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Snap Kitchen shuts Chicago operations

Snap Kitchen, a closely watched restaurant-retail hybrid, alerted customers and employees today that it will close all seven of its branches in Chicago next Thursday.

CEO Dale Easdon said the chain has changed its business model because of the brand's success in Dallas, another key market for the upstart. Snap Kitchen thrived there by selling its packaged meals through grocery stores and its website as well as via Snap Kitchen storefronts, Easdon wrote in an email to customers. The company did not have enough production space in its Chicago central kitchen to accommodate that strategy there, he continued.

The Chicago kitchen will also close on Thursday.

Snap Kitchens will remain open in Houston and Austin, Texas, as well as Philadelphia.

Easdon left open the possibility of returning to the Chicago someday, though with a different business model. The chain extended to seven locations there, including two satellites inside Whole Foods Markets.

The concept specializes in grab-and-go, prepacked meals. Customers can buy them on a meal plan-like arrangement, following a diet plan drafted by Snap Kitchen for the patron.

A similar concept, My Fit Foods, went out of business earlier this year.

Easdon is providing Snap Kitchen’s 75 employees with two months of severance pay, according to the Chicago Business Journal. Each will also be offered the opportunity to relocate to a Snap Kitchen in the chain’s remaining markets.

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