Franchises that went boom — or bust

Another fad that soon fizzled? Meal prep kitchen franchises. When the economy was fit, busy families indulged in the luxury of assemble-your-own-dinner services at franchises such as Dinner by Design and Super Suppers. The idea — which, truth be told, never quite made sense to us — is that Mom visits one of these commercial prep kitchens, puts together dinner for the week with conveniences such as pre-chopped ingredients, packs it up and takes home. We’re exhausted just thinking about it.

But in 2005 and 2006, the concept gained a big following. Super Suppers grew steadily during those years, jumping from 40 locations to 206, according to Investopedia, an online financial reference site. Its competitor, Dinner by Design, had 55 outlets. Needless to say, when the economy started to fail, so did Super Suppers and Dinner by Design. People went back to making homemade meals … at home. Now there’s a concept.

No new Super Suppers opened in 2008, and existing owners with SBA loans began failing at a quick pace — 42 percent last year alone. Dinner by Design has also stopped selling franchises and has 23 remaining locations.

 

Franchises that went boom — or bust

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