Home Consumer Trying to Make Sense out of Publix “Deli-Gate” (Videos)

Trying to Make Sense out of Publix “Deli-Gate” (Videos)

Frame Grab from Publix Commercial

Publix, Florida’s most beloved grocery store chain, has a big public relations problem on its hands. Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Times reported that Publix was changing their free slice policy. Deli slicers will no longer be offering customers a sample slice of meat or cheese to taste.

From the Tampa Bay Times front page, Feb. 8, 2017






“Natural Exchange”

For as long as anyone can remember, it has been SOP (standard operating procedure)  for the deli clerk to offer you a slice of the deli item you are buying.  As a matter of fact, Publix had signs next to their slicers reminding their associates to offer up a slice of the meat or cheese to the customer for their approval.

Well, all that is about to end or is it? It depends what you read or who you ask.

Some news outlets are reporting Publix is abandoning the free sample slice. Other news sites report that you will still get the free sample slice provided you ask for it. Some reports say the deli slice is safe, others say it’s not.

News of the new deli meat sample ban (now known as Deli-Gate) spread quickly and caused people to vent on Facebook and Twitter. Some people are outraged. Others never even knew that when they were shown a sample slice of their Boars Head Honey baked ham it was theirs for the eating.

Emotions are running deep across the state of Florida.

Laura Reiley, food critic for the Tampa Bay Times, contacted Publix for their response.

“We are piloting a change in a few dozen delis in Central and southwest Florida to create a more natural exchange between our deli clerks and our customers,” says Brian West, media relations manager at Publix, which has more than 1,000 stores in the Southeast.

What we are hearing is that the free bakery cookie for kids (“What do you say?” “Thank you”) is safe from elimination. (for now)

“Deli-Gate” Headlines…

USA TODAY: Publix no longer offers free deli slice at some stores

Don’t panic. Publix grocery stores are not doing away with that tasty slice of mid-shopping delight: the free deli sample. The company is merely piloting a program at about 200 stores in Central Florida where they now offer a piece of the “cheese of …

Orlando Sentinel: ‎Publix cutting back on free deli meat slices

Stevens said Publix stopped automatically offering meat slices because it is offering a “cheese of the week” sample instead. Deli employees will no longer offer a piece of meat automatically with orders, but customers will be given a slice if they …

Sun Sentinel: Relax! Publix is still offering free sliced meat samples in South Florida delis

Can everyone just relax? Publix is still offering free samples of sliced meats in the deli section of South Florida stores. Kids still get a free cookie in the bakery, too. The Tampa Bay Times reported Tuesday that select Central and southwest Publix …

Florida Today: Publix: We’re still giving out free deli meat samples

There was a stampede of concern among Florida supermarket customers Wednesday with a media report indicating Publix Super Markets was nixing free deli meat samples. It appears Deligate was somewhat exaggerated, or at least misunderstood. Publix …

NBC 6 South Florida Publix No Longer Offers Free Slice of Meat at Deli Counter

A complimentary and savory treat at Publix’s deli counter is no longer being offered to customers. The Tampa Bay Times reports Publix made the policy change recently, telling deli workers to not hand out the free yummy slices. One of the luxuries of …

Miami Herald: Publix no longer offers little slices of heaven (in the form of deli meat samples)

That thin slice of deli meat, a savory sample cut from a hunk of sandwich filling you’re about to buy at Publix, is no longer an automatic freebie. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the days of offering free meat slices at the deli are over. While you …

Miami New Times: No, Publix Is Not Taking Away Miami’s Free Deli Meat Samples

According to Maria Brous, director of media and community relations for the Lakeland-based grocery chain, Publix is implementing a pilot program at Lakeland locations only. And the program actually sounds pretty good. “We are offering customers a free …





Terri Lynn has earned a reputation as a dynamo in the fast-past world of high profile public relations. Her blue chip press contacts, dazzling creativity and unstoppable determination, combined with superb writing skills, consistently produces extensive media coverage for her clients. She’s regarded as tenacious, persuasive and always gets the job done!


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