Dinner preparation is something that busy parents often feel they no longer have time to do adequately with the increasing demands of work and family. Eighty-one percent of Canadian women report working at least part time outside of the home--one of the highest rates in the world. Women's gains in the workplace have not been mirrored by men's increased responsibilities at home, though. Although more men than ever before report doing some sort of core housework, like dinner preparation, laundry or cleaning, women still do twice as much housework as men, on average.
With researchers pushing the importance of family dinners for the healthy social development of children and the preservation of the family unit, it's no wonder that parents, and women especially, feel a great deal of pressure to prepare home-cooked meals.
This helps explain the surge in popularity of meal-prep stores. A meal-prep store, or meal-assembly store, sells either pre-made entrees that need only be cooked or provides the facilities and materials for customers to assemble their own entrees. This allows busy people to still provide home-cooked dinners for their families without having to prepare them individually each evening. While slightly more expensive than food made at home, it is significantly cheaper than takeout. It is also a great deal faster than traditional home cooking. A customer can prepare six dinners in one hour at an assembly facility.