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Duties of a Grocery Bagger Clerk?

Updated on August 17, 2014

The Unsung Hero

The backbone of the grocery industry, and one of the last employees to make or break a customer's loyalty; the Grocery Bagger. They are called by a host of names from courtesy and guest clerks to front end clerks, but basically they are all grocery baggers.

Many people don't realize that for most grocery baggers, bagging groceries is just a small part of what their responsibilities include. From the time the store opens to the time it closes and sometimes beyond, the grocery bagger is working hard on tasks that appear menial to the untrained eye.

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Job Description for Bagger

For most grocery baggers, there is a plethora of tasks that are added onto there responsibilities as grocery baggers. All clean-ups that occur on the sales floor are the responsibility of the grocery bagger, in fact, little else happens on the grocery floor that a bagger does not have his or her hands on.

Most often, almost all tasks take precedence over the actual bagging of grocery. Since checkers or cashiers can easily bag their own products after ringing them, they rarely call upon baggers unless a customer has a more than normal load of products, or business dictates additional help at the registers.

Under normal conditions, a bagger is available during the full course of business hours - sometimes longer if the need is there. If deep cleaning is involved, it can be scheduled during hours when the store is closed to ease inconveniencing the customer.

The bagger is able to help everywhere and anywhere a helping hand is needed - depending on union agreements since most grocery stores fall under unions. Since the bagger is the entry position into the grocery business, it is often the lowest paid position in the grocery business. But despite it's low standing on the pay-scale, it is one of the most important jobs in the grocery business that helps to hold it all together. The talents of a great grocery bagger can impact a business with positive growth, and customer loyalty.

A solid base...
A solid base... | Source
...or this base.
...or this base.
Fill the middle.
Fill the middle.
Lighter products.
Lighter products.
Capped off with bread.
Capped off with bread.

Best Bagger

As with all things, there is a method to the madness, and here are a few tips to help you stand your ground when and if you ever have the need or urge to bag your own groceries.

When it comes to bagging groceries, it's as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Assess the load.
  2. Build a great foundation.
  3. Fill in the middle.
  4. Top it off with a light cap.

Assess the load.
Check out how many products you have on the belt, and estimate how many bags those products would use. You should be visualizing how you will load these products as your checker or cashier is working through the load. Knowing that your lighter or more fragile products will be going on top and heavy on the bottom, brush aside any light products such as bread, tomatoes, etc. You'll get back to them later.

Build a Great Foundation.
You should be using boxed sides such as cake mixes or box snack and crackers - Hamburger Helper boxes work fine too. Box the outer ends, and fill the middle of your foundation with cans, or items that can be squashed by other loads such as onions, nuts, etc. The foundation is as important as any building would be - your bag should be balanced and able to stand on its own.

Fill in the Middle.
Middle products are products like green peppers, mushrooms, tangerines and other items that can be squashed, but not by lite products. You can also build a foundation with middle products and still cap it off with light products.

Top it Off with a Light Cap.
Light caps are items such as breads, tomatoes, and fragile deli crackers that are easily damaged by heavier items. It's alright if products still a little out of the bag, as long as the customer doesn't mind.


Fast Bagger


Bagger Job

In most companies, the position of bagger, is the entry position. Most people in higher positions have started off in the company as baggers and had worked their way through the ranks into their present position. In all fairness, if you start off in this position, you get a well rounded education of what it takes to keep the store running in a smooth and clock-like operation.

The bagger not only takes care of most of the clean-ups that occur day-in and day-out of the grocery business, but they also take care of most of the cleaning maintenance on the grocery floor. Baggers normally do not go into perimeter departments such as the bakery or deli areas, and definitely not the seafood or meat departments due to the need for food handling education and permits.

Baggers have a lot to do with 'facing' or 'fronting' a terminology used to describe when you physically move products and arrange them so that it appears that the shelf is full. This will usually entail dairy, beverages, alcohol, frozen and canned foods and other non-food items.

Most businesses also have what is generally called 'hourlys' or tasks that need to be done or checked on within the hour. This can be public bathroom supply checks, store floor conditions, exterior or parking lot conditions, shopping cart round up and other daily duties.


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    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks for the comment dreamhowl. Peace. Kawi.

    • Dreamhowl profile image

      Jessica Marello 5 years ago from United States

      Interesting information. I've never been a bagger per say, at least not for groceries (pet store products are less squish-able) but it's good advice. Voted up.

    • KawikaChann profile image

      KawikaChann 5 years ago from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place

      Thanks Mhatter, I know what you mean, they are starting to charge for bags at some stores in Oregon.

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Interesting. Thank you for this. In SF the bagger's job has gotten harder as we no longer have free bags.