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Ikea may open standalone restaurants and cafes

Since everyone goes to Ikea for the meatballs, right?

Britain's First Ikea Pop Up Restaurant And Cafe Opens To The Public
An employee sets up a dining area inside Ikea's 'The Dining Club' pop up restaurant, cafe and shop in London, England in 2016.
Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Besides affordable modern design and an endless maze of model rooms, Ikea’s huge, brick-and-mortar stores are also known for their irresistible food menu—you know, $2 breakfasts and $5 meatball meals that keep the whole family happy and fed to complete their home shopping spree. Ikea knows customers love its low-cost in-store food offerings, and have long embraced them as a way to facilitate more furniture sales, but as Fast Company reports, Ikea’s food division is apparently so successful that the retailer is considering opening standalone cafes and restaurants.

The booming Ikea Food department has been ramping up in all sorts of ways under managing director Michael La Cour. This involves streamlining supply chains, reducing waste with new data analysis tools, expanding the menu with healthier choices like the chicken and vegan Swedish meatballs introduced in 2015, and more. These changes have increased Ikea’s food sales by around 8 percent annually, boosting sales from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2016. About 30 percent of Ikea Food customers head to the store just to eat.

“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,” La Cour tells Fast Company.

The retailer has already completed a few pop-up restaurants in Europe and is currently looking into creating dining establishments in urban centers that are separate from its typically suburban furniture stores.

The retailer says in a statement to Curbed:

IKEA Food is continuously thinking of how to meet the growing interest in food among consumers and find ways to meet them where they are. While we have experimented with new ways of enjoying IKEA food – including through pick-up points and pop up restaurant events in London, Paris and Toronto - no decisions on standalone restaurants have been made at this time.

Stay tuned.

Via: Fast Company