The Build your own (BYO) food trend has been around for a number years. The likes of Subway and Chipotle have targeted this market by allowing customers to not only choose their ingredients but also specify how much of each they incorporate.
This format has been incorporated into a broad range of fast casuals and in a variety of different food types, including Mexican burrito and taco shops, Mediterranean grills, pizza shops and even Asian roll your own sushi.
The growth of the market speaks for itself. While the BYO format accounts for only 22.5% of Fast-casual chains, the growth rate for these chains in 2014 was 22%, while other fast-casual operators grew sales by only 11%.
This may be what led one of the world’s largest BYO companies, IKEA, into entering the market. IKEA is offering diners in their Shoreditch, London location an opportunity to build their own meals, in the sense that they’ll serve as the chef.
IKEA’s “The Dining Club” will open in mid-September and will allow people prepare food for friends and family, with the help of their very own sous chef and Maître de, while head chefs supervise customer’s preparation of the meal.
While IKEA may be taking things a bit further than most restaurants will or can, they are paving the way in showing how innovative you can be in pursuing trends. So why don’t you let your customers do a bit of the work, you might just become more popular for it!