Hold Your Bloody Horses Because IKEA Could Be Opening Stand-Alone Restaurants

I’m a die-hard lover and fan of everything IKEA. I say this having never actually bought a single piece of furniture from there (partly because I’m terrified of the infamous building instructions), I just know that I really, really love IKEA food. If I had to choose one large building to take shelter in during the zombie apocalypse, you bet your arse I’m hightailing it to IKEA and snacking on lingonberry jam and Swedish Meatballs till the end of time.

Well if you’re like me and only go to IKEA to work your way through the maze of hard to pronounce products just to end up scoffing down some Daim, I’ve got some good news for you. IKEA could be considering opening a range of stand-alone restaurants that stock the furniture giant’s signature Scandinavian dishes.

We’ve always called the meatballs ‘the best sofa-seller,” Gerd Diewald, who’s in charge of Ikea’s food operations in the US, told Fast Company. “Because it’s hard to do business with hungry customers. When you feed them, they stay longer, they can talk about their [potential] purchases, and they make a decision without leaving the store. That was the thinking right at the beginning.”

IKEA’s food division boasts sales of an impressive $1.6 billion per annum. While it’s only a fraction of the business’ overall 2016 revenue of $36.5B, it’s still a nice little side earner to get people into the store. 30% of IKEA customers only come in to eat and IKEA is pretty keen to capitalise on this opportunity.

“The mere fact that we don’t need so many square feet to do a café or a restaurant makes it interesting by itself,” says La Cour. “I firmly believe there is potential. I hope in a few years our customers will be saying, ‘Ikea is a great place to eat—and, by the way, they also sell some furniture.’

IKEA’s management is also putting a greater emphasis on ensuring that the food they’re using is more ethical and healthier than ever before. By using data analysis, they’ve managed to cut wastage down by 30% and have even introduced some new vegan menu items. They’ve changed how they source their food by teaming up with new chocolate, coffee and fish distributors.

IKEA has previously tested out pop-up cafes in London, Paris and Oslo, which means it’s possible this dream could become a reality. While there’s no set date yet, we hope to be scoffing down Scandinavian delicacy very soon.

Source: FastCompany

Image: Pedestrian.tv

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