Where will the meal assembly industry be in 2008?

If you get any sort of magazine subscription you already know the November issue has come and gone and the December issue is probably going to show up today or sometime this week. And in those magazines are huge lists of all of the accomplishments for 2007 and all the exciting things to look forward to in 2008. Regardless of whether you enjoy cameras, computers, cars, wine, stereo equipment, big screen TVs, or most any other hobby I’m sure there is a big wrap up going on right now to reminisce about the past and get you all excited about the future.

For cameras and computers a whole new batch of models has just come out right in time for Christmas. For computers and cameras there is always buzz of faster processors, bigger drives, better displays, more megapixels, new lenses and new software. Canon and Nikon just hit the market with their big new cameras just in time for the holidays. For cars, its new styles, better gas mileage, better safety features and big new uses of alternative fuels, like hybrids, ethanol, bio-diesel, and other advances. New fuel types will be a big deal in the auto world for 2008 and a company not offering in a model in at least one of these areas is more than likely going to get left behind. The point is, right now we are seeing where we have been this year and what lies ahead.

So I bring this around to the meal assembly industry. What have been the accomplishments for this year? What solid innovations did we see this year and what can we expect for next year? What hurdles did the industry face and which of those did it conquer? What obstacles still lay ahead and how will the industry meet those challenges? (And you can’t tell me there aren’t any innovations to be made or challenges to conquer in this industry. A more streamlined process, less prep time at home, a wider menu selection, alliances with other food vendors, great media coverage nationwide, cooking shows, better cookbooks and other avenues to spread the word. There is plenty to do and very little time, if any, to actually do it).

First off, did the meal assembly industry actually accomplish anything this year (besides selling more stores)? Quite honestly I haven’t heard a thing out of the main franchises of Super Supper or Dream Dinners about the challenges they’ve had, how they solved them and what they look forward to working on for the upcoming year. How did they get more customers into the stores? What new features are they going to offer customers next year to help them save time and money? I haven’t either franchise say anything.

I think the biggest accomplishment Dream Dinners has had in the last couple of years was to split the meals and jack up the prices. Have they accomplished anything else? Oh wait, they allied with Redbook to offer a single new recipe this year. Southern Living helped work on their Side Dish Station for December. They did give out trinkets of plastic cups and bowls if you purchased enough meals or signed up early enough. They put Liz Claiborne magazines in their stores to help promote Liz’s clothing. It will be hard, but I will try to contain my childish glee at these major milestones.

Super Supper at least has some accomplishments they can be proud of. They have made alliances with Kraft, Pixar, Martha Stewart and Reynolds to promote themselves. They have offered pick up service, meals that are ready to go, walk-in sessions and several other offerings to placate customers. Hold me back, I think I may swoon with this vast array of offerings… I’ve said their method is to try everything and see what sticks, but it’s better to try everything than to try nothing at all. While nothing jumps out as truly being innovative or setting themselves apart they seem to be at least trying to gain ground and recognition with their customers.

Is MealMakers still in business?
Where is My Girlfriend’s Kitchen?

I can’t remember the last article I read about either of these two. And I mention them because they have a presence in this region. But that just proves that none of the brands are making a splash or giving a reason for customers to come in the door.

Again, my point is, where are these companies and what are they doing? Did they forget they were consumer oriented and thus should keep consumers informed of what they’re doing and how they can help them in their daily lives?

Microsoft and other large companies who thought they didn’t need to bother themselves with customers soon realized the error of their ways and after losing a huge customer base to competitors, they changed their method and did everything they could to keep themselves in front of the customer. Only now is Microsoft starting to get customer loyalty back after several years of keeping them informed of just about every aspect of their business. And Dream Dinners and Super Suppers don’t have anywhere near the customer base to lose or money that MS used in trying to get those customers back.

You cannot deny that the MA business is in trouble – serious trouble. Stores are closing left and right, sales have dropped to a trickle of their former glory and owners are becoming increasingly frustrated at the current state of affairs.

From the initial indicators, Thanksgiving and Christmas may be a dud from the MA side of things. With stores barely breaking even under normal circumstances the next couple of months are traditionally where people really do cook for themselves and could spell the end for dozens of owners if customers don’t come in. If you’ve been paying attention, a couple of owners here have already decided to move on to other endeavors. And I also posted my observations of how many stores were already going up for sale each month.

Honestly, what are Super Supper and Dream Dinners doing to get customers interested in this industry again? At this time almost every other industry unveils their new products, procedures, offerings, innovations or at the very least they give plenty of details what they have in the works and when customers can expect it. What is the enticement for all the customers who have walked away from meal assembly stores in droves to come back?

Obviously I don’t think either of the two major franchises has made a significant impact on this industry during 2007. They are doing business as usual and their involvement with the customer is almost non-existent. I think customers and owners can expect very little from these franchises in 2008. If anything, it will be up to the local owners to market heavily, adapt their daily business and do whatever it takes to keep customers coming back – provided they actually have any money left over each month to accomplish any marketing.

For anyone who might be interested I read and look over 500-600 websites a day that have some relevance to the meal assembly industry. I have a several search tools that scan any new content that gets added to the web – and no I don’t just search Google for “meal assembly”. These searches are done for the web itself, blogs, newspaper articles, Press Releases, business news, and marketing sites. I may not catch everything, but I see quite a bit. The majority of the news of this industry is still customers asking if going to an MA is something they should try or a news article describing a new MA store opening in their area. Not exactly show stopper stuff.

And because of that I am going to offer my predictions on what I think is going to happen to this industry in 2008.

First off I believe at least 500 stores will close their doors in 2008 (franchise and independent). At a rate of 60 MA stores for sale each month right now (and I expect that will probably hit 100 a month or higher by March of 2008) I expect that half of the stores currently open across the country will be for sale, or closed by the end of 2008 – if it even takes that long. And that is conservative. I wouldn’t be surprised if 2/3 of all open stores will be closed by the end of 2008. In reality, I expect it to hit the 500 mark by July/August when the usual summer slump drives a majority of stores into the ground.

Out of those 500 stores I believe 250 of those owners will be declaring bankruptcy of some sort. They won’t be able to sell their store and will simply have to close in order to fend off the debt. I bet a vast majority of those owners will be walking away from this industry at least $50k in debt. Currently, if you get out with less than $100k in debt I think you’re doing pretty darn well.

Independent store owners should fair better than franchises because they can adapt quicker. They can offer customers what they actually ask for and tend to their changing wants and needs. However, I believe this will be a short lived reprieve. Hopefully owners can recoup some loses and get a chance to walk away with less debt.

I believe 2008 will also see super markets and grocery stores start their own meal assembly ventures – although on a smaller, perhaps temporary basis. As the franchise stores close, the grocery stores can fill in that void and give a compelling reason for customers to come in. They will offer the same call ahead and pick up service in a similar capacity to what we see Super Suppers and many independent stores doing now.

MA stores will still dot the country and I’m sure there are places where the MA business can still work and thrive for the people in that area. But as an industry across the nation I think the time for this business has come and gone. The peak for the MA business was last year in 2006 and it’s been on a steady decline ever since. Customers are visiting far less frequently (on the whole), the interest and uniqueness of this business has waned, the prices outweigh the benefit and in the customers eyes the MA store really isn’t filling a void anymore. Most customers already believe they can do the same meal prep at home and unfortunately there is little coming out which negates that theory. They have already returned to their regular routine of the grocery store and take out. Even those stores offering the pick-up, call ahead and pick the meal from the freezer options are still only just breaking even. You can’t run a business on just breaking even.

Super Suppers, Dream Dinners and the rest have waited too long to change consumer opinion. Customers bought into the idea completely last year, but they see little reason to keep investing their time and money. There is no “need” to go the meal assembly store. The “desire” has tapered off and they haven’t been offered anything to rekindle that interest. Franchisors have been off selling more stores rather than keeping customers happy, building services are creating that “want” which will keep them coming back.

I’m sure some will disagree with my assumptions, but I see plenty of indicators to support my predictions.

Other Articles of Interest:

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22 Responses to “Where will the meal assembly industry be in 2008?”

  • indie owner:

    Lots and lots of thoughts on this one! I would hate to hazard a guess on how many stores will close in 2008, but I’m sure it’s in the hundreds. Too many people are just holding on, and while breaking even at least pays the bills, every month without a paycheck makes the owners a little more desperate. One negative event and the balance is tipped. It really saddens me to think of the lives that will be so torn up. It angers me, too, because I’ve talked to so many trusting people that were told the franchisor had strict demographic requirements and they wouldn’t be sold a unit if their area couldn’t support it. How do those people sleep at night?

    In my area we have a franchisee with two stores and an agreement to develop 6 more in the area. This family has extremely deep pockets and extensive restaurant experience. They do tons af advertising–TV, radio, print, internet, sponsorships, everything. Yet they’ve cut their store hours and have no plans to open additional stores. I can’t help but think that if they can’t make it work, no one can.

    I wonder how the franchises will spin this to prospective owners–now’s the time to get in, we’ve worked out the kinks and the market isn’t so saturated!

  • indie owner:

    Realized I forgot something. I think some may find your predictions somewhat harsh and unwarranted. But I’m glad you’ve put it out there, as uncomfotable as it is. I hope a few prospective owners get this post to turn up when they are googling meal assembly–maybe it will save a few of them the heartache so many others are experiencing. And for those still in the trenches, please be working on your exit strategy. It’s kind of like the working mom who realizes her salary bumps the family into a higher tax bracket, so between daycare, wardrobe, commuting and taxes the family actually loses money by having her work. Hard to believe, but sometimes just closing the doors, selling equipment and taking the loss is better than digging yourself in deeper every month.

  • Tucker box- keep preachin’ it girl/boy!! I almost think you’re in my head at night….
    By the Way, the emails I have received regarding if I am Tuckerbox….The answer is NO! However, doesn’t he/she sound so much like me? Uh HUH… How Scary is that?
    Before I go any further on this comment, I want to thank you Tuckerbox for the time and dedication you are giving to this Industry by speaking truth about the direction of where this is headed.
    Owners have been so isolated, it is almost cult like. Hopefully, by the wisdom from this site and a Tablespoon of JOY these Owners can have a ‘new-balance’ for success!
    I want to start by saying How incredibly disappointed I am in Dream Dinner & Super Suppers. I do hold them responsible for not standing behind the Owners and making them successful. Before we can predict the future, I would like to share some History of errors with you. These errors have been shared repeatedly, but, it is important to rehash, and maybe the Owners will get ‘mad enough’ and make a change, or, anyone else that is looking into purchasing a MA will think long and hard- and an emotional buy.
    I have to admit, I have been quite Pollyannaish with this Industry. I am the first to have worn the rose colored glasses. They became cracked when I had ideas that ‘worked’ but our Marketing Dept. did not validate them, and continue to this day to release nationwide Marketing practices that do not bring a single customer in the door!!. This was the beginning of the turmoil that resided in me. Over time, I became more passionate. Only to realize that “they” (marketing dept.) did not CARE to hear how to make this Company be what it could be. Later, I developed the ‘round table’ and gave Owners tools to “Think Outside of the Box” This was successful. And I am honored to know some of the Owners applied those ideas and are MAKING their store work. But they are not considered best practice so HO will not support them.
    I have been taking a few days to process your prediction. It is harsh & painful. The reality, I think you may be 80% correct. However, after the train wreck, the dust settles, there will be stores that will survive.
    Over the past weekend, I went to a store closure. It was sad. I was there when the doors were opened! After the evening was over, we took a trip down memory lane, the concussion. THE MA OWNER CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT because she is off the hamster wheel.
    Since there is so much isolation for a MA Owner, I encourage you to start to use this site and share. In return, other can support you and guild you through the next few month.

  • I’m sure many people will get offended by my comments and I’m sure they do seem harsh and cruel. But I think they are relevant and grounded in reality and current events. There is still so much misinformation out there about running one of these businesses and I think many potential owners are blinded by the marketing.

    Indie I can actually see your comments being used in marketing. After hundreds of stores close you will see the literature reading “There is little competition and room for unlimited growth”. “The inexperience of previous owners has paved the way for new owners to realize the full potential of the meal assembly industry”.

    As I said, there are places where this business could grow and thrive, but owners need to be aware of what they’re getting into. You need much deeper pockets than the corporate office would have you believe. You need plenty of working capital to launch you own marketing campaign. From what many owners are saying once you sign on the dotted line, you very well could be out there on your own. For some it may work great. You just need to have more than the B.S. marketing hype so many companies and groups are feeding people.

    I just want people to realize what they’re getting into. I still see far too much of the dreamy eyed seduction of being your own boss from people who don’t truly understand what they need to make this work. It’s not part time, it’s not all fun and games, and it’s not just open the doors and customers will come. It’s a huge amount of work, large sums of money and the potential for disaster. And considering customers aren’t really behind this endeavor anymore, I think things will just get worse.

    I think what Mindy is describing is the classic, “I didn’t come up with so it’s not a good idea” mentality that really seems to exist with the corporate franchises. That’s why no new ideas are coming out, stores are slow to change, and it explains why there is a lack of “vision”.

    As Indie says, work on your exit strategy.

  • ma biz owner:

    We got into this two years ago believing that there was huge potential, but that the industry needed to evolve to much more than what it was at the time. So, we decided to go independent rather than buying into a franchise. We have innovated from day one: we offered an ala carte menu, no extra charge to make meals for customers, seasonal menus rather than monthly with anywhere from 50-100 menu items at any given time. We launched cooking kits for kids, we offered dinner and wine tasting events, we carried a small line of retail products, were open 10 hours a day to offer the ultimate convenience to our customers…the list goes on and on.

    I guess my point is that in the end it probably doesn’t matter if you were independent or a franchisee, since the industry as a whole has proven to be a dud. I think we all have that loyal core of customers that love the concept and appreciate it for what it was intended to be, but there have never been enough of those customers to make this business take off (or to pay the bills).

    I believe that the concept will eventually just fade away. There may be parts and pieces of the concept that will survive in another environment (ie, grocery stores), but in a few years, I don’t think anyone will recognize it as originating in the meal assembly industry.

    In our area, I am amazed to report that a new store has opened in the past two months, even after the carnage we’ve witnessed in the past year with several (probably 8-10) stores that have gone out of business. We also recently talked with someone that expressed interest in opening a store because they are in love with the concept. It was like looking at ourselves three years ago when we fell in love with the concept. I am haunted by the conversation because I was as blunt as I could be without revealing that we’re planning our exit. (We have to keep our game face on until we close the doors.) I just kept repeating “do your homework – plan for growth, but plan your exit too.”

    I’ll watch with interest what happens in 2008. But I’m afraid we will be one of the casualties, not one of the successes.

  • This industry has proven to be a dud. From everything I keep reading it doesn’t matter if customers make the meals, if you make the meals, if the customer can schedule a session or just come in and grab something, they still aren’t satisfied. Did stores evolve too quickly and offer too much too soon, or not evolve quick enough to offer customers what they were looking for? You’re right, you gain a loyal base of customers that really benefit from what you have to offer, but it’s not enough to build a business on and if just a few change their habits you’re in serious trouble.

    I agree this idea and concept will just simply fade away, just like once a month cooking and all the other “gimmicks” that came before it. They’re solid ideas that when used correctly do everything they say they will. They help get dinner to the table in a shorter amount of time, but so few people are willing to even exert the effort any more that this business really has become “out of sight, out of mind”.

    I am truly shocked anyone is attempting to start up a store these days, they really are mad…

    I doubt there will be many (if any) success stories that come out of this industry (except for the franchisors).

  • MA Owner:

    I was looking at SS’s calendars in the South Bay. It seems as though all the South Bay SS’s have nothing on their schedule’s for January. Are they closing? This is a really big market for all the meal prep places– especially the big franchises… who are becoming not-so-big anymore. If these stores are closing (in strong markets) then what does this signify for the rest of the meal prep places.

    I know that a few DD’s have closed this month (SoCal).

    It will be interesting to see where meal prep is in Jan once the “holiday fog” lifts.

    Happy Holidays!

  • I have looked at a few of the calendar for January and while one store is listed as being closed all the others have a schedule listed for January. It is an abbreviated or maybe a simpler version of the calendar. (The calendars are way too cluttered with icons). But I do see session and walk-in times for January…

    Do you see a blank calendar?

  • MA Owner:

    You’re right they have sessions posted now. When I originally posted this they didn’t have anything. Seems a bit late to be posting calendars…

    I saw on their Concord site that they’re getting a new website (not sure if it’s franchise-wide or Concord-specific)… will be interesting to see!

  • Having a blank calendar even for a day or two could drive a lot of customers off. I have to think they’re anticipating a lot of walk-in traffic rather than customers booking sessions.

    I had a look at that store and they have a schedule of 7 days a week. Pretty ambitious stuff! They’re even going to be open on New Year’s Eve and Day. Can’t say I envy that! :)

    I wonder if they’re really that busy or if they’re just making themselves that available. Either way, you can’t say they’re just Part Time!

  • MA Owner:

    I saw a MA franchise for sale on one of the businesses for sale sites. One stood out in particular. Based on the fact that they said they’re part of a franchise, and based on when they opened (it said so on the business-for-sale description), I think the location you’re referring to above is for sale. Perhaps that’s why they’re trying to look so full. 😉

    Nonetheless the surrounding stores of that franchise look pretty empty. Even on franchisepundit.com it seems as though all of their owners are under water. Maybe 10-20% of the stores are making money (optimistically!) whereas the rest are looking to get out. The franchisor says that they chose the wrong set of initial owners. (Sad but apparently true based on what’s been written on that blog/site.) I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of a lawsuit from the owners. If THAT many owners are sinking, and they have spent so much money on “building a brand” it seems to me that the money was spent more on building the name (helping the franchise/franchisor) more than making owners making money. I can see how that could have been the underlying intention (build a name to make money) but frankly it seems as though the franchise name has benefited far more than any owners have.

  • I don’t know anything about the store or the location, but I do agree that there are very few owners out there making money any more. I suppose it could be said that the ones who aren’t making money are just more vocal about it. But I honestly believe a lot of stores were making money last year and earlier this year and then the bottom fell out.

    In same cases I firmly believe the franchisor chose the wrong owners to help grow their business, such as owners who were underfinanced and didn’t have intentions of running the store as a fill time job. But that would be the franchisors fault as well for not doing their due diligence in picking owners who were in the business for the long term and instead tried to take shortcuts and make a fast buck by opening stores as quickly as possible. Instead of long-term success, franchisors chose the quick sale and why not, they make money either way. They get money from fees and if the store works out, they get royalties. The owner takes the risk on the franchisor not the other way around. So if anything, many owners backed what they hoped would be a “family company” but instead aligned themselves with a company that didn’t have the correct business and market savvy to build a successful relationship. Once again I ask, we all know stores across the country are suffering and what is the franchise doing to help? They’ll stop selling stores in that area and undermining the industry as a whole? Oh my, how considerate.

    Furthermore, the owners appear to be the only ones trying to build a brand. They are the ones spending the money on marketing and being involved with their communities and giving away samples to generate business. They are putting every ounce of energy into the success of the their store and their brand as a whole. Where is the matching “sweat equity” from corporate?

    On a side note, I think I received two emails from a corporate franchise this year both of which were so vague and underwhelming I can’t possible see how it generated a response of anything more than someone pressing the delete key. And from a local standpoint I haven’t received anything from the franchise and an Independent stores which are 3 miles away from me. With that in mind you can’t tell me everything is being done to attract new customers.

    Super Suppers, Dream Dinners and Dinner by Design have made millions off the backs of their owners, but I venture to say that most of these owners will now experience the thrill of filing for bankruptcy rather than the benefits of financial independence.

  • MA Owner:

    I’m watching Oprah at the moment and am so so so craving some Meal Prep publicity on her show. I heard from a PR woman that a full page ad in Oprah mag is 60K. The franchises have the money for that. Oprah’s audience is perfect for our business! I still don’t see WHY we haven’t been on there… it really seems like a waste not too. Most businesses who go on there are OVERWHELMED after going on there because of the huge surge in business… I’d like to have that problem. :-)

    My numbers are so low for January. I know many people are still on vacation so I won’t see a really big push for at least a week but still, it’s so slow!

    I’m waiting to see what these franchises roll out in the new year to help the franchisees, but I’m afraid there won’t be much. Perhaps, at some point, one of the franchisees will file bankruptcy???

  • Placing an ad in a magazine of the circulation and popularity of Oprah’s magazine would be a great first step. You would certainly get a spike in sales, but you also need to look beyond that. You need several follow up campaigns to keep customers interested and keep your name out there.

    Another major factor to bear in mind is to understand you may not make your money back on each individual ad. For example you spend 60k on an ad in O, but you may not get that back, however you still need to place the ad. Isn’t it something like a customer needs to see/read/hear about a company 7 times before it really sinks in who they are and what they offer?

    You can’t go into an ad campaign with the idea of if I spend 60k I will make 120k back. Even if you only made 20k back you still reached thousands more who are just waiting to hear more about what you offer.

    And while hitting the magazines should be the first step, there are definitely other avenues to explore. I still say you can harness the power of the “Tubes” and let customers do the work for you. This scheme always works: offer a contest for your customers to create an ad which best exemplifies your company, your product and its values. Offer an excellent prize package for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. You could easily offer $10,000 to the winner, $5,000 to second place and 5 $1,000 runner-up packages. You can’t tell me customers wouldn’t be scrambling to come up with their best work to win that! Egad, America’s Funniest Home Videos has made a phenomenon of these amateur productions! For $30k you would have more footage you could use for your marketing than you can imagine! And think of all the ideas it would spark for your own creative marketing campaign.

    If by chance you think it wouldn’t generate a response bump it up a little more and imagine this headline: “Meal Assembly Company offers $100,000 to customers for best commercial!” You don’t think you would grab every headline in the country if you offered prize money like that to the regular working family? So you spend $100k (the cost of 3 franchise fees mind you) and you get your name splashed across major newspapers from coast to coast! Then you put those videos on YouTube and every other site like it out there and have customers vote on them right through the Internet. Store owners send out the links in email, and you have links all over your main website showing off these videos. Finalists are chosen and you fly them all out for a big ceremony and show off the Top 10 videos, plus you get the winning team to help you create your next television ad. You can’t tell me that won’t get people talking…

    If the crap reality shows have taught us nothing else it’s that people love to be creative and they love to be involved in picking a winner. You will create such a buzz that will go far beyond the $100k-150k you are giving away.

    And what better way to announce such a daring ploy to thousands and thousands of readers in Oprah and offer your massive grand give away. Who isn’t going to be talking about winning $50k for first place, $25 for second and 5 $5k third place prizes?

    That would be quite a splash for the New Year…

  • Amy:

    Happy New Year to everyone. Suppers Suppers was featured in O magazine last year in some type of top 10 list. I can’t remember what the list topic was. Something like things to splurge on or how to save time and money??? Did it really make that big of an impact for them?
    Tuckerbox- I love your out of the box thinking style regarding marketing. I am not a computer/tech savy person. I have been on youtube once in my life and wouldn’t know how to post something there. I need to start to embrach technology and the internet as a viable marketing tool. It’s just hard for me because I am not of that mindset. This is the first blog I have ever read and written to. I need to enter the 21st century soon before I am totally lost. My 6 year old is faster on the internet than I am. Scary!

  • I think Super Supper and Dream Dinners have both been featured as ways to save money but it’s more of a mention in passing rather than an article or piece written about them. It’s still good, but I don’t think they are in-depth pieces.

    I don’t participate in YouTube in anyway, but I get links to things all the time; from dancing Sony and Honda robots to goofy sports plays to speeding cars. There was even a link sent around a few months back about this horrible Microsoft Windows 386 ad that had a tragically bad “rap” that this woman sang all through it. The ad was horrible but the link was posted EVERYWHERE. If you went to any site dealing with technology or computers that link was there so you could see the ad.

    I subscribe that old 80s action show mentality of “that plan is so crazy it just might work!” And considering that no ideas are coming out of the corporate offices, any idea is better than nothing… Plus I’m great at spending other people’s money! :)

    There is nothing wrong with not being tech/computer savvy. Honestly, I’m not sure I know how to post a video to YouTube either, but considering there are millions of others out there who do, I’m pretty sure I can find some 16 year old kid out there to help me out! :) At least you know the Internet is not quite your thing and would ask for help. I think the corporate offices out there consider themselves quite savvy with marketing and the Internet and quite honestly, I’m just not seeing it…

  • MA Owner:

    I’ll even bet that you can find a youtube video about how to upload a video onto youtube. if not they’ll have instructions somewhere around there…

    I know that when we had a toilet problem we googled it and found a video on how to fix the problem. :-) funny isn’t it. I guess some people just have a lot of time on their hands.

  • I wouldn’t doubt for a second that there is a YouTube video on how to make and upload a YouTube video. And probably in multiple languages… :)

  • I think there will be very few meal assembly success stories for 2008. I think for the many the money has just run out or it’s the decision to not spend any more money when you will probably never get it back.

    The part that has me shaking my head in disbelief are the people who still want to open a store today and dismiss the idea that they won’t make money. Do they think owners are lying to them just to keep them from opening a store?

    It still appears a lot of people have the “That can’t happen to me” mentality and are still seduced by the idea of being their own boss, working their own hours and making easy money.

    There is the appearance that a whole new wave of owners is trying to jump on board this Titanic.

  • Ben:

    My wife and I were looking at buying one of the franchise operations, I’m glad I found this site, it explains why 3 out of 5 in my state are for sale.

  • mysterymiss:

    We’re glad you did too! That’s why we’re all here to share info with each other and prospects who need an honest education as to the failed franchise concept that MAK’s represent.

  • […] will the meal assembly industry be in 2009? (Part 1) Back in November of last year I put forth my predictions of what would happen to the meal prep industry as it worked it’s way through 2008. For the […]

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