Tasty Trends: Make and Take Meals

They’re popping up everywhere, industrial kitchens where the average person can assemble their own dinner entrees using the store’s recipes, dishes and pre-chopped ingredients. Make and take stores post a different menu each month offering plenty of choices to choose from.

The concept is simple and is catching on across the country. This new idea of do it yourself food preparation has spawned a whole new sub-industry in the food business with many franchises, chains and independent stores opening from coast to coast. The stores are actually kitchens with a variety of work stations where customers assemble each entr�©e. Most operations offer choices of making either six or twelve meals that provide about six servings apiece. Some companies allow for splitting an entr�©e into two smaller containers. This helps out couples and smaller families and also makes it easy to share with a friend.

Each month, the store offers a menu of make and take meal entrees to choose from. They do all the prep work such as cleaning and chopping the ingredients and washing the dirty dishes afterwards. The employees set out the ingredients at the refrigerated workstations along with measuring utensils, bowls and spoons. Directions for each make and take meal are posted prominently.

During a one to two hour session, depending on the number of make and take entrees desired, the customers go from one station to the next assembling their meals into foil pans, plastic freezer bags or any other provided container. They affix labels with cooking directions onto the container and then place the meal onto their designated shelf in the store’s freezer.

After all twelve make and take meals are prepared, the customer loads them into an ice chest from home and heads back to their house where they’ll keep a couple meals in the refrigerator for immediate use and freeze the rest in their freezer.

These make and take sessions are becoming popular social events as well. Most facilities encourage the booking of private parties, some even have preprinted invitations. Mom’s groups and Girls Night Out type outings are particularly popular as are events for brides and expectant mothers. The friends each make a meal and give it to the person of honor at the end of the session.

Prices vary from store to store but range from about $100-$150 for six meals and $175-$250 for twelve meals. Make and take cooking offers a healthy alternative to fast food on those hectic nights when no one has the energy to cook.

Make and take style cooking joints are popping up from coast to coast in the form of franchises as well as independent kitchens. Clear some space in your freezer and get cooking!

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