The restaurant within the Swedish-owned houseware store IKEA is the most popular restaurant in Iceland.
The popularity of IKEA’s cafeteria is apparent not just by how often Icelanders visit the place – on average, each person in the country visits between seven and eight times a year, Morgunblaðið reports – but also by the volume of foodstuffs the cafeteria goes through.
They produce some 440,000 hot meals, 140,000 servings of ice cream, 230,000 drinks, 100,000 cakes and other desserts and 150,000 hot dogs each year. The cafeteria also uses some two tonnes of potatoes and seven tonnes of meat products every week. While there is Icelandic food available, the most popular meal by far is the Swedish meatballs.
Arnar Stefánsson, the restaurant manager, said that the most popular day of the year is Sprengidagur (Shrove Tuesday), a time when Icelanders traditionally eat salted meat and yellow beans. On this day, between 3,000 and 4,000 people will visit the restaurant to have their traditional food. He adds that children under the age of 12 eat for free at IKEA, which might also contribute to the cafeteria’s popularity.