Customers return with a vengeance for IKEA meatballs

Patrons old and young have joined the queues at IKEA’s two restaurants in Singapore to enjoy the 10-cent meatball promotion that is only on today.

This comes after the home furnishing retailer announced yesterday that the meatballs are back on the menu after DNA test results confirmed that there was no horsemeat in them.

READ REPORT: No horse DNA found in meatballs sold at IKEA S'pore

The line at IKEA’s Alexandra outlet – the restaurant is on the second floor – spilled onto the pedestrian overhead bridge leading to Anchorpoint mall opposite the road, but by 2.30pm, the queue was redirected into the building and down past the toilets on the second floor.

An estimated 100 people were in the queue then. 


The queue for meatballs stretched back to the toilet areas on the second floor of the IKEA Alexandra outlet (Photo: inSing)

When inSing News talked to those in the line, many said they were there especially for the promotion.

A couple, Jimmy Ooi, 25, and Cheryl Lye, 23, said that they had been lining up for less than 10 minutes and were already halfway to the counter.

“We are here to eat the meatballs because they have not been here for a while,” Ooi said.

The graduates added that they heard the news through Facebook.

Eddie Wong, 54, a retiree, said he found out about the 10-cent deal through the newspaper.

When asked if the horsemeat scandal made him think twice about the meatballs, Wong said: “I’m not too worried about the horse issue.”

60 MEATBALLS FOR 3 PEOPLE

Another customer, who identified himself as just “Zhang”, was there with his mother and sister.

The 25-year-old who is serving his national service, said: “Normally, we eat at IKEA once a week. We queued about 20 minutes and we ordered 20 balls each. At 10 cents a meatball, it is amazingly cheap.”

For him, it worked out to S$6 for 60 meatballs.

It seems that this is a favourite dish among customers, with the usual price being S$5.50 for 10 pieces.


Students tucking into the dish, with more meatballs waiting to be eaten on the trays (Photo: inSing)

Camellia Teo, 45, an IKEA assistant, said that the line has been long since the store opened in the morning.

“The impact of the meatballs was so big. People were asking us when it was going to come back. It’s a topseller,” Teo said.

When asked if the meatballs will run out today, she assured: “Nope, not going to run out of meatballs.”

325,000 MEATBALLS PREPARED

A spokesperson for IKEA Singapore said that as of lunch time, the Tampines outlet sold more than 78,000 meatballs, while the Alexandra outlet sold about 39,000 pieces.

She said: “There were double the people for breakfast at 9.30am. The meatball sale was supposed to start at 10.30am, but upon customers’ requests, IKEA decided to sell (earlier).”

The number of meatballs IKEA pre-ordered was more than double the usual quantity of 78,000 for each outlet on weekends. Today alone, each outlet stocked 162,500 meatballs, which worked out to 325,000 in total, she added.

Last orders for the meatballs will be at 10pm. However, the spokesperson said: “If there is still a queue, we will serve till the last customer.”

On social media, the deal was a topic of discussion as well. A tweet by one “Francis Zhang”, with reference to the Chinese horoscope, has already been retweeted 330 times.

It read: “At 10 cents a piece, I don’t care if my IKEA meatball has all the 12 zodiac animals inside.”



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