MyMenu will close two of its five Madison-area stores, at 2862B University Ave. and 6636 Mineral Point Road, on March 1.
But Gary Decatur, president of the Canadian food company, said Tuesday he hopes to find new locations closer to where the bulk of the business' customers live: in Middleton and Cottage Grove.
Decatur said MyMenu looked at shopping patterns, based on the company's rewards cards, and found that consumers were traveling quite a distance to get to the West Side stores. "It was eye-opening to us," he said.
Nine employees will be affected by the closings, but four of them will be moved to other Madison area MyMenu stores, Decatur said, and the others are expected to be offered jobs when the new locations open.
Although no new sites have been chosen yet, Decatur said the closings are part of a "bigger strategy."
MyMenu specializes in prepared frozen food, ranging from appetizers to entrees, side dishes and desserts.
The January-March quarter is the company's slowest sales period, he said. At the same time, MyMenu plans to convert its test market stores in Madison and Fort Wayne, Ind., opened in summer 2008, to franchise ownership, and to expand the franchise throughout the Midwest.
Decatur said potential franchise operators are being interviewed.
The other three MyMenu stores, at 1 Dempsey Road and in Fitchburg and Sun Prairie, will remain open. Decatur said the Fitchburg store, at 6309 McKee Road near the SuperTarget store, is the most popular MyMenu branch.
The company has 33 full-time and part-time employees in the Madison area. Decatur declined to provide local sales figures for the privately owned company.