No Meatballs When Ikea Re-opens; Safety First

Kudos to the furniture giant for taking a cautious approach and delaying the re-opening of their restaurants.

Ikea just announced that its restaurants will be open from June 29, Monday, with strict safety measures in place.

The Swedish Food Market and Bistro are currently already open, but the kids' play area Småland will remain closed until further notice. There will be a selected menu available at the restaurants, and the condiment stations and Bistro dining areas will remain closed to avoid crowding.

Meatballs on Monday, anyone?

(Updated June 26)

Were you going to rush down to Ikea Tampines and Ikea Alexandra this weekend for the meatballs and chicken wings? Well, some would probably have, which is why the Swedish furniture company has wisely decided not to re-open its restaurants, bistros and food market for the time being. Along with that, Småland, their kids' play area, also remains closed.

Perhaps with the memories of crowds and long queues waiting to get their fill of Swedish meatballs and flat-packed furniture outside its Alexandra store before the Circuit Breaker still fresh in everyone's minds, the management has decided to take the cautious approach of not fully opening come June 19, when Phase 2 starts, and focusing on safe operations first. 

"We are so happy to be opening our doors again, but we are very clear on our priorities: safety first!” says Keith Oo, Deputy Store General Manager at Ikea Tampines. “Our Ikea stores cannot return to ‘normal’ just yet. COVID-19 remains a reality, and we all must do our part to prevent the virus from spreading."

We're guessing that with their popular restaurants still closed, the crowds will be more manageable, which will allow staff to monitor the situation closely and keep an eye on the number of visitors (restricted to one person for every 10 square metres of floor area).

ikea tampines store comm
Safety is a priority; the meatballs and chicken wings can wait. 

While they can't say what the maximum number of people allowed in the store at one time is, Keith Oo tells 8days.sg, “Our capacity for visitors will be reduced by around 15-25% from the usual during peak times. We hope our proactive safety measures and communication will enable a fairly free flow of shoppers.”

Fans can expect food operations to open gradually in the next two weeks.

Come June 19, besides the usual safety precautions such as wearing masks, temperature checks and SafeEntry check-ins, as well as hourly cleaning schedules and safe distancing ambassadors, there are also shorter opening hours. The Alexandra store will open from 10am to 9pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and 10am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The Tampines store will open from 11am to 9pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and 11am to 11pm on Fridays and Saturdays. 

For better crowd control, the carpark at the smaller Alexandra outlet will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Updates on the availability of carpark spaces will be posted on the Ikea Singapore website. And if crowds get too crazy, the carpark at the Tampines store will also be closed to prevent more visitors from entering.

Ikea is also encouraging shoppers to shop online and visit on weekdays. As for the meatballs, stay tuned. 

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