Archive for September, 2009

A sign of the times

I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this as the year comes to an end. I’m sorry to see them close.

A sign of how competetive the grocery market is in Salem, the Super Supper store on Commercial St. is closing due to the sluggish economy. In an email sent to me from a reader, the owners explain the difficulties in making this decision.

Super Suppers Closing Soon

Is anyone else bringing their meal assembly business to an end?

DUNKIN DONUTS: Time to Sue the Franchisees!

In these tough economic times Dunkin Donuts is suing franchisees to make ends meet? Meal Assembly owners should take heed. There’s a couple of brands out there which might take this idea to heart.

Is Dunkin’ Donuts aggressively litigating its own franchisees for profit?

That’s the claim being made by franchisee attorney Robert Zarco, who states “By far and away, Dunkin’ is the most litigious brand out there.”

DUNKIN DONUTS: Time to Sue the Franchisees!
DUNKIN DONUTS Franchisees Band Together

Dream Dinners enters 21st Century

Two years after the rest of the Internet discovers the boon that a blog can be for business and marketing, Dream Dinners recruits a ten year old, or at least someone who isn’t a hair stylist, to take command of their IT department and finally figures out how to launch one. (Actually they got the fine folks at WordPress to do it). While it certainly would have been a novel idea back in the day we should give them credit for trying something new, relatively speaking.

And what does this new fangled blog offer? Not more Chef Touched Tips so at least we have that going for us. Rather, it links to articles and news items related to health, meal preparation, back to school tips and lots of other "filler" information that some people might be interested in. They also have their own personal Doctor they quite from quite a bit. Blogs are always a good idea, but again, it would have been more practical to get this off the ground a couple of years ago. Kind of funny that many of their store owners have had blogs for the past year or so. Maybe they should have one of them for help…

When will Super Suppers be bankrupt?

Using the awesome power of Excel and the Trendline function that question can now be answered with a pretty high degree of accuracy. At their current rate of decline they will cease to exist around November of 2010.

Personally I don’t think they have that long. This is a best case scenario if you will. I think the reality of the situation will be a steadily increasing closure rate for the rest of the year. I think they’re poised for a pretty big snowball effect and those last few stores won’t have much to hold on to. Considering the support and infrastructure seems to be gone how do they plan to keep businesses open?

But if they somehow manage to keep their current pace they have about twelve more months before they hit rock bottom. If you don’t have one already, better get working on that exit strategy.

Dinner for Life – Now with ridiculous membership fees

Has anyone actually gone to look at the Dinners for Life enrollment terms? I have seen several articles pop up stating customers can get a discount on this enrollment? Enrollment? Who the heck would pay extra money to go in and make meals at a Dream Dinners location? What the devil does this extra money pay for? From what I read you are just paying to access their site and use their recipes? What kind of charge is that?

"When placing an order with Dinners for Life you will need to enroll in our program which will allow you access to our menu and other resources that may come available."

Guest Enrollment Agreement

Accessing their menu now comes at a cost! Of $49.95! And go ahead and read that last line again – "resources which MAY become available." For $50 you MIGHT get something useful – in about 6 months if Dream Dinners lasts that long and doesn’t go bankrupt.

Further, if you read the fine print, if customers fail to come back to Dream Dinners with the specified time period (a 60-day period and as we all know most customers no longer attend every month or even every third month), they will charge you another enrollment fee when you place your next order. Stick it to me one more time!

So this service, which may or may not exist, but sounds like it’s no different than what the regular Dream Dinners offers, comes with extra charges, and if you fail to keep ordering their meals (which most people do) they will gouge you for another membership fee the next time you place an order.

How can you possibly justify charging a membership or enrollment fee? This business is going completely into the crapper and the answer to enticing people to come in is to stick it to them with fees that don’t do anything or serve any real purpose. That is certainly thinking ahead and giving customers what they ask for, useless fees! Especially in these economic times this idea doesn’t make any sense at all.

Stay classy Dream Dinners! You certainly know how to give customers what they want. I’m have no doubt customers will eat this one up!

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