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IKEA exposes the ‘Death of Eating Together’ in the first DIY restaurant

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Food is becoming more and more a central part of our global culture. A recent survey of 2,000 people by IKEA has found that the influence of celebrity chefs and their recipes are fueling the nation’s love of food, with Great British Bake Off being voted the nation’s favourite cookery show (21%), along with Jamie Oliver being named as the chef whose recipes we would most like to replicate (29%). However, the decreasing amount of time and space in Britons’ homes is resulting in us cooking and eating together less.            

When it comes to eating together as a family, we are not following in our parent’s footsteps. 72% said their parents would ensure a sit-down family meal took place at least once a week, when only 50% do the same today. Moreover, the 22% decline in weekly family meals is part of a growing trend for eating alone, in fact over a quarter of Brits eat at least one meal a day on their own (27%).

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The great British dinner party is under threat as IKEA has found that 42% of Brits claim they can’t cook at all, with nearly a quarter (24%) feeling they don’t have enough space to host. This isn’t surprising due to *the average British home measuring 85 square meters, making it the smallest in Western Europe. Brits’ busy lifestyles and work commitments also get in the way, with 15% claiming that they are too time poor to entertain. This is despite a huge appetite to cook and eat together, with nearly a third (29%) wanting to entertain guests at least once a month, yet, in reality, this only happens once every two to three months (33%). When it does, staples like curry (17%) and pasta (16%) are the most popular shared dishes.

IKEA new they had to do something about it. We had a first peak at their answer,  The Dining Club – a fully immersive DIY restaurant in the heart of Shoreditch. This is your chance to host a brunch, lunch or dinner party for up to 20 friends and family. Supported by their very own sous chef and maître de, you and your guests will orchestrate an intimate dining experience where cooking together is celebrated and eating together is inspirational.

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Jordi Esquinas, Business Leader at IKEA, said: “At IKEA we feel that the joy of cooking and eating together is not just about making food, but about creating lasting memories, along with connecting and sharing with those you love. Our research has found that more of us want to host dinner parties but feel that they are unable to do so. With the launch of The Dining Club, we hope to create the perfect place to bring people together to enjoy a meal from beginning to end without the stress.”

Jordi also shared with us his insights, “It was a fantastic opportunity to explore the interaction around the kitchen because cooking is common amongst all of us no matter what culture you are from. And we want everyone to have a chance to experience the bonds that can be made in the kitchen and at the table. It’s about trying to make it easier for people at home, making it accessible, and making it fun. That’s why we say when we cook together we make more than just food.”

Although a lack of time and space are resulting in us eating less together, IKEA has reported an increase in dining table sales (10% in July 2016 compared to July 2015), revealing there is a clear aspiration to do so.  Despite this, the most popular occasion to gather around the table is for Christmas dinner (32%). Brits won’t have to wait until the festive season to get everyone together, though, as The Dining Club aims to show that the dining table isn’t just for Christmas, it’s for life, with slots still available for food fans to host their whole family this September. 

ADDRESS: The Dining Club by IKEA, N&C Showrooms, 3 – 10 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6PG

GETTING THERE: A 3-minute walk from Shoreditch High Street Overground station and 9-minute walk from Liverpool Street station

OPENING TIMES: Open daily from 10 am – 10 pm from Saturday 10th – Sunday 25th September

PLEASE NOTE: *Due to high-levels of public demand to host a lunch or dinner party, spaces are limited, and we will provide email confirmation of your allocated slot.

Even if you will not be in London over the next few weeks, IKEA is also launching the Home Furnishing Festival this weekend at your local store. Get involved and get cooking!

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