Everyone knows the best part about the IKEA experience is the meatballs. You might say that you visit the Swedish chain for its furniture or its various home accessories or to watch basketball since you don’t have cable TV. But, we all know you’re really there for the food and so does IKEA…apparently.
The company has decided to put an even greater emphasis on food and a little less on the furniture. It remains to be seen where they are headed with this, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the company opened up a stand-alone restaurant at some point in the future. In fact, they’ve already tested it out.
In the past few years, the company has dabbled in the pop-up restaurant business with stops in Paris, London, and Oslo. How long before IKEA decides to open one permanently? Surely when they do, there will be hysteria on the level of the Saved By The Bell restaurant or Bill Murray’s Caddyshack restaurant. IKEA has more fans than Lady Gaga, The New York Yankees, and Netflix combined. But will they come for the food?
“We’ve always called the meatballs ‘the best sofa-seller,'” Gerd Diewald, the head of IKEA’s US food operations 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.”