Archive for the ‘Meal Assembly Franchise’ Category

Meal Assembly – The Long Slow Grind into Oblivion

A quick check of the tote board shows, unsurprisingly, another drop in the number of Super Suppers and Dream Dinners stores that have actually remained open.

Leading us off, Super Suppers drops to just 35 stores that still remain open across the country. Let us not forget that according to some numbers, Super Suppers may have had as many as 235 stores open in their hay day. A big of a fall from grace there I’m afraid.

Dream Dinners is also in a slump and is slowly but surely working their way to having less than 100 stores open. Best guess says they have around 109 still operating. Just like Super Suppers, they used to have nearly 235 stores operating when they were in full swing. Their failure rate is certainly tipping the scales at well over 50%. Not a good investment no matter how you look at it.

And across the nation the actual number of meal prep companies and the total number of stores still continue to drop. 20 more companies sobered up and realized there is money to be somewhere else. And with them they shut down over 60 stores. Only a 1/3 of the stores (out of the 1500 that were once open) are still out there.

I’m sure the numbers are still dropping and will continue to do so throughout the year.

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.

The end of the line for Super Suppers

Would it be considered ironic or laughable that Super Suppers will be closing down their corporate run store because they can’t make any money with it? As we’ve clearly seen, even the so called creators of this industry can’t make any money from an actual store, they can only raise capital by selling franchises to anyone who asks and then gouging them again when their store fails. Capitalism is a fine thing isn’t it?

So where does this leave Super Suppers? With an ever shrinking base of open stores it’s hard to imagine that the corporate office really serves any purpose, if there’s even a corporate office any more.

We all know Judie has abandoned the franchise for greener pastures so who’s at the helm? Is anyone actually steering this ship?

Are current owners looking to try and become independent owners or like the corporate owners themselves, just give up on the idea of meal assembly altogether?

As it stands now, Super Suppers is right on track to be dissolved well before the end of the year. Since we’re right on the cusp of Spring and then the long slow Summer, it seems like dark times ahead for this franchise and it’s remaining owners.

Seriously, if you don’t have an escape plan yet, you need to get one. This franchise is doomed, you need to protect yourself and minimize the damage. You might be able to make some headway as an independent but you need to have more than just hopes and dreams and the idea that since all the other stores are gone you can make money now. No one’s made money up to this point, why should the future be different?

From where I sit, this marks the end for Super Suppers.

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.

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