Competitive Research on the Meal Assembly Business’

This information was gathered from “Oyster” who posted this to Franchise Pundit. It’s a pretty interesting look at the different stores, how they see themselves, how they see the market and how they answer inquiries about their franchises. Some of the information still has a marketing spin to it, but there is still quite a bit to learn by this information.

You can join the discussion by clicking here:

Competitive Research on the Meal Assembly Business’

I posed as a person who was potentially pursuing a Meal Assembly Business. The goal was to capture (with extensive questions) some of the Company’s Marketing Strategies, Yearly Outlook & Competition.

Super Supers (216 Store Locations) 14 locations have closed
Corporate Office- Dallas, TX
Susan Estes
West coast Regional Franchise/Marketing
214.293.8900 (cell)

Susan was very friendly, open, and was not bothered about some tough questions that I asked. She never asked my name only where I was interested having a Super Suppers
•   Product is great because all meals are formed from the Food Culinary Instite
•   Franchisee has Regional menu choices and can choose up to four different menu is each month from there library of recipes to fit what they like.
•   Researched additional revenue on the Walk In’s, Pick Up, Sides/Desserts and Curbside service. In addition to the research they found that 20% of the Nation knows about the Meal assembly
•   What the Customer wants they get (14 stores closed with this model) giving what the customer wants at all costs- discounting the product
•   Franchisee’s are responsible for any marketing done on a local level
•   6% Royalties
•   2% National Marketing: all of the monies plus Corporate Office 10% goes for Brand Awareness- Leader In the Industry
•   Super Supers do Monthly Promotions on Website- McCormick’s Spices, Oprah, Bob Greene, Disney.
•   Public Relations three major parts of the Country- CNN, Good Morning America & New York Times
•   Advertising with Name brand companies to help build brand awareness- Print Ads
•   When asked where they see themselves in the Industry- #1
•   Judy Byrd will be host a T.V show on Meal Assembly and Cooking Class in the Fall
•   Corporate Staff is limited, however, contracted services rendered.
•   Website will host call of Action: Cook Book. Promotes Expertise Gift Certificates available.
•   Ranked #1 Meal Assembly category & #4 in Top New Franchise for 2007 (goal achieved)
Super Supers was to be on Oprah in the spring and will be featured (per Susan Estes) in the fall. Followed by website promoting Oprah viewing.

Dream Dinners 270 Store Locations 210 open for business
Corporate Office in Snohomish, WA
Karalee Jacobs

I called four different times of the day and no ‘live person’ Karalee did ask my name.
•   Limited conversation until magic wand is filled out. Very restrictive. Answers were curt. Encouraged to read the website if I had questions
•   Look & Feel (High End)
•   Highest Quality of Marketing Materials
•   Tools like Sneak Peeks & Parties
•   Recently on Donny Douche
•   Innovators of the Industries
•   Professional Supportive Staff
•   2% National Marketing
•   6 % Royalties
•   Featured on the Food Network two times
•   Encourages Owners to Band Together

Dinner by Design 58 Store Locations (2 closures)
Corporate Office in Chicago, IL
Bruce Kim
Vice President of Sales & Development

Bruce was very aggressive on the phone. Wanted my name and how long I lived in my area. He asked me 10 direct questions about my family before I even got a chance to ask him about Dinner by Design.
•   They believe they are #3 in the Meal Assembly Business
•   Dinner by Design is International. Will have store open in Canada at the end of August. A Store will be opened in Australia by the end of October.
•   Food- Mark Morgan is the Chief- features recipes are on the website. See BIO. Extensive testing and all food are donated to the Women’s Shelter monthly.
•   Master Franchising- 30 stores to open in Canada by the end of 2007
•   Dinner By Design is NOT a faith based Company
•   Non-Restrictive to purchase a franchise. Turn around time is 2 months.
•   National Seminars to promote corporate business.

My Girlfriend’s Kitchen 41 Store Locations (no Closures)
Corporate Office in Utah
Franchise Dept.
Franchise Dept.

Answering service very informative. When you selected a number, a live person answered. (Five mins)
•   Branding- Want all stores to Feel like FUN! Researched and found that 60% of the customers did not come back because they were not having fun making the meals. It became a chore.
-What the customer views as Fun:
Making Meals,
Picking twelve premade meals or whatever quantity needed.
Catering to Business for Luncheons
•   With out an application that you need to fill out on-line, the information was limited. They will proceed with conversation about Marketing when they see the application.
•   When asked where they see themselves in the industry- Number #5

Dinners Ready 48 Store Locations (turn around is high but not a concern)
Corporate Office in Seattle, WA ‘The Better Choice’
Scott Farellea
Founder of Dinners Ready

When I called, I was transferred to the Scott Farellea who is the Founder of Dinners Ready.
•   5% Regional Marketing Fund:
-supports three employees to help market the stores for each Region
•   Franchisees are responsible for grassroots marketing. PTA, Churches, Different Conventions
•   Dinners Ready concentrates Regionally, however they do have stores in nine different states they want all efforts to target core Regions of the United States
•   Master Franchieeing- Georgia/Florida will split Royalties
•   Old Style vs. New Style- 50% of revenues increased when added To Go, Pre Made Meals, Walk In’s
•   The Meal Assembly is what it is….Personal….Customers….Employees….
•   Slow Growth is better and last longer then fast and furious that wont last long
•   5% Royalties
•   Not concerned on National Level- feel that it may or may or may not happen
Here is an example of the Print ad they do:
Dinners Ready <> All WA state Dinners Ready locations. see website for locations
Contact: Leslie Gilchrist
Save $10 off an order of $125 or more & $15 off an order of $200 or more. Visit the website linked to this offer, pick your meals; use promo code DCRP-022BG for the $10 off offer & code DCRP-023BG for the $15 off offer. Offer valid at all WA locations. Join us at one of our Dinners Ready Locations… we provide busy families with a wide variety of made-from-scratch, nutritious and delicious family-sized dinners ready to serve with a minimum of preparation time.
Expiration date: 05/31/2008


Dream Dinners <>
See website for phone numbers & locations
Contact: Christy Bone
Boeing Special ~ Enjoy a ‘Free’ 3 serving dinner when assembling 36 servings or more. ‘Free’ 6 serving dinner with purchase of 72+ servings at any of your local Dream Dinners locations nationwide. Some areas may not have a Dream Dinners location. Boeing badge or Discount Program card required. Visit the website linked to this offer to register & select your dinners. Then go to your Dream Dinners location to assemble, freeze & enjoy later. Offer not to be used in combination with any other offers.
Expiration date: 03/01/2008This offer is available at the following
locations: Currently, we have over 200 stores nationwide and we are opening new stores every month. See flier for more information. Click here for coupon/flier <uploads/200751514402525.pdf>

Let’s Dish 33 Store Locations
Called nine times- No Answer
Website features:
Dish N Dash
Business Events

Entree Vous 29 Store Locations
Corporate Office in Lexington, Kentucky ‘How to Get Dinner Done’
Harriet Duprea Bradley
Founder/Chief of Entrée Vous

•   Recipes from Founder/Chief. Featured on Website
•   A & W Leadership 20+ years
•   Working with Bob Greene on creating freezer meals to cross promote Bob Greene Diet and On-Line website
•   Will continue conversation when I fill out application

Entree’s Made Easy 22 Store Locations
Corporate Office in Arizonian ‘Taste the Difference’
Nancy Longworth
Franchise Dept.

•   Concentrates on Regional Marketing. Motto- One Region at a time
•   Every sauce and spice is Homemade and may be purchased in the Stores
•   Will continue conversation when application is approved
•   Pre- Approval process from Lender so turn around time is less then 30 days

Lets Eat 16 Store Locations mostly in Florida
Corporate Office in S. Florida
Bette Thom
Franchise Dept.

•   Not licensed in all states
•   Featured in Southern Living July 31, 07
•   Once financials are disclosed they will further the communication process
•   Mr. Food has T.V spots to promote Growth and Marketing

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Other Articles of Interest:

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2 Responses to “Competitive Research on the Meal Assembly Business’”

  • indie owner:

    Not sure where to post this–but I really like the festive new look! And I’m glad to see the “recent posts” along the left side, easy for me to quickly see what’s new!

  • Hi Everyone,

    It has been brought to my attention that Dream Dinners is featuring Lushious Lemon Bars for January/Febuary.

    For Anyone interested, (for guests-sake) I will be posting Mindy’s Lemon Bars on my blog.

    Much JOY

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