gonna use that now too 😀

  6. We stopped going there years ago once I saw the mice eating the chips from the bags on the lower shelves I couldn’t erase that (probably all grocery stores have them but ya know….) GOOD LIFE and Safeway at Diamond Heights!!

  7. The big question is what will happen to that location when the close the store down.

    Perhaps the lot will be developed into low income housing, and you’ll have to go to the Excelsior Safeway further up Mission street.

    • The new Whole Foods on Ocean Avenue is excellent; condos built on top; totally changed the character of that stretch of Ocean for the better. If that happens here, it surely would be an improvement over what’s there now.

      • Excllent point and hadn’t thought of that. Actually, this would be a great location for that kind of development: Housing on top, Safeway below. Even better if we can convince BART to build the 30th Street Station they’re now (re)considering.

        Someone please get some people on this.

      • While the property is not for sale – this would be a great future project for the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center 🙂 Hope one of you gets some bros on it.

      • SF has long had mixed-use zoning, residential and retail. THIS is probably the sole thing that keeps SF unique. People live and shop and hang out in their neighborhoods.

        Unfortunately, bureaucrats such as the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center gang built the apartment building at Chavez and Mission and didn’t use the ground floor for retail. They THUMBED THEIR NOSES at us from the Northwest Bernal Alliance, who fought hard to keep the mixed-use plan. BHNC never wanted storefronts in their buidling. They wanted 100% residential like the projects on Chavez and Folsom. Since we never thought to mandate that the street-level storefronts be used for RETAIL, instead we got storefronts that are walled off from foot traffic and are used for some internal programs that have nothing to do with the neighborhood.

        The BHNC is an evil conspirator in this attempt to turn mixed-use into residental cul de sacs. Fie on them.

    • NO! Save yourself! The Excelsior Safeway is almost as bad. 3 carts for the entire store with about a hundred locked up in the rear of their parking lot. Arrggghh. My take on it: the Mission Street Safeways are just the ugly stepchildren of the company.

      The Westlake Safeway is a Palace. The 16th/Potrero is a close second.

      • Agreed….I remember when the Excelsior Safeway newly opened, it was a “Glorious Palace”…Then I went there a few years back, and could not believe my eyes, how badly run down it had became?!

        Bingo!…The Westlake Safeway in Daly City is my secret vice, it is wonderful, huge, and has everything you want available. You have to travel a bit, but it is well worth your gas, plus there is also a Trader Joe’s located in the same Shopping Center. 🙂

  8. No surprise that Safeway doesn’t respond to the neighborhood’s needs. I’ve lived in Bernal Heights since 2000; it is rare for me to go to that Safeway; it’s a dump. You’d think Safeway would start catering to the new guard who are moving in, especially with all the major upgrades, improvements going on in the area. Last time I went to Safeway was about 2 months ago [I went there due to not having a car, & had major shopping to do; normally go to Good Life, Canyon Market, Chinatown, small neighborhood markets, & Trader Joe’s]. Some examples of bad behavior: Drug dealing outside the store; there was a mugging in the parking lot, SFPD came, the dealers plus 2 guys arrested; 3 groups of very stoned guys tried to sell their pot inside the Safeway, SFPD was called, the guys picked up; pit bulls run amok, owners started a fight when asked to take the dogs outside; it seemed that everyone in line had food stamps as more & more products were put into a cart to be put back as the stamps could not be used to purchase the stuff, people were very belligerent to staff when told they couldn’t make certain purchases; unsupervised kids running around all over the place; lots of yelling inside; man hitting woman in front of children; the list goes on & on…. Of course, the Walgreens at the corner has to deal with the same kind of trash. I feel sorry for the staff at both of these places.

    • Since when did males of privilege become the Safeway demographic? And please do tell us more about all the major upgrades and improvements going on in the area, Pamela.

      • No, when it comes to retail, the target demo is usually females 18 to 49. They make almost all major buying decisions except cars, which is why you’ll hear retail ads on KOIT and see car ads on ESPN.

      • Seems to me like some individuals are “privileged” to let their pitbulls run amok, throw their trash on the ground, leave glistening pools of engine oil in the parking spots, loiter under the awning, act like creeps in the store, and other antisocial behaviors without ever being dealt with by SFPD unless there’s a crime in progress, prosecuted by store mgmt, called on their BS, or anything. That’s privilege. FYI a bunch of that human garbage seems white and male.

        Made the mistake of going to that store a few times – never again. Same with the filthy Walgreens next door. The walgreens @ Cesar Chavez seems like it’s a totally different company.

  9. I call it the slum Safeway due to lines and poor staffing. So poorly managed you’d think it was in the worst neighborhood in the Bay Area not where the average house goes for a millikn bucks. I avoid it at all cost and usually regret it when I try to go in and see the lines. The staff are nice dispute the bad management. Considering what that piece of property costs it is smazing to me they don’t try to improve it.

  10. My roommate and I call it “UnSafeway”.
    I usually shop at WFM on Market and go to the Market St Safeway. There are much more homeless there but the lines are short and they carry everything and are well stocked.
    It’s just difficult for me when I need something last min and I don’t have time to fight for parking on Cortland.
    I also live on Mirabel so heading over to Cortland or Glen Park is a PIA sometimes.
    Then lines are unbelievable.

  11. That Safeway is a DUMP! No carts, long lines and their shelves are always empty. Why don’t they replenish their items???

  12. I used to like that store quite a bit. They improved over the years by introducing organic produce and recently Clover milk. The staff have always been friendly. The last “improvement” though, some time last year, when they put in a new checkout system was a disaster. I hoped the lines will eventually disappear but things just stayed the same. Sad. I continue going there, since we are a block away, but limit it to morning hours during the week.

  13. Oh, so now some private equity fund owns Safeway? Well, that’s just great. My prediction: they close stores all over the place, sell the valuable real estate Safeway owns to a secondary company that will lease it back to them, and basically strip the entire company of every last asset of value.

    And in the meanwhile, the quality of service will only get worse. Good Life will continue to see my business for a while, I predict.

  14. In the last remodel, they added new end caps near the checkout registers which totally block the aisles when people are lined up to check out, which is always.

    At least they can make more $$ by selling access to those end caps to the product producers. A win for Safeway corporate, a loss for the shoppers.

  15. In our house that particular location is referred to as “F@$&-ing Safeway.” As in “I wanted nachos, we were out of cheese, and Good Life was closed. How desperate was my need for nachos? I actually went to F@$&ing Safeway.”

    • I don’t have much occasion to shop at the Bernal Safeway, being closer to the Potrero one. But when I do shop at the Bernal Safeway I haven’t had any problems with lines. I shop in the late evening.

    • A Trader Joe’s would make a killing in this neighborhood. I was foolishly hoping that’s what would become of the Blockbuster space.

      I’ve abandoned a few full carts myself at Safeway because of the lines. I can’t even step foot inside without having a shot at Rockbar first to prep myself for the exercise in patience that’s about to be required of me. Most days I end up opting for cheap takeout on the way there. I will commend staff though, they deal with the mess professionally.

      Ya’ll saw this, right?
      http://sfist.com/2014/11/25/thanksgiving_prep_which_safeways_ha.php

  16. Yes, this Safeway is gross. It should be torn down and re-built as Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, with 8-10 stories of housing on top.

  17. It looks like the Bernal Safeway escaped the first 168 store “divestiture” list (link at end). The Safeway grocery store model does much better in a suburban setting with plenty of space, parking, and customers who mainly fill up a large shopping cart with food. Applying this expectation to the Bernal location is bound to failure where it is much smaller, there is more foot traffic, and fewer items bought per customer. Hopefully the new owners adapt to the setting or quickly sell and let another grocery merchant come in with a better model of an urban grocery store.

    http://www.albertsons.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/SafewayStoreList.pdf

  18. Safeway doesn’t change. Safeway, Albertson’s, Alpha-Beta, Payless Drugs, Skaggs — it’s all been variations on the same families merging and de-merging over the years. So, I wouldn’t worry that Safeway is “suddenly” in somebody else’s hands. It’s not. The McGowans, the Skaggs, the various families who’ve always owned it still do in one fashion or other.

    THE PROBLEM IS WALMART — Safeway had to re-fashion its stores as more upscale a few years ago (wooden floors in the produce department, gourmet sandwiches, pre-cooked turkeys, etc.) because people were fleeing to Walmart for groceries. It was either re-format and upscale their stores or go out of business — THAT is how tough it was for Safeway.

    STAFFING is a critical situation. The margin on groceries is tiny, less that 0.5%. That means if someone swipes an orange, Safeway has to sell 200 more oranges to make up for the one that was swiped! Seriously, the margins are that small. So, putting on more staff means that Safeway has to raise prices. What do people want, more service or lower prices?

    • How are margins impacted when people simply leave baskets/carts full of refrigerated/frozen items in the middle of an aisle when they see how long the line is?

      • Margins are impacted BADLY when inconsiderate shoppers leave in “disgust” after having to wait for service. If you go to a grocery store you should be prepared for a wait. This is not rocket science.

    • David, you are incorrect about margins of profit on grocery items. Produce is usually marked up 45-50% over wholesale. Because Safeway runs its own distribution, they also hold onto the profits a third-party distributor might take. Profit margins on non-food items are often up to 100%. Just FYI…
      I think in this case people want the industry-standard level of service at industry-standard pricing without sacrificing their whole weekend to do so. Please stop obfuscating the issue (which is piss-poor service) with your ill-informed opinions.

      • You’re leaving out the COST of doing business! While the markup may be 40 or 50%, you’re not including the infrastructure costs, building maintenance, electricity, machinery repair, salaries, lease or mortgage payments, any of that. When you figure in all the real costs of doing business, that makes the actual margin razor-thin.

        Another example: Food cost at a restaurant should be kept at no more than 33%, but that doesn’t mean the restaurant owner makes 67% on the dinner they’re serving! You have to figure in the labor costs, infrastructure, etc., and by the time all that’s figured it, a restauranteur is lucky — LUCKY — to take home 5% on gross sales. Usually it’s in the 3% range.

  19. I’ve found checkout staff at Safeway to be very helpful and efficient — I think they just understaff the registers to much of the time. I have found customer service (at the customer service desk) to be extremely lacking, and the restrooms are APPALLING.

    Frankly, the store is filthy. There is no excuse for sour/spoiled/solidified milk at the bottom of the dairy case. I go there pretty much only for packaged foods, and try to shop at local green grocers, good life, and wf for veggies and meat. Fish from a fish place.

  20. stopped going after feeling like an idiot waiting at the customer “service” counter for BART tickets, never knowing whether anyone was actually in the office behind the one-way glass and if so whether they were just sitting in there laughing at us trusting clueless patient customers. another annoyance was the Peet’s coffee locked up inside a cage like it was freaking gold or something. then when we tried to by sandwiches they didn’t have all the ingredients. screw them.

  21. Rainbow Grocery also sometimes has lines, but it’s worker-owned cooperative with all vegetarian, nearly all organic and non-GMO food. Much better than supporting a large corporation that doesn’t hesitate to axe employee benefits.

    From my house, I look down over the Safeway rooftop. We’ve often fantasized about how, after the revolution, the Safeway will be a giant childcare center with organic veggie gardens on top.

    • LOL !! Best comment ever!

      Also, I thank the Good Life store manager every time I go for still carrying some NON-organic food (because it is a silly, expensive, land-hogging food fad) and not buying into the (destructive, nonsensical, scientifically illiterate) anti-GMO fad too much either. And I always get a puzzled look. For thanking them. Sigh…

  22. I shopped at Safeway for decades, but finally gave up about 5 years ago. One night the lines were so long one woman accused another of cutting the line, and a brawl ensued. Since then, I’ve gone when I need a particular ingredient or to pick something up late at night– but I usually leave empty-handed, wondering why I came back.
    The cashiers are patient and try to be helpful.

  23. Ooh no food stamps! Oh no homeless! Wait ten minutes? God forbid. Walk all the way to 24th st Bart? Cry me a river. What a bunch of wimpy snobs. Y’all sound like a bunch of Noe Valley breeders.

    • I have yet to hear anyone complain about individuals who are homeless or using food stamps (which is called CalFresh now btw). Are you just being a troll? It certainly sounds like it. Your comment was not only inaccurate but had no substance.

      • i don’t want to wade into the subject, b. but someone DID mention foodstamps and homeless people. read up the thread a little bit…

    • exactly. quit bitchin’ and shop somewhere else, everyone. if you can’t take the plebes standing too close to you in line, go blow your wad at Whole Foods and shut up.

    • You’re so REAL, Joe! Thanks for getting that kick in, man! You’re a real worker who doesn’t mind pushing a kid in a cart past someone’s chain smoking cloud 6 feet from the store entrance, dodging idiots racing through the parking lot as a shortcut between two major parallel streets and scaring pedestrians, completely out of control people who to be honest shouldn’t be out in public screaming at the security guards who just caught them in the act of stealing, and neanderthal people ranting and swearing about the line length with a cart full of soda and doritos for their kids.

      ProTip, check the expiry dates on your meat and dairy items from that S***way. This is corporate shittiness and laziness of mgmt, nothing more.

      Management that was interested in doing their jobs and turning a profit would start setting the right tone and atmosphere at their establishment. I’ve shopped at Safeways and other chains in urban settings all over the US and other countries – somehow they manage to figure it out.

      Seriously, what is your point? You’d rather spend a dollar at a craphole than the same dollar at a better-run franchise?

  24. Never enjoyed shopping at that Safeway location. When Fresh & Easy opened up in Portola Valley three years ago, it became my go-to grocery store. The store and parking lot are clean, no problems with shopping carts, employees are friendly and helpful. I like the selection of food, and there’s something for everyone in my family. It can get busy, especially during weekday rush hours, but never ridiculously so. It is a self-check store, but there are rarely hang-ups and there is always an employee handy if support is needed. I’ve saved immeasurable amounts of time by shopping there. In essence, it’s everything the Bernal Safeway wasn’t. The few times I returned to Safeway (was right by the store, so I figured why not)I quickly realized the error of my ways. Thank goodness some of us have other options. But what about those that don’t? Do hope this story will help matters…

  25. The staff is friendly, the long lines aren’t. “Slow-way”, good one Val.

    We moved to Bernal about 18 months ago and this Safeway has been an ongoing joke from day one.

    I shop at Whole Foods a lot. They always have a bunch of cashiers, and the lines move extremely fast. If they can do it, why can’t Safeway??

    • Because they charge such exorbitant prices and people with money will pay it to shop there.

      David Kaye was right that most grocery store margins are razor thin. Organic has higher margins because people will pay extra in the deluded belief that it is somehow better… Plus Whole Paycheck has a super duper PALEO BAR!?!??

      • Actually, Safeway prices are really high too if you 1) don’t have their club card and 2) are buying name-brand products. A few months ago I did a survey and found that overall the prices are about the same at Safeway vs Whole Foods. And most of those more expensive items can be found at Trader Joe’s for much less than both. Shopping at WF and TJs will save you money and give you a better experience than shopping at Safeway, in my opinion.

        It’s a misnomer that Safeway is less expensive (at least in San Francisco), aside from the few items that are on sale.

      • DUH — Nobody said that Safeway’s prices were lowest. In fact I said that Safeway upscaled their stores because Walmart was taking away their low-end business. Upscaling was the only thing that saved Safeway.

        SECONDLY, why NOT use their club card? And why on earth buy name brand goods if private label goods are just fine? With name brand products you’re paying for their Superbowl ads and their fancy packaging. With store brands you’re not.

        THIRD, if price is all you’re after, go to Food 4 Less or Costco or Smart & Final. For me it’s partly price partly convenience. I find that Safeway fills most of my needs. If I want really nifty products not available elsewhere, Rainbow Grocery is my go-to place.

        ALSO, don’t forget that if you’re shopping at Safeway you’re supporting UNION JOBS. Union jobs are important because union workers have enough money to turn it back into the local economy. Remember Henry Ford almost single-handedly created the middle class by doubling his workers’ wages so that they could afford to buy his cars. Grocery store jobs SHOULD be able to pay a living wage. Non-union jobs don’t.

  26. This Safeway is disgusting. It’s dirty, the lines are long, and the parking lot outside can be truly frightening. I stopped going there years ago and have no intention of setting foot inside again, ever.

  27. There are long lines in the Deli also…I usually go to Diamond Hts., but I just wanted some hot wings, so I go to our local Safeway between 29th & Mission. Mistake, waited in line for 10 to 15 minutes, and just as I am about to be the next one in line to be waited on, some dude wanders in up further in the line where folks are being waited on..And he get waited on immediately!!!….Ugh..#@*&!

    This is nothing new for this Safeway, I’ve been around since the late 70’s, and it has “Always” had very long lines.

  28. Produce and other products at Rainbow are better but Safeway checkers are consistently more polite and friendly than those at Rainbow who are usually talking on their phone or to a coworker and cannot be bothered to say hello.

  29. I only go here as the last resort. I started driving to the new Sprouts in Daly City. This place is clean, has a great selection, plenty of parking and terrific prices.

  30. I can’t imagine what a difficult business that Safeway is to manage. It’s located in a neighborhood with a large number of people who need food stamps to feed their family, and a large number of people who would gladly pay up to $100 / hour not to wait in line (as in $25 to cut to the front of a 15 min line). And everyone in between.

    They try to stock generics brands for price shoppers. National brands, because that’s what a lot of people look for. Organics and exotics for the nouveau riche on the hill. Each of those 3 market segments feels slighted by the products stocked for the other 2.

    I’ve seen more than a few ugly incidents in the parking lot. Having been there twice when SF cops showed up, I learned there’s nothing much cops can or will do with most of those folks. Safeway could hire more security guards, but they wouldn’t have authority to do anything cops can’t do. Unless you’re advocating Safeway hiring hit squads to beat or takeout trouble makers, you’ll need to stay away or accept some realities of city life in a mixed income neighborhood at a property located on a transportation thoroughfare.

    Personally, I’d like there to be more open checkout lines. And that would increase their costs. Food store profit margins are small. They’re not 0.5% small, but they are small single digit small. I don’t know how much each extra cashier would impact the average customer’s bill. I’m sure many hard choices have to be made when it comes to staffing.

    There’s certainly room for improvement at this Safeway, but give them a bit of a break.

    City life isn’t for everybody. You’ve got to get along with, or at least make your peace with people very different from yourself. There’s a great big world of mostly homogenous neighborhoods out there. I’m sure many of those who can’t deal with this Safeway will end up in one of them sooner or later.

  31. No one goes there anymore it’s too crowded.

    But seriously, it’s best for your health and well-being you shop at a higher-class establishment. This is what you’re putting into your body n’all.

    The greatest irony is when you price compare things. It’s absolutely true you will spend more at a better store. But that’s because they have better things they upsell you on. The basics however are very similarly priced. One of the great ironies of food shopping.

    But please ignore me I don’t want lines where I shop.

  32. I call this the Hellmouth Safeway. It is utterly, inexcusably horrible. When I have to bring my 22 month-old shopping with me, I lug her around the parking lot for sometimes 20 minutes before finally having to stalk someone back to their car to get a cart. They “remodeled” the produce section to look like a “farm stand”, which is all greenwashy lovely and stuff, but it means you have exactly 1.5 cart’s width between the lanes, so one person in the lane has to back all the way out to let the next person through (at least we’re good at this in Bernal!) And then, they are always “stocking the produce” with these MASSIVE, lane-blocking pallets during peak hours, making it even worse (and, I put stocking in quotes because I’m not sure what they are doing… certainly not pulling rotted fruit out from the bins or putting back more of the many items that are often completely out of stock.)

    But, yes, hands-down worst are the lines. Oh, god, the LINNNNNEEEESSS. All the way down several aisles. Dodging abandoned and melting/rotting carts, etc. (I’ve actually emptied out a cart right into the aisle to get around aforementioned cart problem.)

    My husband and I have twittered many times and get the same response as above. Zero conviction they will do anything– they never have. We’ve stopped going there unless absolutely essential.

    • PROBLEMS OF THE RICH — You’re not satisfied to have a wide selection of groceries. People in Hunters Point, West Oakland, and other places don’t have your luxury. People in upstate New York haven’t even SEEN some of the veggies we take for granted. My ex-womanfriend had never tasted a fresh tomato in her life!

      You folks should be ashamed of yourselves. Long lines? Go another time. Safeway is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You don’t like Safeway? Shop at Good Life or Rainbow, or Costco, or Food 4 Less or the mom’n’pop stands or the farmers’ market or Lucky’s.

  33. “The only thing good to say about Safeway is that you can get some things there cheaper than elsewhere. However, particularly at this Safeway, they just don’t care about their customer. They perpetually understaff the store.

    My wife went to this Safeway at 8:30pm on a Tuesday night after a long day driving home from a road trip with our kids. 8:45pm, she’s in a long checkout line. 9:00pm, they CLOSE THE LINE IN FRONT OF HER, and tell her to get in the back of what now looks to be a 30 minute line. No manager on duty to correct this obvious problem. This shabby treatment is intolerable, and we have ceased shopping there, not just because of this incident, but because of how it just seems too typical of this location’s staffing.”

    My Yelp review, 5/15/2009

    We don’t shop there anymore, and it appears that nothing has changed.

  34. BTW -a 30 yr resident of BH here – Safeway always had loooooooong lines around 4:30 – 6PM – probably because those customers didn’t plan for dinner. i just don’t go there during that time – but now we have many many many more people in the area and safeway hasn’t adapted to that fact.. so call the numbers i provided above- tell them you’re going to shop elsewhere if they don’t put more cashiers on around those times and let them know you mean business
    and oh yeah..for those of you who really don’t like shopping at safeway – just get in your tesla and drive to a market you prefer and leave the nasty old safeway to those of us who need a market we can walk to.

  35. I just walked in, saw a line with more than ten people in it, turned around and walked out. They basically only have two cashiers working evenings, it’s just not enough.

  36. Pingback: History Reveals Checkout Lines at Bernal Safeway Have Been Ridiculously Long Since 1972 | Bernalwood

  37. Pingback: Wells Fargo Banking Robot Materializes on Cortland | Bernalwood

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