How do they do it?!
15th June 2012
Last week I had a day off – so being the good mum I like to think I am – I agreed with my 8 year old daughter that I would go to Ikea and buy her a new bedside table to replace the one she sat on with her friend and broke (another story!).
Thirty minutes’ drive for me to Ikea at Milton Keynes; I left after dropping Erin at school, not realising the store doesn’t actually open until 10am. But the café opens at 9.30, as I discovered. Cup of tea time then.
But no – I spotted a poster advertising the Ikea breakfast. I hadn’t eaten, having sacrificed time for breakfast for a quick run instead, so feeling righteous having had some exercise, decided to take the plunge.
At second glance at the poster I was intrigued. I am an Ikea Family loyalty card holder. I don’t shop there a lot, but I’m a sucker for loyalty cards. Family Card holders could have the 6 item breakfast for 99 pence Monday to Friday. Yes 99 pennies. £0.99. But unbelievably – also with free unlimited tea or coffee.
So – what is the ‘6 item breakfast’? Rasher of bacon, sausage, half a tomato, hash brown, scrambled egg and baked beans. I joined the queue – even a mid-week Wednesday there was a queue – and placed my order. My hot plate (no cold plates here) was filled – not slopped – and handed over with a smile. Then to the tea station. Cup in hand, tea bag placed in cup, hot water added, sachets of milk and a teaspoon placed on my tray. And so to the till – could this really be 99 pence? Unbelievably – with my card, yes it was.
So – what is it really like? I have to say, the quality was very good. It was hot, tasty and filling. The tea was from the London Tea Company, so also good quality. If you are a coffee drinker – it’s sustainable and traceable back to the plantation where it came from. In fact, Ikea have a really good policy when it comes to sustainability and sourcing – their website tells you what you need to know.
And – who else was there? Who eats in a café like this? Well – it was a real mix. A lot of mums with pre-schoolers, couples of all ages, and tradesmen / blue collar workers too. Even at 9.45am it was busy enough for me to need to share a table with another lone female. It’s a bit canteen style, but it serves a purpose.
And would I go back? Absolutely. They are probably missing a trick with not opening until 9.30am in fairness, but the quality was very good, the atmosphere was fine – and the price – well incredible really. How do they do it?