Super Suppers to buy Entree Vous?

The rumors have surfaced and there is some confirmation that Super Suppers is going to or has already bought up one of their competitors, Entrée Vous.

I have to admit that is surprising and quite unexpected. The previous attempt at merging franchises doesn’t seem to be going all that well with the struggling stores still closing out and new owners brought into the fold looking to define their identity.

And this merger doesn’t seem to have the makings of a meal assembly coup. Entrée Vous has in the neighborhood of 40-50 stores of which I’m sure plenty are biting nails and saying prayers to try and make it through Christmas. If Super Suppers is lucky they will get to keep 30 of those stores operating into the New Year. With the current track record of 5 or so stores closing each month, Super Suppers is likely to have just over 100 stores of their own still in operation by the end of the year.

Under the best scenario, Super Suppers will jump back up to having 130 stores open which they can try and squeeze out some royalty monies. It will be interesting to see how they plan to pay for this merger because from all accounts Super Suppers just doesn’t have the cash flow to make this work. And if they do have sacks of cash stuffed in the attic (or maybe they borrowed it from a charity), why aren’t they spending the money on their current owners to keep their current stores open, rather than bringing a new crowd into the fold? Where is the advertising to help ramp up for Thanksgiving and Christmas?

With just over two months left in this year a merger/buyout seems a foolhardy move at best. Rather, it seems a tremendous waste of money and considering Super Suppers hasn’t been able to stop the loss of their own stores how do they plan on saving these new owners their snatching up?

As commented in the MGFK – Dinner A’fare discussion, you can’t save all the stores and some of those owners may be past the point of saving. Many of those owners will have to admit defeat regardless, so I still have to ask, what does this sort of merger gain?

In a sad correlation it’s this type of odd financial decision making that brought up the disastrous economic circumstances we are all facing. Buying “bad paper” isn’t really a good business decision.

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7 Responses to “Super Suppers to buy Entree Vous?”

  • patterson:

    It’s a done deal. SS has purchased EV. EV owners are just as baffled as you are. There sure aren’t any royalties coming from EV kitchens – to speak of. They do have revenue streams other than meal assembly, but they are still very new and not all franchisees have implemented them. EV lost 10 kitchens over the summer and stands at around 35. I think some are still on the brink. It will be interesting to see what happens. I do know EV owners are not happy about the merger.

  • guest:

    FYI

    Super Suppers arein the talking of buying Dream Dinners out. When I called Dream Dinners to confirm, they said no comment at this time!

  • Maybe EV did what Marcia did. “Give” away the franchise to avoid legal responsibility for her mistakes.

  • It’s really difficult to imagine that anyone would want to buy out Dream Dinners let alone Super Suppers. The pending lawsuits alone would make most sane people run screaming in the other direction. Would you really want to buy a business that has over $30 million in lawsuits against it? The cost of the lawsuit payout is more expensive than the company itself! I seriously doubt that Dream Dinners has $30 million in assets and capital to its name. If you take into account the amount of money Dream Dinners has been losing every year it doesn’t seem like you would every get a return on that investment.

    Buying Entrée Vous seems sketchy in regards to when you would recoup the investment and they aren’t in disastrous financial shape. Not saying such a buyout isn’t possible, just saying it makes no sense to me at all.

  • SuperSupersCustomer:

    For what it is worth from a customer…

    We were regular customers at teh Super Supers East Hanover, NJ store, which very abruptly closed last month. THe store had been up for sale since the spring. We were VERY disappointed. We were there every month, and spent an average of $230/month. I can no longer cook, and using SS was just one less thing for my spouse to now handle.

    We LOVED it. We loved the menus, loved the concept, and loved the food. I’ve had several surgeries, and we went before each surgery for “extra food” to fill up any room in the freezer. We were upset that the next nearest one is 1.5 hours away.

    We started using Cena to Go, 45 minutes south, and received a message from them that they were closed effective that day because the Cena to Go company on the west coast was closing. We didn’t like the menu as well, but it was still better than cooking our selves. This place actually let me bring students to make one meal each to introduce them to the concept. And, they prepared 12 meals for us on the 17 as an emergency because I found out that morning I was having surgery the 21st. THey closed a few days later.

    The next place is about 45 minutes north, Dinner A’Fare, which has a menu we like. So, we will start going there. One more locally, turned us off by yelling for splitting meals (there are only two of us… two portions is more convenient), and exhorbant charges for extra containers to discourage it.

    We will always be meal assembly customers as long as there is a place reasonably close. Perhaps the economy will simply condense people like us to the locations that remain open, giving them strong customer bases.

    Personally though, I’ve always felt that they never hit a major target audience: professionals who are disabled, such as myself. My arthritis makes it impossible to chop/lift pans/etc., and means one more responsibility for my spouse to assume. We have the income to afford the service. Yet, it has always been marketed to busy moms. I’ve never seen advertising at the physician’s office, although housekeeping ads abound. I’ve never seen mention of it in any of the arthritis journals I receive. I’ve seen no mention at any of my support groups, including invitations for the group to attend at a slight discount. I’ve been the lone voice extolling the virtues of these places. THey do nothing to help themselves.

    Many disabled individuals, even thouse with temporary disabilities such as a broken bone, can afford this service. Don’t stop focusing on busy moms, but for heaven sakes, realize that there is a broader market!!!!!

  • EXEVOWNER:

    I owned an EV store. Spent alot of money and after almost a year and with no support from Harriett or the EV CO’s, my store closed, I lost close to $350K and had to endure personal bankruptcy. She got out because she “did not have any more money to add”. The deal was done and the current EV owners were not notified until after the papers were signed. There are claims that no money exchanged hands and that it was a paper transaction. I find that very hard to believe. How easy for her to walk away….but for the ones who have closed and the ones who are still open….some of the EV owners lost completely, others struggle to stay open and Harriett enjoys her life…What a big misrepresentation of franchise support and ownership. I hope she sleeps good at night

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