Despite numerous shuttered Make & Take Gourmet meal prep kitchens and rumors of franchisee contract buy-out offers and franchisee group lawsuit against the franchisor, Watertown NY franchise owner Jennifer Vail says things are great. In an interview with the Watertown Daily Times, Vail reports that she has 20 employees, several hundred regular customers and an average monthly purchase of approximately $100 per customer.
At 300 customers, that would equate to $30,000 per month, or $360,000 per year. While a respectable amount, that’s quite a bit lower than the Cicero store sales figures the Bellsos fed the press last year:
Make and Take’s Cicero location sells, on average, 3,000 meals per day, Bellso says. In December 2006, during the busy holiday season, sales increased to 6,000 meals per day, she adds.
Make and Take’s Cicero location will generate annual revenue of $1.2 million to $1.5 million, says David Bellso, Make and Take’s franchise-sales manager.
However, Vail, with owns the meal preparation business with her husband, Alan, sounds busy but upbeat:
“It’s like a 24/7 job…. I just wanted something else that would branch off into another direction. And this seemed to be a great fit. And it has been. It’s been phenomenal. I’ve been very lucky.”
“… the great thing about owning this franchise, because they give us all our recipes every month and they give us all the prep instruction and they tell us how to do the station layouts and all of that. It’s pretty easy.”
“We have 4,200 square feet here, which makes us the largest Make and Take Gourmet. It had to be in an area that’s well lit, in a safe location, because we have a lot of women that come here by themselves and we’re open at night.”
“Alan and I also decided we wanted it to be in a high-visibility location. Some of the Make and Takes are in the back of complexes and aren’t as visible. We have a great walk-in clientele, which is very, very important. We also wanted to have one that’s large enough in case we wanted to expand.”
“It’s key to get people in the door. Once we get customers in the door, then we’re golden. It’s kind of a glitch having people not really understand exactly what it’s all about. It’s the convenience. We’re all so busy anymore that most people do not want to go home and cook.”
“IN A MONTH OF BUSINESS, HOW MUCH WOULD THE AVERAGE CUSTOMER SPEND? “Probably, on average, $100.”
“WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU? “I don’t know. Not another Make and Take right away, that’s for sure. This is time-consuming enough for me…”
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