Meatball heartthrob Ikea plans to invest in standalone restaurants

Photo credit: 
Vritti Bansal. Shot at Ikea, Dublin.
Binge's picture
April 19, 2017
The furniture store has realised the potential of its much loved in-house food.

Ikea’s meatballs have been unparalleled for anyone who’s grown up spending moving weekend at the warehouse, or grownups who realise that the store and all that’s attached to it is not something you ever grow out of. Now, the superstar of minimalist DIY furniture (and meatballs that are a global rage) is considering growing its in-house caféterias into a sister business.

According to Fast Company magazine, 30 per cent of customers come to Ikea just for meals. The food, besides being excellent, is also affordable. With that in consideration, Ikea Food recently revamped menus, including vegan and chicken meatballs along with the iconic beef and pork.

Sales at Ikea Food rose from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2016. Last year, the brand also organised pop-up restaurants in London, Oslo and Paris.

Standalone cafes and restaurants have been envisioned so customers may access their favourite meals without having to visit an Ikea store, which normally is on the outskirts of any city and no less than an hour’s drive away. No dates or deadlines have been revealed yet, though.

Gerd Diewald, the Food Matrix Manager, says that the menu completes “the Ikea experience” for customers: it allows them to stay longer and mull over their furniture shopping. Ikea Food Managing Director Michael La Cour hopes that in the coming years, Ikea will be known as a place to eat and not just as a furniture store.