10 Tips for Working in a Grocery Store as a Beginner 

Not everyone pictures themselves bagging items while smiling at customers repeatedly, especially the rude ones. Not many people also enjoy hurling heavy boxes from aisle to aisle. The thought of it alone is overwhelming. 

However, working in a grocery store is a rewarding experience if you can keep your cool and handle situations with diplomacy. Below are some tips to help you survive life in a grocery store. 

10 Tips for Working in a Grocery Store

1. Develop your communication skills.

Anyone can work in a grocery store. But it’s not as easy as it sounds. Life becomes easier when you have certain skills. But people often overlook social skills the most, and it’s their undoing in the grocery store business. It’s one business that requires effective communication. 

Learn to listen to customers before replying. This will give you a better understanding of their situation, and help you determine the best approach to solving their problems.

When you reply with a “Yes” or “No”, always explain further to help them understand you and find what they are looking. It would also be best if you assist them along the way.  

Additionally, your co-workers deserve the same treatment. Communicate clearly with them and express yourself in the kindest way possible. They can also be your support on your first day. You can ask them questions on things you don’t understand or for assistance in serving customers.

2. Learn good Customer service.

Make people’s work easier so that yours will be much easier. Unfortunately, some customers could be your worst nightmare. When you encounter them, don’t be so quick to lash out, even if they are wrong. Rather, learn to deescalate the situation.

Entertain questions and direct customers to the aisle where they can find what they are looking for. Even if you don’t know try and go out of your way to help the customer. 

You will meet customers that complain about things that are out of your control. Be patient and don’t work up by their incessant complaints. Call for help from the supervisor or manager when the issue gets out of hand. Learn more on good customer service here.

Grow a thick Skin 

In this line of work, customers could frustrate your effort so much some employees cry. Other shoppers will yell at you, they think being a jerk will make them get what they want earlier. 

Develop a thick skin against customers that will assassinate your character. These accusations are mostly out of contempt and shouldn’t be taken seriously. Also, remember that the customer is not always right. 

I’ve had customers that yell and will often curse at you. In those situations, the best thing to do is to ignore them, if you can’t then call the manager. If you’d break down crying at the slightest criticism, whether constructive or destructive then this line of work is not for you. 

Be Dependable

If you are dependable it means you can be given different responsibilities. To climb the societal ladder then you need to be someone that can be depended on. 

Especially in a grocery store, you need to show your manager that you can be relied on by coming early to work, and taking other responsibilities when it’s needed. 

Most employees that can be relied on are easily promoted and receive praise from colleagues and the manager. Not everyone is going to win the employee of the month but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you can’t, fine. But try to give your best, and that’s all that matters. 

Understand Body Language 

Learn the art of reading the customer’s body language. Subtle signs like customers avoiding eye contact, greet them and let them know you’ll be around if they need help, and give them space. 

Some customers are just having a bad day, if you can read the signs then you will avoid a lot of problems in your work. 

Learn to separate your work and home 

There’s a thin line between these two and most often employees cross it thinking they are extensions of each other. 

Leave home problems and don’t bring them to work. While it’s not as easy as said, you might risk losing your job if you allow your problems at home to affect your output. You can be fired if your off-field problems get in the way of your work. 

Read about why you could get sacked working two Jobs 

Stay busy 

There’s always work you can do. Sure, it’s good to take a break if you can, so that you don’t break down due to stress. However, you should try and use the times when customers are less to restock shelves. 

Help put things in order if you can rather than wait to be ordered before you attend to the job. 

Buy comfortable shoes 

There will be a lot of standing and walking and if you don’t have comfortable shoes with some extra space expect half of your day to be spent taking off your shoes. 

Purchase a pair of shoes that will last years of rough use and still stay strong. Extra tip; your working shoes should be different from day to day shoes. It will ensure it survives the stress it will be subjected to in the grocery store. 

Establish Positive relationships 

Your work entails you work closely with your colleagues and customers. You need to build a positive relationship in your time there. Your connections with employees will prove to be valuable in the field of work especially when you need help. 

Connections you build in a grocery store can also burgeon into a longtime friendship. My best friend Matt and I met at a grocery store and we’ve been friends for more than a decade. 

Know the Grocery Store’s Policies 

This is one of the most important things you should know. This should include everything on your job function, returns, types of payment, and the general rule of conduct.

 Knowing the rules will allow you to approach situations with confidence and diplomacy. 


Working in a grocery store comes with its perks and perils. To be honest, it’s not the best job in the world, it’s tiring and mundane but it comes with many life skills that will help you later in life. 

Most people don’t set out to become grocery store workers in life but as a result of circumstances. For me, it was about raising funds to support my education in college, yours might be different. At the end of the day, it’s about surviving and making life bearable. 

We all know working in a grocery store won’t buy all the flashy cars you see packed in front of the store when customers visit. But it’s a decent job, and if you can save enough you can start a side hustle just like i’ve done in internet marketing. 

A grocery store is just like any work environment. Try to learn and adapt, become responsible, communicate clearly, work hard and smart, help customers, learn the art of patience and make friends. 

You’ll need these things to survive the tasking environment. 

Best Moses Dzarmah. 

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