The world’s biggest furniture retailer IKEA is also a top restaurateur, and its characteristically Swedish menu helps sustain the stamina of shoppers at the giant DIY stores.
The retailing format and the famed food mart will also come to India, but the bill of fare will have a pronounced desi flavor with chicken and veg replacing IKEA’s trademark beef and pork meatballs.
IKEA is preparing to open its first store in Hyderabad next spring with a shopping area spread over 400,000 sq ft. The facility will house the largest restaurant for IKEA anywhere, with seating capacity running into four figures.
Half of its menu at the restaurant will comprise vegetarian options, including idli, sambar, samosa and vegetable biryani. Needless to say, for IKEA’s fast expanding foods division, the India store will offer the most extensive vegetarian menu.
Food is a substantial chunk of business for IKEA globally. The company sold food worth $1.8 billion out of its total revenue of $36.5 billion in 2016.
IKEA received government approval in 2013 to invest Rs 10,500 crore, the most in retail in the country for 25 hyper stores that will sell everything from home items to furniture. The Hyderabad store will have 800 employees against the IKEA global average of about 500 people per store, as the outlet will also employ delivery and installation staff.