Archive for the ‘Meal Assembly General’ Category

Meal assembly store survives

This does show that the independent store is far more adaptable than the larger franchises who don’t understand the needs of customers on the whole let alone at a local level, however, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. There is a big difference between being a survivor in this mess of an industry and bringing home a salary that allows you to pay all your bills, have money for yourself and still spend time with your own family around the dinner table.

Also, it’s quotes like this that still make me wonder if people really understand this industry:

""People still need to eat," she said, adding that her meals are still cheaper and healthier than picking up fast food for a quick meal."

Hanging your hat on that mantra will lead to bankruptcy, as we’ve already seen…

Nationwide, the number of meal assembly businesses increased from four in 2002 to 1,400 in 2007, according to a recent story in The New York Times. But growth has slowed considerably. About 260 stores closed in 2007, and three times as many closed the previous year, according to the story.

Sioux Falls has experienced a similar downturn. Of the three businesses that opened, only the local player, Your Secret Kitchen, is still around.

Owner Kim Schetnan said it’s because she’s a locally owned business that she’s been able to survive. She was able to adapt more easily to the changing market.

Meal assembly store survives

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.

Dream Dinners of Fort Mill Sponsors Holiday Fundraiser to Feed Families in Need

Charlotte, NC – Dream Dinners of Fort Mill, a local dinner assembly franchise that specializes in providing easy-to-assemble entrees, has announced its sponsorship of another “Holiday Meals from the Heart” fundraiser to benefit families who are unable to afford Holiday dinners in the townships of Fort Mill and Tega Cay.

This event follows the Thanksgiving Fundraiser held by the franchise on November 17 in which owners Meera Pattison and Marybeth Lakshmanan, along with Professional Insurance Consulting, Inc. & Compass Community Magazines, raised enough funds to provide 11 local families with Thanksgiving Dinner. The event was well-attended by local area residents including Fort Mill mayor-elect George Sheppard who stopped by to show his support. “Because of the outpouring of support from the local community, 11 families were able to have a nice Thanksgiving meal-something they would not have been able to do if it weren’t for the generosity of the local community,” says Pattison.

Dream Dinners of Fort Mill Sponsors Holiday Fundraiser to Feed Families in Need

At Year’s End

If you’ve been following along for the past couple of years this is the time when I reveal my mystical insight about the meal assembly industry and foretell how the events of the New Year will unfold. But at this point in the game, what’s left for this wreck of an industry? To say more stores will close would be redundant and obvious (even though it’s going to happen, en masse). No points for that one I’m afraid. So what else is there really to say?

Super Suppers is nearly defunct, it exists in name only; there’s nothing holding this company up. Just look at the number of stores they’ve lost this year. What can you say about a 60%+ failure rate? Even the franchise creator has walked away to try something different.

The gals at Dream Dinners are relying on a new name and their brand new unique idea to bail them out of the troubles that have overshadowed them for the past year. Appealing to the busy working mom and family hasn’t worked out so now they’re going after the diabetic crowd, because clearly, they have a lot more time to come in and make meals.

Besides targeting this very niche market they’re also espousing the works of this mysterious Dr. Brent and rehashing all the same news articles from two to three years ago. It might make for good keyword indexing, but that’s about it. Endless stories of spending time around the dinner table and talking to your kids had their place. It got some interest back in the day, but you can’t keep playing the same song over and over again. It’s time for something new, or better yet, it’s time to come to terms with reality.

Even with this “new” image the leopard can’t change its spots and in the end Dinners for Life will get the same acceptance as the parent company. There might be a spike in customers, perhaps even a spike in owners who ignore the truth, but this new idea will burn out more quickly than the idea it’s based on. Dream Dinners is quickly crashing to 100 stores (down from 220, and certainly down from 180 when declarations were made that everything was fine).

Even the meal assembly experts have decided to keep quiet. Are you hearing any real news about this industry? Has anything of consequence really happened this year? Will anything of consequence happen next year? What was the last meal assembly article you read? And what was the last big ad campaign?

Meal assembly ended last year, but some people refuse to admit it. How some stores got this far is a mystery to me; there’s no money to be made in it. We certainly didn’t make 3,000 stores and a billion dollars in revenue did we?

It’s The Beginning Of The End

We’re heading into the final days with only three short months left in this year. To me, Halloween basically marks the end of the year. After that you have all the planning for Thanksgiving and Christmas which makes the days seem to fly by. It’s also the time when corporate offices bring all their projects to an end. People are planning to be out in November and December so hardly anything gets done until the start of the new year.

For the office I’m in we’re already pushing back projects to January and figuring out who’s going to be gone so we know what we can work on and what has to wait.

But as far as the meal prep business goes, how is it going to fair during this holiday season? It really didn’t seem to make a dent last year and most people opted to take care of the cooking themselves. There was some scaling back on how much was spent and how much travel was involved, but having a meal assembly store make the meal didn’t seem to be in the cards. Is there some indicator that says this end of year is going to be different?

The summer didn’t hold any mysteries and like the Great Pumpkin, the back to school rush never did materialize. We had a lot of high hopes and there was a lot of expectation, but in the end it just didn’t happen.

Now with the year winding down, will meal assembly be called on to help with the family cooking? Has there been enough advertising to entice people to come in? Are the prices low enough to convince people it’s cheaper to go to a meal prep store rather than do it themselves? Have there been enough initiatives to draw in a big enough crowd to keep owners from going broke at the end of the year? Have these new blogs, Facebook pages and Twitter ramblings grabbed the attention of enough new and lifelong customers?

In a bit of an ironic twist a lot of new articles and research shows that men take on the challenge of making the holiday meals. And if that’s true, they are the least likely to visit a meal prep store. If you combine those two it pretty much seems meal assembly is not only targeting the wrong audience at this time of year, but that audience isn’t all that interested in their goods and services. Third times a charm for not being invited to the party. Regardless of the season, meal assembly is always on the outside looking in.

Now seems like as good a time as any to start thinking about what to do in 2010. A new year awaits and in a lot of respects it’s not going to be a whole lot better than what we just went through.

As they say, the clock is ticking…

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