There’s a new-ish kid on the block for getting your meals via cellphone app, and it’s Mealpal. It could be a great money-saving alternative for those who frequently pick up lunch from local restaurants.
What It Is
An app where you pay a flat fee every 30 days, and pick up cheap prepaid lunches from local restaurants. Each meal costs $5.99 if you sign up for 20 meals in 30 days, or $6.39 per meal for 12 meals in 30 days, plus taxes and fees. It’s available weekdays only, in the following cities: “Boston, Chicago, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., London, and Toronto”. And it looks like you have to request an invitation:
Each restaurant offers one selection per day, which you have to choose at some point between 5:00 PM the day before and 9:30 AM on pick-up day. One you select, you go to the restaurant to pick up your lunch, and do not make a line or pay anything extra. You see a list of ingredients and a picture of the meal when you order. Full details here. There appear to be somewhere between a few dozen to close to 1,000 restaurants per city.
- It’s cheap.
- No lines.
- No wasting time during the workday to decide what you will eat.
- Already prepaid.
- No flexibility – it looks like you’re locked into a meal once you order. What if you boss or your office crush asks you to lunch?
- You still have to pick up the food (no delivery).
- Me, if I have to walk a few blocks (and back) to pick up a meal in a suit in the summer heat!
This seems to me like an app with significant negatives and very limited usefulness. Of course, the main draws are that it looks quick and cheap. I imagine that this would be worth trying for those that frequently pick up food from participating restaurants already (or are willing to do it), and can stomach (pun intended) the negatives in order to save money.
GIF from Giphy