What is it with Ikea?

I made the mistake of visiting our local Ikea last Sunday and just like every other time we go there at the weekend I ended up wondering what the big attraction is?

The place was a zoo. People wandering around at a snail’s pace ooing and ahhing at the displays, arguing between themselves about what would and wouldn’t fit between the bookshelf and the sofa. This is all a sham though as purchasing something appears not to be the main purpose of a visit judging by the queues at the checkout which have the lowest density of population in the whole store. Everyone just wanders around gawping as if they were visiting the Victoria & Albert Museum or something!

The other big attraction is food. Strange to think that people must visit Ikea just to eat but their restaurant is jammed, not a spare seat to be had. Such are the addictive qualities of their meatballs, or Kottbullar to give them their correct name (special mixture of cat and bull meat?). I note that in the US, Ikea had to increase the portion size from a standard 10 balls to 15. That’s a lot of balls!

Having not found what we went there looking for, as often seems to be the case these days, we skipped the idea of queuing for balls and headed straight to the main attraction – the hot-dog stand! Naughtily located right next to the checkouts, it is impossible to miss the sight and smell of the Ikea hot-dog emporium. As such, it is a huge hit with the population of Warsaw, ourselves included if we happen to be there;


The queues here can get horribly long sometimes but it’s worth the wait to get your hands on one (or usually more) of those soggy, tasteless and yet somehow irresistible Ikea hot-dogs. The ingredients are: a soggy bun that is 75% air, 20% water and 5% bread into which you place a Swedish hot-dog sausage just about cooked (if you’re lucky) in luke-warm water with bits of onion floating in the pot. The one below was for Zosia, mine had mustard as well but I ate them so fast that I didn’t have time for the photo! ;)


I’ve been trying to find out how many hot-dogs Ikea sell each year because I’m sure they must be way up there in the top-10 furniture store hot-dog seller charts but I can’t find anything via Google.

I’ll leave you with an Ikea hot-dog related domestic science tip. If you find the mustard dispenser is not squirting properly, do not get aggressive with the squirter handle or it will chuck mustard all over your nice suit and tie. Ikea mustard is made in such a way as to be invincible and even though you wipe it off in the store and then get the suit and tie dry cleaned, the mustard stain is still there. You need to keep wiping the thing with water for about a year and a half, eventually the stain will go away.

Guten appetit!


8 thoughts on “What is it with Ikea?

  1. You’re complaining, scatts, but judging from contents of your cart in the first photo you did manage to buy a lovely girl. Will she fit between the bookshelf and the sofa, though, that is the question.

  2. I’ve visited Ikea twice – for the first time, and the last time. Upstairs – decent design, reasonable prices.

    ME: “I’d like this one please”
    ASSISTANT: “Go down one level and make your purchase there, Sir.”

    From looking at a lovely showroom full of lovely furniture, I descend into a browny-grey warehouse full of sheets of MDF, chipboard, plywood and little bags full of screws. My spirits sink.

    Here’s the item I wish to buy. It’s called “BJORDSMGAARG”. I open the box. Inside are instructions, an axe, a small screwdriver and a map of the Las Chojnowski forest, telling me where I can find a tree that I chop down using the axe. Then, from the acquired timber, I can fashion my very own BJORDSMGAARG.

    My ideal furniture shop would stock Ikea furniture, but the transaction would look like this:

    ME: “I’d like this one please”
    ASSISTANT: “Certainly Sir. That will be 400 zlots. When would Sir like us to deliver it to you, free of charge of course?.”

  3. If you want an approximate idea of hotdogs sold per day…
    In the UK we have 14 stores.
    On April 19th, we had a sale day (21% off everything to make are 21st birthday in the UK).

    The hotdogs were just 21p! (32c)
    On that one day in the UK alone we sold 47,000 of them.
    Albeit that this was on a sale day.

  4. Callum – you’re a genius! Thanks a lot.

    Funny you should comment today as we have been to that very store this evening to buy 4 cheap folding chairs, 12 wine glasses and 8 cushions (for the chairs, we already have another 4). Oh, we dined on the addictive meatballs too! :)

  5. Pingback: Why Ikea are hard to beat | 20 east

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