Ikea Will Host a Crayfish Buffet to Celebrate the End of Summer
Yes, IKEA does make almost universally–acknowledged decent quality, inexpensive Swedishfurniture. Nearly everyone has a piece of IKEA furniture in their home at this point. But the company has another, more under-the-radar signature, too: its food. IKEA’s cafeteria has garnered enough of a following that executives considered opening stand alone restaurantsat one time. Now that summer is drawing to a close, the chain wants to celebrate with a whole bunch of crustaceans.
Taking inspiration from a Swedish tradition that marks the end of the summer and the opening of crayfish fishing season, IKEA will be hosting the Swedish Crayfish Party—so that IKEA-obsessed customers everywhere can experience the custom for themselves. The menu will, of course, feature a crayfish buffet, as well as an assortment of other Swedish delicacies, including deviled eggs, gravad lax (raw salmon cured in salt), and for the die-hard fans, the furniture store’s famous meatballs.
Here’s the entire the IKEA Crayfish Party menu:
- Deviled Eggs
- Swedish Cucumber Salad
- Pasta Primavera Salad
- Potato Salad
- Gravad Lax with Mustard Dill Sauce
- Swedish Cheeses
- Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry Jam
- Mashed Potatoes or Boiled Dilled Potatoes
- Macaroni and Cheese
- Corn Cobbett’s
- Assorted Swedish Desserts
The giant, all-you-can-eat feast will be taking place on September 15th at participating stores (just go to their website and enter your zip code to find out if a location near you will be hosting the buffet). Tickets are available for $18.99 per person and $4.99 for kids 12 and under, with a discount for IKEA Family members.
“We invite everyone to celebrate this tradition and share a piece of our Swedish heritage over a delicious meal,” Patricia Meumann, IKEA Food Manager, said in a statement.
IKEA has been dishing out food in its stores since 1958 — and today, people know their brand for its affordable dining options almost as much as they do for its furniture.
In fact, 30% of the chain’s customers go there just to eat, and in 2016, their food earned them $1.8B in revenue. That’s more than 5 Guys and nearly as much as Jimmy Johns.
Despite this revenue, they actually take a loss on many of their extremely low-priced food items.
Turns out, when you abate peoples’ hangriness, they’re more likely to stick around and buy furniture.
But there’s another reason too: when you offer people incredibly cheap food, they begin to perceive the store as a place that offers great deals on everything. “They’re reinforcing the low-price profile of the store,” says ex-IKEA chef Chris Spear. “So, they take a hit on the food, but just sold you $1,000 in furniture.”
In other words, you internalize the affordability of a $0.50 hotdog, then associate it with the $899 couch.
So have fun, eat great food, and maybe pick up that kitchen appliance that you just, “have to have”!