‘World’s Smallest Restaurant’ opens to promote single-person meals
Irma, the largest supermarket chain in Denmark, recently opened a restaurant pop-up that serves only one person at a time in order to introduce its new single-person meals while reducing the stigma of eating alone.
Described as the ‘World’s Smallest Restaurant” and called Restaurant 1:1, the pop-up staffed one chef and one waiter to serve one diner at a time. The meals were free and reservations sold out in 48 hours.
The retailer created the pop-up to “prove the quality” of the new meals that were developed by popular Danish restaurants, according to Adweek. The pop-up was also designed to get people more comfortable purchasing single-person meals in a move that also helps reduce food waste.
“This project is a fun way to show that eating alone doesn’t have to mean you have to get less of an experience,” said chef William Melsted, according to Lad Bible.
The campaign underscores challenges grocers face addressing an increasing rise in smaller households and their smaller bite sizes. About 28 percent of households, or 35.7 million Americans, live alone today, up from 13 percent in 1960, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Supermarkets have traditionally aimed offerings towards families, including buy-one-get-one-free promotions and “family-size” grocery packs that provide an incentive to make bigger buys.
An article last month in The Wall Street Journal also listed shifting demographics and food waste as major reasons more companies are shrinking portions to cater to urban, single-person households rather than traditional suburban family units. WSJ research showed that, although individuals consume less, they will pay more to do so.
The Guardian reported on Tesco’s move last year to expand its range of single-portion foods, citing ever-shifting meal times in busy households as another reason more people are eating alone. The article also pointed to food waste and grocers’ traditional emphasis on bigger buys as hurdles.
“The way supermarkets are set up makes it almost impossible to shop for one,” Phillip Adcock, the managing director at the shopper research agency SBXL, told The Guardian. “We have been educated to buy more for less.”
- A Danish Grocery Chain Created a Pop-Up Restaurant That Only Sat One Person at a Time – Adweek
- World’s Smallest Restaurant Opens In Copenhagen – Lad Bible
- World’s Smallest Restaurant Opens In Denmark – Copenhagen Post
- More Americans Are Living Solo, and Companies Want Their Business – The Wall Street Journal
- Tesco targets growing number of Britons who eat or live alone – The Guardian
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What’s preventing grocers from fully addressing the demand for single-person meals and smaller portions? Can U.S. grocers benefit from specific campaigns targeted at single eaters similar to Restaurant 1:1 from Irma?