pop-up success

DILL - aftonbladet seThis is the story about a pop-up restaurant in Stockholm, a restaurant that only was open for 3 weeks in total – and became talk of the town because of service and the quality of the food being served.

The British 2* Michelin Chef, Michael Wignall, came across to Sweden to run the restaurant “Dill”.

Normally he is celebrity chef in the kitchen at The Latymer, a hotel restaurant in Surrey outside London, which is known as one of England’s most ambitious fine dining places.

Michael-Wignall-foodnet se
The restaurant was open from scratch – an empty industrial premises was found at Katarinavägen 19 , Stockholm. The restaurant was created, staff was trained and the restaurant became the talk of the town. In less than a week was it nearly impossible to get a table.
All adverting there was locally in Stockholm was the news about Michael coming to town. There had been other pop-up restaurants open before, but not really taken off.

Dill was open between 13 September and 4 October. Table bookings started on Sept. 4.

It was the plan set menu served in combination with a selected beverage package and the price was very moderate, because they wanted to keep affordable prices. Guests and press was raving about the restaurant.

dill - metro se

The weekend it was revealed that the discount food chain “Lidl” brand was behind fake restaurant “Dill”. It had a raw beating in social medias.
But interest in the table booking during last week’s service has not cooling down.
On one day, 80 people put themselves on the pop-up restaurant’s waiting list, hoping to get the place and they got 4 cancellations.

“Lidl” is a German discount food chain and they wanted to prove that you can make fantastic food out products that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, that it doen’t have be market fresh … and everything they used in the restaurant, down to the salt – came from Lidl’s normal product range.

dill- alltomstockholm se

In 2002, Lidl 6,000 stores (including 3,000 outside Germany). The turnover was about 160 SEK/$24.5/£15.46/€ 18.22 billions, in. 2010, the chain had, 9000 stores, an increase with 30% in 8 years.
Lidl has stores in Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Malta, the Netherlands, Italy, Ireland, Croatia, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Sweden, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic and Hungary.

They had three and a half weeks to work with and wanted to come up with something different. Something new for the Stockholm foodies. They loved Michael’s way to capture the raw materials.

dill - news.cision com -

“Dill” is the start of an advertising campaign for the discount chain, created by advertising agency Ingo. Guests here have been offered a nine course tasting menu for only little over 500SEK/$76.00/£48/€57.

Lidl say about the whole thing; With the restaurant we wanted to prove that our food is good enough to create long waiting lists, good enough for connoisseurs, good enough for star chefs. We wanted to prove that “GOOD FOOD DON’T NEED TO COST MORE”

dill - aftonbladet se

I think the whole set up is just so brilliant and I’m a very happy Lidl customer, they have fantastic fresh salmon and meat – their vegetables are of very high quality – but they don’t carry any of the big brands.

Plus it also proves that good chefs can make miracles out of leftovers and there are chefs that make catastrophes out the finest fresh products. Of course the Swedish top chefs are not too thrilled about the whole PR-stunt, because they don’t want to be connected with discount shop – mostly because of the prices on their menus. How much is a main course really worth???

The restaurant name “Dill” is made from the letters in Lidl.

Good on Lidl and good on Michael.

“Strive not to be a success,
but rather to be of value.”
Albert Einstein

kasse_ dill.lidl se

Photos provided by and thanks to;

36 thoughts on “pop-up success

    • Jo, the prices for a main course on a top restaurant is just silly over here just now … same in London. And I think Lidl has showed that restaurangs are over charging.
      I think Lidl is a fantastic shop – they have most product we need and to great prices, they buy from local and small suppliers where ever they have their stores and very little staff too, because they don’t unpack everything and put on shelves. The way to go, Lidl.

    • I think US is very creative those days when it’s about food – but this stunt is so clever … just such a brilliant advertising event and they pulled it off. I only wished that I had a chance to try it out.

    • I think the whole thing is just so fantastic and it was revealed last week by their TV commercial about the whole thing. People was just raving about the place, brilliant. Would have loved to been there. And I tell you that Lidl will get more customers now, people that haven’t thought that they have good enough products, because they are so cheap compare to other stores.

      • Terry, I didn’t know about it until this weekend, when they reveled the stunt through their TV commercial.
        I would have loved to go, but not many people outside Stockholm knew about until the TV commercial.

    • No, I haven’t been there … Stockholm is about 6 hours away from where I live – didn’t know anything until they released their TV commerical about the whole thing – last week. Brilliant TV-stunt.

    • I think it’s one of the best PR stunts ever – and our top chefs are very upset about the whole thing – they are probably upset because they weren’t asked. A very clever advertising company that Lidl use.

  1. Too funny!! I think people lined up expecting gourmet and that’s what they got.. why do we think food needs to cost more to taste better? We have a chain in BC where we spent the summer. It is a sister store to one just one block away, but it is definitely upscale. You have a completely different shopping experience there, they make you feel so special.. until you go to the cashier:D

    • I know … when I watch some cooking programs on TV I just wonder what planet those chefs has come from – everything has to be so fresh, this with fresh herbs makes me really sick at times – expensive and they don’t last long and most of the time the neither smell or taste anything. Everything is over the top – why can’t they cook food from products that most household can afford. They have a cooking show on UK TV – ready, steady cook. Where the audience bring some products for a value of $15 to the studio and 2 top chefs has to make dishes out them .. and compete against each other. I love that program, because it more close to the reality.
      I’m sure that Michael was presenting gourmet dishes at Dill with products that cost only the half of what other top restaurants pay. Good on Lidl.

  2. This was fascinating to me. The cost of all the cooking equipment for one thing would have to be absolutely mammoth. I wonder what it really did for the chef and his reputation. A pop-up restaurant is just amazing. WOW!

    • I think they borrowed equipment from Swedish manufacturers and the kitchen was mostly made up by tables and black table clothes.
      I think Michael has come out good from it .. and because they have Lidl’s in UK too … and they probably will run their commercials over there too, but it has shaken the boots on our own top chefs. Good. I love the stunt.

  3. This is fantastic… good food for less… so many restaurants are beyond my pocket due to high prices for less food… and I often wonder if I’m not paying a premium because of the name associated with the place… but this sounds great, well done Lidl

    • Rob, it’s silly money what we have to pay on a top restaurant over here in Sweden too – and it’s only for business people that can put the bills on their expensive, that is why they all close during the summer .. so Lidl just challenged them and they did it very well.

  4. Well done Lidl….in South Africa, people who work for restaurants do not receive huge salaries, and I don’t mind giving them a gratuity fee. But I do feel that when you pay so much for a meal, the owner of the restaurant gets richer and the customer helps to pay his staff for him by giving a gratuity fee. And then some places say on the menu that the gratuity fee must be no less than 20percent….I say the owner should give waiters a better wage, and if the service is good, it is up to the customer to give or not to give, depending on the service. But then I suppose the owner will up the prices even more……..just can’t win can we. Except with Lidl.

    • Lidl is moving in to Australia … soon, so maybe they will come to SA too.
      I totally agree … with you, that the wages should be higher at restaurants and the chefs make mega bucks if they are good.
      Up here in Sweden 17,5% of gratuity fee is inclued in the dishes price and that goes to the serving staff and they have to pay tax on it too, but that is the way it should be. Same thing in US with 20%.
      Lidl has really upset the top restaurants.. and good on Lidl.
      I wish you both a pleasant weekend.

    • You should, they have fantastic products and they exchange their veg and fruit every morning.
      I shop with them once per month … all basic products … and all cleaning stuff, the best on the market and only half price to the big brands. W5 is theirs called and they have the best washing fluide .. too. Give them a try. And their Cola is fantastic too.

    • A-C, I just think it was such fantastic stunt they pulled off and good for them. I have never had a bad product when shopping out of Lidle and their fruit and vegetables are always fresh. Plus they use local suppliers for their bread and dairy products. I’m going to shop even more there now. Their fresh fish is just outstanding.

    • Jeremy, I think it’s such tough market over in US – but what I understand are they moving into the Australian market. So who knows, the thing is that we all have need for good quality products to affordable prices.

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