Standalone Ikea Restaurants May Be Coming Soon

Do you find yourself going to Ikea for the Swedish meatballs, the salmon wraps or the inexpensive vanilla ice cream cones as much as for the Billy bookcases or Besta storage combos? The modern-furniture mecca’s top brass has noticed.

In recent years, Ikea has brushed up its food game, expanding the menus in its in-store restaurants to include new options emphasizing health and sustainable sourcing (see also: carbon-footprint reducing vegan meatballs) and appealing to different kinds of shoppers and diners with upgraded, comfy seating configured in zones. It even opened DIY pop-up restaurants in the industrial-hip London neighborhood Shoreditch, in the Marais area of Paris and in Oslo.

Now it’s looking to take the next step, bringing standalone Ikea restaurants to the hearts of cities around the world. (So urbanites can get their gravlax and lingonberry fixes even when they don’t feel like schlepping around to look at sofas and throw pillows.)

Ikea in-store restaurants currently serve about 650 million customers in 48 countries and raked in about $1.8 billion in 2016. About 30 percent of those who eat at Ikea have trekked to the store just to eat, Fast Company magazine reports. (Fun fact: Ikea also exports more lingonberries than any other entity in Sweden.)

Consequently, the company sees major potential in the standalone urban Ikea restaurant concept, Michael La Cour, Ikea Food’s managing director, recently told Fast Company. “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,’” he added.

How do you say “bring on the meatballs” in Swedish?

Photo courtesy of @ikeausa

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