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.”