Ikea may open standalone restaurants and cafes

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The idea partially stemmed from data that showed 30% of Ikea Food customers weren't coming to shop at all - they were exclusively interested in the dining options, according to Fast Company. For those who'd rather just skip straight to eating the meatballs, you'll be happy to hear Ikea is seriously contemplating opening stand-alone restaurants.

"It looks like more of a marketing concept rather than Ikea expanding its core business into food", Kulmar told SmartCompany. And lots of people noticed, because IKEA found out that almost a third of customers are just going there to eat. And for the next 50-plus years, Ikea management continued to think about its food operation pretty much the same way Kamprad did.

We'd go for the food, actually, but we feel a bit weird trekking to a furniture store with no intention of actually buying furniture. The restaurants, many of which can accommodate 600-plus diners at once, now include different sections, including an area with comfortable sofas and a children's play section.

Ikea has previously opened dining pop-ups in London, Paris, and Oslo, and this would just be an extension of the meatballs, mashed potatoes, chocolate cake, and stuffed chicken breasts people love to eat whether or not they need to actually shop for a new bathroom caddy. These changes have increased Ikea's food sales by around 8 percent annually, boosting sales from $1.5 billion in 2013 to $1.8 billion in 2016.

'I firmly believe there is potential.

"These restaurants could act more as a reminder for shoppers to travel to Ikea locations out of the city", she says. 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"'.

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