You could be able to get your meatball fix without pretending to look for Malm bed frames soon.
Way back in 1959, IKEA founder Ingvar Kamprad installed its first sit-down restaurant, with a limited menu featuring Scandanavian staples.
Ever since then, the restaurants have been used to lure people into (or keep people in) IKEA stores.
But Fast Company reports this might be about to change, with the Swedish giant finally planning to open standalone restaurants in city centres.
IKEA Food had annual sales of $1.5 billion in 2013, but somehow, it never occurred to the company to start slinging meatballs and lingonberries outside its massive retail stores — until now.
“This might sound odd, but it’s almost something we didn’t notice,” Michael La Cour, IKEA Food’s managing director, told Fast Company. “But when I started putting the numbers into context of other food companies, suddenly I could see, well, it really is not that small.”
The company has briefly toyed with pop-up restaurants in London, Paris and Oslo (and even gave away free meatballs in the Queen Street Mall last year), but this would be its first real foray into IKEA restaurants that operate separately from IKEA stores.
“The mere fact that we don’t need so many square feet to do a café or a restaurant makes it interesting by itself,” La Cour told Fast Money. “I firmly believe there is potential. 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’.”
Obviously, this is all in its early stages, but you can bet we’ll keep you updated if those glorious Swedish meatballs turn up in the Brisbane CBD anytime soon…