Hyderabadi Biryani on Ikea menu for first India store

Ikea, the world’s largest furniture retailer, which is expected to open its first India store in Hyderabad by the end of next year, is already busy fixing its menu card.

The Swedish company’s restaurants, which come as a package with Ikea stores globally, are known for their meatballs. However, the menu would be localised for India.

An Ikea executive told Business Standard that the cuisine at India stores will have a local flavour. And what could be better than Hyderabadi Biryani at the chain’s first store, spread over 400,000 sq ft, coming up in Telangana’s capital. A variety of Swedish classics would also be on the menu.

Some of the Ikea restaurants in India are likely to be much larger than those in other countries.

“We believe that our restaurants, with their nice ambience and interesting menu, will become somewhat of a landmark in India and hence our restaurants here will be some of the largest in the Ikea world,” the executive said.

Globally, an Ikea restaurant can house about 600 people but the Hyderabad store would be a 1,000-seater, considering how eating out is an integral part of shopping in India. Ikea said the size of store could differ from store to store.

Ikea plans to offer a healthy and nutritious menu with a combination of Swedish and Indian dishes. Chicken meatballs, rather than the traditional Swedish meatballs, will be on offer, along with salmon as well as local food.

Ikea wants to keep the price of dishes at these restaurants low, to attract more people. “More from the concept point of view, our food will be priced low and will be affordable to the many people who will visit our stores. We are still working on the price points,” the company spokesperson said.

Even as there was a hurdle in the retail policy of 2012 when Ikea came to open food joints along with stores, the UPA government subsequently cleared the company’s proposal. The Ikea restaurants are an integral part of the stores where visitors can take a break while shopping.

A store implies an average investment of Rs 500 to Rs 700 crore in the country, including the restaurant. Ikea is planning to open 25 stores in India over 10 years at an investment of over Rs 10,000 crore.

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