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8 Secrets Deli Counter Employees Wish You Knew

The deli counter is a fast-paced environment! Here's the insider info that will make picking up lunch meat easier than ever.

Woman Taking a Number in DeliChuck Savage/Getty Images

You need to take a number

Really—take a number. The number system allows shoppers to look through the cases without standing in a physical line. Because the deli can get busy in a hurry, taking a number allows the workers to help everyone more efficiently. Find out the difference between grocery stores and supermarkets.

Customer in general store, Hague, USAheshphoto/Getty Images

It helps to know what you want

For anyone who shops with a list, it’s easy to put an order together. But folks who don’t know their order by the time their number is called will slow down the operation. If you need more time to compare brands of ham for your sandwiches, wait to pull your number until you’re ready. Here are some of the things grocery stores don’t want you to know.

Sales clerk looking at female customer while assisting at supermarketMaskot/Getty Images

You can ask for advice

It’s OK to ask for help if you’re not exactly sure what you’re looking for. After all, the deli counter employees know their product selection quite well and they’re happy to make a recommendation, whether it’s for turkey or potato salad. Take a look at these funny photos of grocery store items no one wants to panic buy.

Close up of a butcher wearing a striped blue apron, slicing salami with a slicer.Mint Images/Getty Images

You can ask to see sample slices

If you want your deli meat and cheese sliced thick, thin, or paper-thin, make sure you specify that when you order. Then, ask to see a piece before they slice the whole pound. The slicer can be adjusted so every piece is perfect. These are things you won’t see in grocery stores anymore.

Deli employee packaging meat order for supermarket customerSDI Productions/Getty Images

You can sample… within reason

The deli samples are sliced to order. You can ask to sample a new brand of ham or turkey, but be aware of your deli counter employee’s time, as well as the line behind you. Just sample one or two products. Find out the rudest things people do in grocery stores.

Shot of a mature woman shopping with her grandchildren at a grocery storeAJ_Watt/Getty Images

They can’t accept your sample trash

The deli samples are often handed over in a sheet of deli paper. After you’ve enjoyed your sample, please do not hand your sampling paper (or other trash) back to the deli counter employee. You can dispose of it in the trash bin nearby. Here are 40 grocery store secrets you didn’t know about.

African waiter serving fresh food to young woman. Happy smiling guy preparing take away salad for woman customer. Black man with apron taking pasta salad in spoon and serving to customer.Ridofranz/Getty Images

It helps when you stay off your phone

It may seem like common sense, but sometimes we all need a reminder! You want to be able to hear your number, place an order, and then step aside. Take a look at these self-checkout secrets grocery store clerks wish you knew.

Florida, Sunny Isles Beach, Milam's Supermarket deli counter. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)Jeff Greenberg/Getty Images

It never hurts to be kind

It seems simple, but it’s true. Most folks waiting in the deli line are tired, hungry, and in a hurry. And sometimes that leads to forgetting our manners. Be friendly to workers behind the counter. Just a bit of kindness goes a long way. Next, take a look at these things you never knew about grocery store produce.

Originally Published on Taste of Home

Sher Castellano
Sher Castellano is the plant-based chef, endometriosis advocate and former health coach behind the award winning blog With Food + Love. Sher creates recipes to help you feel better, and explores topics of chronic illness, women's health and infertility with her honest writings. With Food + Love was a finalist in the 2015 Saveur Magazine Food Blog Awards.