Fine Dining from the Assembly Line
For families who are pressed for time yet refuse to settle for fast food or frozen dinners, "mass assembly retail kitchen outlets" offer a solution. Chains such as Chicago's Dinner By Design provide food and kitchen facilities for customers to prepare up to 12 family-sized meals in a single two-hour session. Customers can rediscover the joy of cooking without having to worry about the shopping, tedious preparation or the cleanup... and socialize while they're at it. By controlling the ingredients, customers can also prepare food to family members' preferences (low fat, low carb, vegetarian, food allergies, etc.) Best of all, they leave with solid, nutritious and delicious meals... and don't have to cook again for a week! Dinner by Design's price of $200 per session is only a bit more than most families might spend for groceries each week, and certainly less than the cost of eating out regularly.
Dinner assembly lines are one of many services that seek to bridge the gap between people's desire to take back control of their hectic lives and the reality of busy schedules. In the days when most women were homemakers and meal preparation was a big part of their daily routine, such an idea would have seemed absurd. But in a world where time is a precious commodity, it's just one more quality-of-life service that makes sense.