Here's What Those Frequent Bells at Trader Joe's Really Mean

Maybe you’re at Trader Joe’s to pick up some healthy snacks for lunch, or perhaps you’re stopping in quickly to grab some flowers to decorate your table for a dinner you’re having that evening. You’re waiting in line (and trying hard not to chuck their checkout line snacks into your cart) when you hear a loud bell ringing and can’t help but think to yourself, “What is that?”

If you’ve ever been to your local Trader Joe’s and have wondered what their bells mean, you’re not alone. According to the grocery store’s website, these bells don’t have one singular meaning. In fact, they have a few! For instance, when an employee rings the bell once, it means they need a colleague to open up another cash register. If the bell is rung twice, it means that someone at the checkout has a question. And if it’s rung three times, the employee is asking for a manager to come over. Any more rings than this and it just means they’re having some fun!

Trader Joe’s explains on their website that they think of this as their own little version of Morse code, and that a PA-system just really isn’t for them. Their own version of Morse code, not to mention, is an ode to their maritime aesthetic. Trader Joe’s, never change!

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