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A dead rat fell on the food table at Bengaluru IKEA: Customers left horrified at the lack of hygiene at popular outlet

While they waited for someone to help, nobody from the store came to cordon off the area or at least cover the rat's dead body. "Instead, the tables around were let to continue eating. Nothing was done to sanitize the area or cordon off the space".

On 16th July, Twitter user Sharanya Shetty shared a horrifying ordeal she had to face during her visit to IKEA in Bengaluru, Karnataka. As per her tweet, a mouse fell on her table from the ceiling while she was having food at the food court.

She wrote, “Guess what fell in our food table at IKEA. I can’t even. We were eating, and this rat just dropped dead… Most bizarre moment ever!”

Speaking to OpIndia, Sharanya said it was her first time at IKEA. Two of her friends and the son of one of the friends accompanied her to IKEA located at Nelamangala – Majestic Service Road, Manjunatha Nagar, Nagasandra, Bengaluru. After reaching the store at around 11:30 AM, they did some shopping, and one of her friends said he would go and pick up some desserts from IKEA’s food court. He asked them to keep the trolley in the parking area and meet him at the food court.

He went ahead and collected the food while she went to keep the cart at the corner. “I went back and looked for him. He waved from a place, and when I reached there, he handed me a chocolate cake and asked me to take it. This was the time when the rat fell from the ceiling. It was crazy and unbelievable. Everybody around us was eating and looking at the table while we were trying to find someone to do something about it. We called two cleaners and then another guy from Embassy group. That guy called another lady from IKEA, who then went on to call somebody else.”

While they waited for someone to help, nobody from the store came to cordon off the area or at least cover the rat’s dead body. “Instead, the tables around were let to continue eating. They took some time to come and change the table,” she added. Furthermore, Sharanya said no one bothered to do anything about sanitizing the area and went on by just changing the table.

She said, “I didn’t create a scene because there were way too many people, and it would create havoc. So I simply walked off to see what they would do, and what they did was terrible. There was no system in place. Kids and babies were eating around and on the table kept in the same place.”

OpIndia tried calling the IKEA store but could not connect. We have sent an email regarding the incident, and the mail bounced from their media contact email ID.

Interestingly, this is not the first time IKEA Bengaluru has been accused of maintaining low hygiene standards. During the research, we found that a person named Arjun Maniath left a review on Google Reviews stating he found a fly on the Mango cake at IKEA. In a sarcastic tone, he wrote, “Mango cake made with delicious house fly.. unfortunately, I don’t eat house flies so missed the opportunity.. superb hygiene also.. please visit IKEA Bangalore for more…”

Earlier, a costumer found a fly on IKEA’s mango cake slice. Source: Google Reviews

Why IKEA has a Food Court?

At first, it may appear as if IKEA’s food court does not benefit the company much. However, as per IKEA’s own research, around 30% of the shoppers visit IKEA just for the food. Reports suggest that the company made around USD 2.24 billion from food sales alone in 2017. It is considered to be among the top food retailers in the world.

The food court at IKEA not only impacts the revenue model but also improves sales. The food court is believed to change how customers think, feel and act at any IKEA store worldwide. Food’s smell and taste are directly linked to dopamine release, a hormone that gives the person a state of happiness. Customers are more likely to spend extra at the store as the mood shifts. The former head of IKEA food operations once said in a statement, “We’ve always called the meatballs’ the best sofa-seller. When you feed them, they stay longer, they can talk about their [potential] purchases, and they make a decision without leaving the store.”

As per an Economic Times report from 2018, Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA’s founder, realized that people buy less when they are hungry. He said, “It is difficult to do business with someone on an empty stomach”. The first self-service cafeteria in IKEA was opened in 1958. Initially, it was priced cheap, and the aim was not to profit but to bring people to shop at IKEA. The idea is to encourage people to spend more time in large stores. The more time they spend, the better their chances of spending more. This is why well-maintained public toilets exist in stores like IKEA.

UPDATE: Ikea has since apologised for the incident and has said that they are currently investigating the situation & ensuring to take all precautionary efforts.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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