Why is Ikea food so crazily successful in Singapore? There are two large Ikea stores in Singapore. They both have huge restaurants. By my estimation, the restaurants appear to occupy about 15% of the available retail floor area, an not-to-be-sniffed-at area.
Interestingly, the restaurants seem to always be packed to capacity. Clearly the restaurants are a great revenue source for Ikea. Who would have thought it?!
Ikea appears to have come upon a secret success formula for their restaurants. Here are the possible key contributing factors I can think of, beyond the basic for having a workable restaurant (such as process hygiene, food quality, and pleasant environment).
- The price is right for the general population. In Singapore, where “western” food is usually synonymous with higher priced dining, Ikea fills a neat niche. Singaporeans may be relatively wealthy but a good deal is still a powerful motivator.
- The food is quite unique, and has that almost-exotic-but-still-accessible factor. The addition of local favourites like fried chicken wings and laksa helps include those family members who are not into potato and köttbullar.
- The restaurants are part of an integrated family outing experience. You can wander the, dump the kids at the children’s play area, and eat at the restaurant. There is convenient parking and transport. It is a good weekend getaway for many families.
- There is a captive audience; the stores are located in the outer periphery of the city away from large food hubs.
In contrast, the Ikea stores I have been to in Australia (in two states) don’t even have restaurants! I wonder if this phenomenon is seen in other Ikea restaurants across Asia?