Woolworths and Coles supermarkets are now offering a free service you probably had no idea about – but not everyone’s happy

An eagle-eyed customer has lifted the lid on a free service at Coles and Woolworths that you probably had no idea existed.

Sharing on Facebook, the shopper revealed that supermarket staff are happy to slice whole loaves of gourmet bread – such as sourdough and Pane Di Casa – at their in-store bakeries.

All you have to do is take the loaf you’d like to purchase to a staff member at Coles and Woolworths, and they’re happy to slice it at no extra cost.

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“I realised if the bakery in the supermarket is manned, you can ask them to slice whole loaves of bread as a free service,” the customer said in a recent post.

However, she went on to criticise her experience with the little-known service at Coles, as they wasted a plastic bag in the process.

“I tried it at Coles and it was a plastic fail as they put my sliced sourdough in a whole new plastic bag,” she wrote.

A shopper shared this image of the Coles and Woolworths loaves she had sliced for free. Credit: Facebook

She went on to be more praising of the service at Woolies.

“Next I tried Woolworths, they used the same bag and just put a new sticker on it,” she explained.

“I don’t know if it was company policy or just the preference of the staff member who served me. I made sure to thank the man in Woolworths for using the same bag and he was grateful for my gratitude.”

A Coles spokesperson has told 7NEWS.com.au that the supermarket always prefers to use the same bag – however will use a new bag if it tears when it’s been opened for slicing.

“To provide customers with greater convenience while they shop, we will happily slice Coles bakery loaves of bread on site where there is a bread slicer available,” the spokesperson said.

“While our first option is to place a loaf back in its original bag, we will replace the bag if it is damaged when opened for slicing, to maintain its freshness.”

7NEWS.com.au understands that Woolworths customers are more than welcome to ask one of its team members at the bakery to slice bread for them as required, including sourdough.

Unfortunately, there are instances where this service may not be possible. These include if there is no trained team member available to slice (it is a requirement that Woolworths bakery workers need to be trained to use the slicer) and if a store does not have a slicer available. Additionally, some varieties of bread may not be suitable for the slicer.

File image of the bakery at Woolworths Double Bay. Credit: ADAM HOLLINGWORTH/WOOLWORTHS

Environmentally-minded Facebook users offered their own tips for cutting down on plastic waste at the supermarket.

“I usually keep the bag in which they put the sliced bread and take it with me the next time to be reused,” said one.

Another said: “Should just ask again in Coles and ask the person slicing the bread to put it back in the same back.

“If I buy meat from the deli in either store I ask them to just put it on the paper and that depends on the staff member serving me.”

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