Archive for the ‘Dream Dinners’ Category

Time to check in on store closings

Well, here we are just about half way through the year and since graduations are upon us, the long slow summer is just about to begin. So how have meal assembly stores faired since the beginning of the year? Normally I think the stats on the number of meal prep stores still around is greatly exaggerated and this time around is no different. I find it hard to believe that only 20 companies closed up shop and 53 stores total decided to close. Considering the complete lack of acknowledgement about this industry in the news and other places I find it hard to believe that only a few stores have closed down. Furthermore Dream Dinners only lost 7 stores and Super Suppers didn’t lose any. Really? Both franchises were losing 2-3 stores a month and now they aren’t losing any? Are these the last few stores actually making some sort of profit?

Quite frankly, I’m shocked. The fact that Super Suppers hasn’t shut down completely is an absolute miracle. Either the numbers are wrong or there are some really brave souls out there who are waiting for the economic tide to turn. Despite the fact that banks are closing, businesses are closing, unemployment is through the roof, things are going to change any second, right?

So here’s the question, are there really that many stores still in operation out there, or is the ASSociation that puts these numbers together, sells these stores on their site and sells products to these owner at conventions trying to paint a much rosier picture than reality?

I find it impossible to believe that Super Suppers, who has all but abandoned their franchise, makes no marketing attempts and is getting by on hopes and dreams didn’t close a single store in the last 6 months.

Dream Dinners – Less stores than what you thought

According to this PR Note, Dream Dinners is actually closer to 115 stores, not the 130 we keep seeing. So yes, they are coming to the end of the line as well.

Dream Dinners®, the leading meal assembly chain with more than 115 locations in the U.S., has retained Duo PR as its agency-of-record, effective immediately. In this role, the agency will focus on supporting Dream Dinners’ major consumer marketing initiatives and new product offerings via traditional media relations and grassroots campaigns, as well as provide all corporate communications counsel.

Dream Dinners in PR News

How did January work out for you?

The first month of the year has come and gone, so how did things work out for you? Did the Dream Dinners blog bring in lots of new customers for you? Did Stephanie’s riveting blog give you inspirational ideas to pass along to your customers? Did Judie’s TV show make you feel better about buying into her franchise? I’m sure it did!

And how did the rest of the country fair? Sales are up, right? Well, no. More stores are now opening, right? Well, leeches are suckering in their friends and customers to buy into this dog and pony show.

According to some new figures it should come as no surprise that Dream Dinners and Super Suppers both had more store closings. Super Suppers is just inches away from dropping below 50 stores. Through miracle of miracle, Dream Dinners is somehow managing to stay afloat with 130 stores. Perhaps those Dream Dinners owners just can’t admit defeat. But in the long run 16 more companies failed and another 55 outlets shut down (more than likely the owners went bankrupt over it).

Personally, I think the numbers are much lower. I’d be surprised if Dream Dinners still had a 100 stores actually operating. They love to play fast and loose with their numbers and in the past they had no problem listing a store that had long since gone out of business as "temporarily closed". And considering they’ve actually removed the franchise link from their sites I would venture to say they aren’t selling any more locations. Probably haven’t sold a new franchise in quite awhile.

Super Suppers is on the outs. I think by the time the summer months roll around, Super Suppers will be nothing more than a bad memory.

And what about all those other franchises we used to hear about? Exactly.

As you might expect, 2010 is starting off with more of the same for meal assembly owners.

Desperate times call for lies and deceit

This was sent to me by a reader of the site. What we have here is an email sent out by a store owner to her customers explaining how great the meal assembly business is and trying to con them into buying a Dream Dinners franchise of their own. From what I was told, the area where this store is located used to have multiple Dream Dinners franchises, multiple Super Supper locations, a My Girlfriend’s Kitchen and a handful of independent stores. All of which are now closed.

Looks like this is a desperate attempt by the owner to try and make money off some sort of franchise referral, or a sad attempt to see if anyone is stupid enough to buy a meal prep store and then unload her store on them "at a bargain price".

This is a pretty pathetic ploy. I can’t believe someone thinks this would work? Who would be moronic enough to buy into a Dream Dinners franchise, or any meal prep franchise for that matter? I can’t believe an owner would pull something like this on her customers.

Do you love Dream Dinners? Have you often thought what it would take to own your own store? Dream Dinners is looking for new franchise owners.

If you are looking for a fun, flexible, and gratifying business, Dream Dinners may be just the opportunity for you! Dream Dinners is the innovator and leader in the meal assembly business and has been for the last 8 years. There are existing stores/market areas available in North Carolina. It is a great opportunity to consider.

The investment depends on the store/location but is usually $125,000.00 – $200,000.00. You would be spending 30 – 50 hours per week on the business and a partner(s) is ideal. I do run the ****** store by myself and it is a lot of work. I am fortunate to have my original staff with me since I opened in September 2006 and they are a huge help. I love my Dream Dinners store and enjoy being there every day. The best part of my day is getting to talk to each Guest that visits the store.

I would be happy to talk with you further about the opportunities available.

Meal Prep Blunders of 2009

We’re not entirely sure what they did accomplish, but here’s some example of what other companies managed to pull off last year.

Top things meal prep failed to do in 2009:

And just keep in mind, this is what the franchise should have done, not ideas that should have come from the stores. This is what the royalty payments should have bought.

Give away a scholarship

Make an iPhone app

Use any of their websites to generate a few million in extra cash

Be a major sponsor for a TV show or sporting event like The PapaJohns.com Bowl

Splash their name all over a racecar

Film a commercial at Times Square during New Years

Donate toys to any worthy cause

Anything related to our troops and their families? Perhaps a discount of some sort?

Any sort of charitable donation?

Open more stores than they closed

These are just a few examples of what other food related companies are doing. I included GoDaddy because I find their advertising methods very unique and interesting. Plus, they sell domain names. People need food more than domain names right? But yet somehow they always manage to come up with money to sponsor things like SuperBowls and other extremely visible events. Now if they would only sponsor Oprah or Dr. Phil, then they would make some real money.

So what are those royalty payments going to?

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