Archive for May, 2009

The decline continues

As we slip into the sixth month of the year the decline of the meal prep industry continues unabated. In March we had around 880 stores open; now there are closer to 760 still trying to make a go of things. Over 450 companies used to be in the market; now it stands at around 280.

The trend is definitely a decline and from the answers being posted about income from the store, many people aren’t bringing home what many would consider a significant salary.

And it’s not just independent or small franchises which having a tough time, both Dream Dinners and Super Suppers continue to lose stores with just over 150 and 80 respectively. The big claim of 180 Dream Dinners stores open is becoming more and more inaccurate with each month.

Summer break is almost here and as we all know, the toughest months for restaurants, especially this industry. Grilling and vacation usually takes a priority and while gas prices are half of what they used to be, they’ve jumped up nearly a dollar in the past few months. I find that annoying to say the least.

This is usually the start of a dry spell, what summer plans do you have to get through it? Are you expecting business to pick up or does it give you cause for concern?

How low can you go?

NRA Predicts October Rebound for Industry

I view this sentiment with quite a bit of skepticism. Considering that stalwart companies like Sony and Panasonic just released multi-billion dollar loses, Chrysler is dropping a few thousand franchises from their ranks, gas prices are starting to climb back up and I’m not sure I’ve seen any real signs that unemployment is slowing either. I think it might be a touch to early to say we’re at the bottom of the cycle. It’d be great if it were, but there seem to be far more indicators that there’s more to come than it’s almost over.

October is still a way off so here’s to hoping.

According to Hudson Riehle, the National Restaurant Association’s senior vice president of research and information, there are signs the industry has reached “the bottom of the cycle.”

NRA Predicts October Rebound for Industry

Experts Say Consumer Spending Unlikely to Return

More troubling news as consumers feel things will get worse before they get better. It’s also worth noting that even more people feel it’s necessary to save more and spend less.

It looked like there was a slight blip of an increase as people got their tax returns, but the purse strings may be closed again. Further it looks like gas prices are once again on the rise.

Results from Technomic’s latest consumer sentiment survey reveal that consumers continue to remain highly concerned about the U.S. economy, their personal financial situation and job security. In addition, 51 percent of consumers believe the economy will worsen this year and only 26 percent think it will improve.

Experts Say Consumer Spending Unlikely to Return

Happy Mother’s Day

I just wanted to take a moment and wish all the moms out there a Happy Mother’s Day!


The Latest Employment Numbers

Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.7 million jobs have been lost. In April, job losses were large and widespread across nearly all major private-sector industries. Overall, private-sector employment fell by 611,000.

The number of unemployed persons increased by 563,000 to 13.7 million in April. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has risen by 6.0 million, and the unemployment rate has grown by 3.9 percentage points.

The Latest Employment Numbers

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