Archive for December, 2009

Happy New Year!

I want to wish you all the absolute best for this upcoming new year and decade! Here’s hoping the new year brings you everything you want and more!

Some final thoughts for the year

As the year comes to a close, a few thoughts come to mind about the meal prep industry, and those "industry leaders", Dream Dinners and Super Suppers.

Dream Dinners has been using their blogs to promote Dr. Brent, but how does that benefit owners?

Personally, I had to ask just who this Dr. Brent was. The answer? He’s a farmer, who Vanity Fair thinks is sexy.

Mind you, I see nothing wrong with Dr. Brent or his ideology, in fact they sound pretty good, but I’m just wondering how constantly promoting him promotes the meal assembly industry and helps the struggling store owner in this down economy.

If Dream Dinners can promote Dr. Brent, who doesn’t seem to have any affiliation with meal assembly, how come there isn’t a section on asking their dietician for help and guidance? It would seem a little more "grass roots" to me if they turned to someone within their own ranks. It’s certainly possible I missed it (perhaps that chef touched tips site is a gem and has all the answers), but so far, I’m not seeing it.

Why is Dream Dinners using the same marketing materials they used 3 years ago? (I think the pictures are even the same) If it didn’t work back then, what makes them think it will work now? Do they figure everyone has just forgotten? Is this what they’re spending all that marketing money on; free blogs and rehashed brochure material? Not to mention the free Twitter and Facebook accounts (that again seem to promote Dr. Brent more than anything else). Hmm, what is Dream Dinners actually paying for?

Dream Dinners is acting as though Dinners for Life is a new idea and new company, not just a menu change from their original idea. Remember how owners thought it was just a "test"? Dream Dinners couldn’t con(vince) busy mom’s to latch onto their idea but now they expect to con(vince) diabetics (who probably have even less time and stamina to stand around and make meals) that what they’re offering is a good idea? I recall Dream Dinners promoting their "heart healthy" menu, how did that work out for them? Did it bring in droves of new customers through the doors?

Where is the Dream Dinners iPhone/iPod Touch app? Considering this is the device for the person on the go (and is selling like wildfire), how come none of the meal prep companies have made a way to order while on the go? Pizza Hut managed to figure out how to do it.

Companies like Dell have been able to bring in an estimated $3 million in sales using Twitter. What has Dream Dinners corporate accomplished with their account and its 380 followers?

As an aside, the SuperSuppers account on Twitter isn’t even owned by Super Suppers HQ, it’s used by a forward thinking store owner. Just another example of how technology challenged the meal prep industry is. We can’t all be hairdressers I suppose. Kind of also makes you think Super Suppers really isn’t in the game anymore, doesn’t it?

What do owners plan to do when Dream Dinners drops below 100 stores (thereby having only half the stores open they used to have, or a 50% failure rate)? Considering how things are going this should happen within the next 90 to 120 days. Escape plan anyone? Golden parachute? Bankruptcy attorney on speed dial?

What will owners do if Dream Dinners corporate loses the $30 million lawsuit? That court case has to be resolved some time.

With Super Supper barely clinging to 60 stores, do owners have a plan for the corporate office declaring bankruptcy? Since they really don’t seem to have a leader anyway, will there actually be much difference?

Besides the obvious store closings the meal assembly industry is in pretty sad shape. There are so many missed opportunities and oversights. Those in charge clearly don’t have the business savvy to turn this ship around let alone keep it on a steady course. A steady course in this case would be smashing into an iceberg. It’s questions like these that would make me cringe and keep me awake at night.

Merry Christmas!

I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and the very best for this holiday season! Have a wonderful day with family and friends!

So who’s a meal assembly millionaire?

Meal assembly has been around for five years now, perhaps a little longer, and that should have been plenty of time for at least a couple of millionaires to rise to the top, right? So who among you has become a millionaire because of your small investment in this industry? It would seem that if it’s been around this long, someone should be making money of it.

End of the year for me

One of the great things about working for the company I do, is that when the work is done, they have no problem giving us time off. We just did our last deployment of the year and they immediately told everyone it was time to head home for the holidays. Because of the vacation time I have I get to stay home until January 4th. Can you believe that?

Even for people who really didn’t have vacation time left those in charge said it was fine to leave and if they needed any help they would let people know or just leave it until next year.

I’m going to spend my time cooking, finishing my Christmas shopping and watching all those TV episodes I missed the past couple months.

Sometimes Corporate America isn’t too bad.

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