This 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.
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.
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.
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” 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”
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.”
Photos provided by and thanks to;