Ellicott City, Md. - When it comes to cooking, Dana and John Snyder are catering to those who can't, won't or don't have the time.
The couple will open a meal assembly business aimed at simplifying the dinner-making process by eliminating the shopping, prep work and clean up.
With two Melting Pot franchises already under their ownership, the Snyders were looking for a business concept to invest in that would enhance the lives of others on a day-to-day basis.
They saw an opportunity in Letís Eat!, a chain of do-it-yourself dinner assembly stores launched by Marni Poe and Melissa Slack in Tampa, Fla. in 2004.
The Snyders' 1,950-square-foot Letís Eat! store is like a combination of an immaculately designed commercial kitchen and a TV cooking show set with all the ingredients, utensils and accessories customers need to assemble their meals from a Letís Eat! menu which features 14 recipes that change monthly.
Letís Eat! dishes include Pasta Primavera, Brie and Mango Chicken and Spinach Lasagna.
In a two-hour session, customers can make eight to 12 dinners, all of which can be frozen and cooked later. Most of the meals are entrees, but each month there are also side items and dessert features. Each dish serves four to six people at $2.50 to $3 per serving.
Just as exceptional cuisine is an important element of the Letís Eat! concept, so is simplicity. Customers register for day or evening, weekday or weekend sessions at www.letseatdinner.com.
The Letís Eat! Web site offers in-depth information on what to expect. A Let°Įs Eat team member walks customers through the process before each session. A Letís Eat! team member can also assemble meals for a customer who is pressed for time.
"This area has a lot of working mothers and stay-at-home moms who don't have the time to put nutritious meals on the table," Dana Snyder said. "We feel that the Letís Eat! concept will enable busy families to come back to the dinner table."
Running two restaurants and rearing two young children leave the Synders strapped for time, too. The Letís Eat! model is a welcome convenience in their busy lives.
Dana Snyder learned about Letís Eat! through Slack, a fellow Florida State University alumnus.
Time-pressed and cooking-shy consumers have embraced Letís Eat! with such fervor that Letís Eat! will have 15 units open by the end of the year. All but Synder's store are located in Florida. Poe and Slack plan to open 294 locations in the next five years. The franchise fee is $25,000.
As a working mother, Snyder appreciates the valuable time and energy Letís Eat! services save her. But the concept is equally appealing to other demographics as well.
"Even single people lead busy lives that often have them eating take-out instead of nutritious meals at home," she said.
Snyder and her husband hope to open several more Letís Eat! locations in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The Snyders' Letís Eat! store is located at 10029 Baltimore National Pike, Suite #120, Ellicott City.
Quantified Marketing Group