Sisters Turned Dream Dinners Franchisees: A Family Franchise Success Story
Investing in a Dream Dinners franchise was a family affair for sisters and Dream Dinners franchisees Sara GilBride and Laura Prefling. Sara first heard about the Dream Dinners franchise concept and opportunity while she was living in San Diego, CA. Sara boarded a Southwest Airlines flight to Phoenix to visit her family and while on the plane read an article about Dream Dinners in an airline magazine and was instantly interested.
“I was so intrigued with the concept that I took the magazine to share with my family,” said Sara. “At that time, I started day dreaming about owning a Dream Dinners franchise, but didn’t actually think it would happen.”
Taking the Franchise Ownership Leap
The sisters understood the importance of family dinners. Growing up, Laura and Sara’s family ate family dinners around the dinner table each night, so they were able to recognize how eating family meals can positively impact the family unit, children’s development and eating habits. The women not only envisioned how investing in a Dream Dinners franchise could change their lives, but also how it could change the lives of people in their communities.
“If I was this excited about how it could change my life, I was certain that parents would be even more excited to have help getting dinner on the table without all the stress of meal planning, shopping, and prepping,” Sara said.
Although both of the sisters were excited about the opportunity, they shared their initial doubts and fears that they would follow through with their dream and become actual franchisees.
“[Sara] was so excited and I was too, but I was also extremely intimidated at the idea of owning our own business,” said Laura. Both of the women were young – Sara was 30 years old and Laura was 27 years old – and had no business ownership experience. “I first said ‘no’, but with the support and encouragement of both Sara and my mom, I knew I had to be a part of this dinnertime revolution.”
The next weekend, Sara attended a Dream Dinners session in San Diego and Laura attended a session in Phoenix, AZ. Both women were impressed with the opportunity and franchise concept and knew they had to get involved. Their mother was a true catalyst in getting the franchise opened. She really encouraged them and helped them take the leap and open a Dream Dinners franchise.
Transitioning into Dream Dinners Franchisees
Laura and Sara opened their first Dream Dinners franchise in August of 2006 in North Phoenix, Arizona. They soon after purchased an existing Dream Dinners franchise for sale in May of 2007 in Ahwatukee, Arizona and opened a third location in September 2013 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Laura and Sara co-own the franchise and split the responsibilities 50/50 but have clear roles. Sara handles the operations of the franchise and Laura handles the marketing and together they work on sales. Even their mother, their biggest supporter in convincing them to invest in the Dream Dinners franchise, has a role in the business – she’s the bookkeeper and keeps track of all the finances.
Since opening their first location, Sara and Laura have appreciated the family-feel of the Dream Dinners franchise.
“The culture of Dream Dinners is what I liked,” Sara said. “It is an incredible group of like-minded business people who want to make a difference in their community by helping parents with dinnertime stress. Over the years, Dream Dinners franchisees and the Home Office are like a family. Everyone is willing to help each other out so we can all be successful.”
By bringing a Dream Dinners into the three communities that these sisters have, they not only have changed the lives of their communities, but their own lives as well.
How Franchising Has Brought These Sisters and their Families Together
Although franchise business ownership means working a lot of hours, including nights and weekends, both of the sisters appreciate the flexibility that franchise ownership has given them. Laura enjoys the ability that franchise ownership has given her to be at home more during the day with her “little ones.” Sara enjoys not working a standard 9-5 because it allows her to make her own schedule and attend her stepdaughter’s and niece’s events that she would have had to miss otherwise.
Because their franchises are family-owned, both sisters said that the franchise has brought their family together.
“It has been so great to work alongside my Mom and my sister, Laura, on the business,” Sara said. “Our other sister, who lives in San Diego, is also a regular Dream Dinners customer.
Investing in three Dream Dinners franchises has been a rewarding experience for both sisters on a personal and community level. Getting to help parents and families is the most rewarding part of owning a franchise, Laura said. She is proud to be a small business owner, helping strengthen the local communities where the Dream Dinners franchises are located. Sara really enjoys helping her community answer the nagging question, “what’s for dinner?”
“Sometimes I get caught up in the day to day of the business, but when I am able to step back and see the bigger picture of what Dream Dinners is all about, I feel very blessed to be part of it,” Sara said.
For more information about how you could invest in a Dream Dinners franchise in your local community, visit the Dream Dinners franchise opportunities page today.