You can get lunch from restaurants for less than $6 with MealPal

Delivery may be all the rage these days, but to stand out, one meal company is hoping to prove that we’re not as lazy as we’ve made ourselves out to be. Meet MealPal, the pickup meal service that actually wants you to leave your home or office in order to acquire your sustenance.

Unlike other subscription services, the vast majority of which promise the ultimate in convenience by bringing everything to your doorstep (whether it’s a meal kit or a ready-made meal), MealPal wants you to subscribe to restaurants instead. Promising a vast network of 1,000 local restaurants, the startup gives customers an array of options from which to choose their daily lunch or dinner. Simply select what you want to eat and when you want to pick it up, then get off your butt and go get it.

But wait, you say — don’t some delivery services like Seamless already offer a pickup option? The short answer is yes, but not in this subscription model. You see, MealPal allows you to grab your food for a fixed price of either $6.50 or $7 for dinner, or $6 or $6.40 for lunch (depending on how many meals a month you’d like). So chances are, you’re paying a lot less for this service than you would be if you were to just order from the restaurant itself.

One thing to note, however. Each restaurant in MealPal’s portfolio only offers one option. And while that may initially seem like a turnoff, this streamlining of optionality may prove useful in our fast-paced world, where the last thing you need is to make yet another decision during a busy day.

In any case, whatever MealPal is doing is clearly working, as the company has just raised another $20 million in funding to further growth in the many markets where it’s already available — the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. It’s also planning on expanding its service to France. Already, the company (which is just 18 months old) has delivered three million meals, and is apparently making money, too.

“The routine we’re targeting is, how you are getting your lunch on a regular basis?” co-founder Mary Biggins told TechCrunch. “We’ve been focused on the balance between convenient and affordable. Most can’t spend $10 to $15 per day on lunch, but something like what we have can be your go-to on a daily basis. You can access it regularly without paying too much.” She added, “We have spent a lot of time trying to understand the unit economics of our business. We have priced it competitively but also to sustain the business over the long term, and we’re not losing money on each order.”

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Smart Home

The best sous vide machines cook your food perfectly, every single time

Want to make four-star meals from the comforts of your own kitchen? Here are the best sous vide machines available right now, whether you prefer simple immersion circulators or something more complex.
Smart Home

Want a smarter home? Ditch the keys with these great smart locks

A good smart lock should offer a combination of security and convenience. Fortunately, these devices keep your home protected, your family safe, and your belongings secure from possible intruders.
Smart Home

Brew it fast, hot, and flavorful with our favorite coffee makers

Whether you're looking for a simple coffee maker to get you through the morning or a high-end brewer that will impress your taste buds and your friends, you'll find some of the best coffee makers around on this list.
Emerging Tech

Drones: New rules could soon allow flights over people and at night

With commercial operators in mind, the U.S. government is looking to loosen restrictions on drone flights with a set of proposals that would allow the machines greater freedom to fly over populated areas and also at night.

Some of Volkswagen’s electric models will wear a ‘Made in the USA’ label

Confirming earlier rumors, Volkswagen has announced it will build electric cars in its Chattanooga, Tennessee, factory. The facility currently produces the Passat and the Atlas. Production will start in 2023, Digital Trends can reveal.
Home Theater

Not chill: Netflix is hiking prices across all its tiers

Netflix has to get the billions of dollars it's spending on new content from somewhere. The streaming giant announced price hikes across the board, raising its monthly rates between $1 and $2 per tier in the next few months.
Movies & TV

NBCUniversal will launch its own streaming service in 2020

NBCU is prepping a streaming service filled with its original content for a debut sometime next year, meaning that Michael, Dwight, and the rest of the Scranton crew might be moving to a new home.

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.

Apple’s iPhone battery offer was reportedly way more popular than expected

As many as 11 million iPhone owners reportedly made use of Apple's cheaper battery replacement offer that launched in 2018 in response to the iPhone throttling debacle — some 10 times more than the company had apparently expected.
Home Theater

Cord-cutting has grown by 48 percent in 8 years, according to Nielsen

People are continuing to ditch cable but not all cord-cutters are the same. In fact, there are two distinct groups within the cord-cutting universe, with a very small, yet growing third group that's worth paying attention to.

Huawei in for a rough year as feds investigate alleged trade secrets theft

Huawei is also facing issues in the U.S., but it doesn't seem like that will end any time soon. According to a new report, the company is facing a federal investigation in the U.S. for allegedly stealing trade secrets.
Emerging Tech

Glowing space billboards could show ads in the night sky

Look up at the night sky in 2020 and you might see an ad for McDonald's floating among the stars. A Russian startup is working on a project that uses a constellation of small satellites in low-Earth orbit to create glowing ads.

OpenTable points can now be used to whittle down cost of a hotel stay

Have some OpenTable Dining Points built up? Now those points can also be used to make your own hotel discounts. OpenTable is teaming up with Kayak to use points as discounts on participating hotels.