Archive for the ‘Supper Thyme’ Category

Meal-prep competition heats up

As published in: Franchise Times – February 2007

“The empty store is hospital clean in the mid-afternoon of a December day, as Kate Tennessen, a Supper Thyme franchisee in Minnetonka, Minn., waits for scheduled clients to show. Interrupting the quiet, a man walks in and asks what the store sells. She answers his questions, he responds with a grunt, and walks out.

“I get a lot of that,” she says, adding that men typically don’t understand the concept of a meal-preparation business, where customers prepare meals to take home, freeze and cook at a later date. “They’ll come in and try to order something to go.” “

The MealBlogger


Meal Assembly – A New Marketing Platform for Brands

A very good and lengthy discussion about the industry. <requires registration>
“Meal Assembly – A New Marketing Platform for Brands

New types of retail store formats pop up all the time, but of the concepts of the past few years claiming to be truly unique, meal assembly centers may actually have a point to make. In a sense taking the middle ground between grocers and restaurants, at meal assembly centers, customers follow simple recipes, putting together pre-cut and per-measured ingredients provided by the center; then bringing the fully assembled meals home for final heating and serving, or to be frozen for later use.

There are social and even educational aspects involved with the center environments that are more akin to cooking classes than food shopping or buying take-out. And based on this week’s announced pairing of Kraft Foods with Illinois-based Dinner by Design, the meal assembly business may demonstrate some interesting brand marketing talents as well.”

The MealBlogger


Publix joins meal prep market preps for create-a-meal

Another article about the Publix market.

“Publix joins meal prep market preps for create-a-meal
The chain plans to open a test site in the bay area, where several smaller shops have already emerged.
Meal prep exploded out of the Pacific Northwest into a industry with revenues topping $270-million in 2006. The spark was two working mothers in Snohomish, Wash., who went into business sharing recipes for homemade frozen gourmet entrees. Their Dream Dinners now has 234 franchised stores. Super Suppers from Forth Worth, Texas, has 200.
Still, most stores are single units run by would-be entrepreneurs. They have a habit of clustering in the same upper-end neighborhoods, insuring the industry eats its young. A store count from the Easy Meal Prep Association found 301 stores opened in 2007 while 138 closed.”

The MealBlogger

Speaking of Krispy Kreme

This is a great article, it maps very well to the meal assembly industry’s growth at all costs mentality.


The rise and fall of Krispy Kreme is a cautionary tale of ambition, greed, and inexperience.
Kate O’Sullivan, CFO Magazine
June 01, 2005

What could be more perfect than a Krispy Kreme doughnut? Hot from the fryer and loaded with sugar, the Original Glazed is practically irresistible. For a time, Krispy Kreme’s stock seemed irresistible, too. When the company went public in April 2000, at the peak of the Internet whirlwind, investors flocked to buy into a business they could understand. An old-fashioned franchise based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. boasted solid fundamentals, adding stores at a rapid clip and showing steadily increasing sales and earnings.

But Krispy Kreme also had a mystique. Its doughnuts, available for many years only in the Southeast, had attracted a devoted, even fanatical, customer base. When the company decided to go national, it opened franchises in locations guaranteed to generate buzz – Manhattan, Los Angeles, Las Vegas – and customers lined up around the block. By August 2003, KKD was trading at nearly $50 on the New York Stock Exchange, up 235 percent from its initial public offering price of $21 on Nasdaq, and Fortune magazine was calling Krispy Kreme the “hottest brand in the land.” For the fiscal year ended in February 2004, the company reported $665.6 million in sales and $94.7 million in operating profit from its nearly 400 locations, including stores in Australia, Canada, and South Korea.

And then, just as rapidly as its popularity spiked, Krispy Kreme pitched into a steep downward spiral that may yet end in bankruptcy. The company’s woes surfaced in May 2004, when then-CEO Scott Livengood blamed low-carbohydrate diet trends for Krispy Kreme’s first-ever missed quarter and first loss as a public company. That raised analysts’ eyebrows, as blaming the Atkins diet for disappointing earnings carried a whiff of desperation.

You have a better chance of long-term success if you make sure your franchisees get rich first.

A great comment I just found on this site.

Ray Kroc: McDonald’s

A broken-down salesmen in his 50s confronts a hamburger stand in rural California and wonders where he can take it.

Kroc turns the franchise concept on its head by treating his franchisees as equal partners and negotiating great deals with suppliers on behalf of them.

Lesson for today:
You have a better chance of long-term success if you make sure your franchisees get rich first. Krispy Kreme Doughunts missed the lesson of Ray Kroc and has paid a heavy price. The company buried its franchisees in debt, rather than lifting them up as Kroc would have done.

The MealBlogger
mealblogger at gmail dot com

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