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'Easy Meal Preparation' Concept


jamiemaw
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I would love to check one of these places out but there are not any close by, heck maybe I should open one up....it sounds like it might be a sound investment!

Chris~

I was thinking the same thing and would LOVE to hear input from anyone who is in th eknow about the financial aspects of the business. It'd be nice to have one with some serious foodie input............

I have an interest in a lease on good location and I'm looking into a franchise with this local operation: http://www.mixitupmeals.com/index.asp

I'll let you know how it goes.

SB

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  • 4 months later...

I recall seeing this thread back when the concept first began gathering a head of steam nationally and prompted some discussion. My reaction at the time was... why? It didn't make sense to me.

Fast forward to this past weekend when I attended a picnic and chatted with the wife of my employer. She chooses to work close to full time (doesn't have to but prefers to do so) and they enjoy a level of affluence such that they could eat dinner out every night (if they chose to but it's not their preference).

One of her neighbors opened an independent version of this retail concept several months ago and it's been doing tremendous business. According to an interview with the owner (sorry - no link available) she looked at the franchises and believed that better food quality and a more inventive menu would offer greater assurances of success.

They bundle meals in a size that provides six entrees at an average price of $3 per serving. I'll admit to having been skeptical but I might try it once to see if the "better quality" really exists or if that's a relative term

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Don't you have ready meals in every supermarket in the US?

Here in the UK every supermarket is stocked to the gunnels with both fresh and frozen ready meals, of quality roughly proprotional to the price. Some are even quite reasonable for example I had the other day a perfectly acceptable salmon fish cake with hollandaise sauce. Maybe could have a bigger organic selection, but that is growing.

The profit in these is much greater than on the raw ingredients thanks to the "added value".

I have difficulty in seeing how the concept can work here.

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Don't you have ready meals in every supermarket in the US?

Yes, but that's not the main point of the concept.

The easy meal prep meals are "homemade with love by [usually] Mom"! Although they essentially become frozen meals -- ready to pop out of the freezer and reheat in the microwave or conventional oven, consumers feel they're "purer" and higher-quality because they see the ingredients that are going into each dish (although those ingredients may themselves contain artificial ingredients). And the concept assuages consumers' guilt over using commercial frozen meals, fast-food, or supermarket take-out. They have prepared the meals with their own hands, therefore it's "home cooking."

SuzySushi

"She sells shiso by the seashore."

My eGullet Foodblog: A Tropical Christmas in the Suburbs

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Don't you have ready meals in every supermarket in the US?

Yes, but that's not the main point of the concept.

The easy meal prep meals are "homemade with love by [usually] Mom"! Although they essentially become frozen meals -- ready to pop out of the freezer and reheat in the microwave or conventional oven, consumers feel they're "purer" and higher-quality because they see the ingredients that are going into each dish (although those ingredients may themselves contain artificial ingredients). And the concept assuages consumers' guilt over using commercial frozen meals, fast-food, or supermarket take-out. They have prepared the meals with their own hands, therefore it's "home cooking."

There are other compelling reasons as well

1) At $2.75 to to $3.25 per entree serving the cost in my area makes it about half the price of buying "ready tio heat and eat" meals at our local grocery store

2) Assuming you deal with a "make and take" vendor who uses quality ingredients you may have a better product

3) The flexibility of being able to control seasonings and ingredients - if you want less salt, more garlic, no onions, no mushrooms ... etc - that is controlled by the person "assembling" the meal.

My local operation is Make and Take Gourmet

I think I'll try out their $118 six dinner deal sometime soon. I'll keep some of the entrees myself, give a few to friends and family and then report back when I have a varied enough range if feedback to report.

If the quality is decent I may end up doing it again. My work day begins at 5 or 6 AM, runs until 5 PM or later and I rarely get back home before 7 PM. Menu planning, shopping, prep work, cooking and clean up takes too much time to make it practical to cook for one on weekdays. And weekends (at least during the summer) are often consumed with projects and travel.

So lately I've been living on a combination of gorcery store rotisserie chicken, bagged salds, fruit, dinoing out and supplementing all that with take-away dinners from my local soul food take-out restaurant. And as tasty as the soul food is I know darn well I shouldn't be eating it for so many meals every week.

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