Or just come for the meatballs like the 30% of Ikea Food customers who now visit the store just to eat.
A year after opening the first Ikea in 1958, founder Ingvar Kamprad built the first sit-down restaurant inside the furniture store, featuring fan favorites like their signature Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, and lingonberry jam.
See, Kamprad knew that when you feed people they stay longer and are more likely to make a decision before leaving the store. Because Kamprad is smarter than us.
But, while the food was always intended to be a sofa seller
It’s expanded into much more than just a side gig — generating $1.8B in 2016.
A pittance next to their total $36.5B revenue last year but, compared with other fast-casual chains, it’s pretty impressive. For example, Jimmy John’s did about $2B in sales last year while 5 Guys clocked in at $1.3B.
And, by latching onto trends of ethically-sourced ingredients and healthier options, it’s become one of their fastest-growing segments (up 20% from 2013). Heck, the introduction of chicken and vegan meatballs alone boosted sales 30% in “the meatball family.”
Get ready for standalone restaurants and cafés
They’re envisioning them like their in-store eateries, divided into different areas to naturally attract different kinds of shoppers from a play area with adjoining dining section for parents, to private zones for a more “refined” experience.