IKEA Might Open Standalone Restaurants And Cafés

IKEA     Michael Nagle  Bloomberg via Getty Images

"We've always called the meatballs 'the best sofa-seller, '" Gerd Diewald, who runs food operations in USA -based Ikea locations, told Fast Company.

In fact, Ikea's food is so damn good that 30% of the stores visitors just come to the store for a bite to eat.

"It looks like more of a marketing concept rather than Ikea expanding its core business into food", Kulmar told SmartCompany.

The booming Ikea Food department has been ramping up in all sorts of ways under managing director Michael La Cour.

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Swedish-based furniture retailer Ikea is considering opening standalone restaurants to be opened in city centers, Fast Company magazine reported. He's talking about total sales for Ikea's selection of edible items, which not only includes those famous meatballs with mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, but also packaged items sold in its Swedish Food Market. "It's an experience just going there, and that's what people are looking for in a restaurant meal these days", says Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant-industry analyst at NPD Group.

Executives, however, never saw the restaurants as more than that. "This might sound odd, but it's nearly something we didn't notice", Michael La Cour, IKEA Food's managing director, adds. "I firmly believe there is potential". They have already tested pop-up restaurants in London, Paris, and Oslo, and they're now thinking of starting their own line of restaurants that are separate from the stores.

"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.

Not convinced that people will pop into an Ikea restaurant when they're not stress-eating while trying to decide on a credenza?

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