As much as we love reasonably priced home goods, Ikea can be a terrifying place to visit. Battling through hoards of baby strollers and trying to agree with our partners on what bedside table to buy are what nightmares are made of. And, a Saturday spent shopping at Ikea is only made scarier by the fact that we know we're going to end up spending the rest of our weekends figuring out how to put that nightstand together. Still, there's one huge upside to the Ikea experience that always keeps us coming back and even puts a temporary smile on our faces. It's the Ikea food. Swedish meatballs and cinnamon buns make all the angst worth it. Thankfully, Ikea could soon create a new way for us to get all that goodness without having to endure the fear of entering the full store.
After some research by Michael La Cour, managing director of Ikea Food’s, it was discovered that the home goods stores has been racking in a lot of money just from food sales. According to Fast Company, in 2013, $1.5 billion was brought in from food alone. You might think that people are consuming the Ikea food just because it's a convenient options when they go there shop, but that's not actually the case. Fast Company also explained that 30% of Ikea Food’s customers came to the store just to eat, and weren't actually shopping at all. That's one of the main reasons the company is exploring the idea of opening restaurants and cafés separate from the stores.
Ikea has tested out this idea with pop-ups in a few European cities, and last summer, an Ikea food truck made its way around Chicago and New York. Success with both of these experiments has made the company even more interested in setting up independent restaurants. La Cour also explained to Fast Company that opening restaurants and cafés would require less space than the full store, which makes the idea even more appealing. So, an Ikea café is good for everyone involved. The company makes more sales with less space, and we don't have to enter the intimidating scene of an Ikea superstore for those precious meatballs. Win-win.