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Bistro MD Review

Tuesday, December 6th

2022 Prepared Meal Reviews

Bistro MD Review 2 Star Rating

Bistro MD

2 Star Rating
  • Meals are focused solely on weight loss
  • Meals start at $8.24/serving
  • 150+ entrees
  • Snack program add-on available
  • Many different programs to choose from: Men, Women, Gluten Free, Keto, Diabetic, Menopause, Heart Healthy, and so on
  • $19.95/shipping

Trying to lose weight? That's what bistroMD's prepared meals are about. Design a plan customized to your needs, get meals for weekdays only, or go full-on with 20 meals (and one dinner on your own) every week, because the choice is yours.

Which menu and how many meals?

There are several selections you need to make for your bistroMD prepared meals. Do you want a menu that's heart-healthy, diabetic-friendly, keto-focused, gluten-free, or that offers menopause support? Also, would you like all of your weekday meals covered and freedom on the weekends, or just leave a single weekend meal for your own choice? Depending on all of these selections, you can expect a minimum per-meal cost of $8.24.

Man or woman?

While creating a bistroMD account, you're asked to indicate if you're male or female. They don't provide any explanation as to why, though we'd guess it's for total caloric purposes. Still, in this day and age, there should be a reason - especially out of consideration for those who may prefer to say "none of the above" and need to know the effect of clicking one button or the other.

Snacks are optional

Also during the signup process, you get the offer of including two snacks a day for an additional cost. We weren't impressed by the heavily-processed chips and granola bars; most nutritionists would recommend whole foods like carrots or apples, but we guess these would do in a pinch.

Need to make any changes?

After you've paid for your first week of prepared meals, you'll see which ones were selected for your plan. If you see any that just aren't appetizing, you can swap them with ones you prefer. Vegetarians will have to take the extra step of reaching out to bistroMD's customer service department to have beef, pork, and chicken entrees manually removed prior to shipment. Be aware that if you're a vegan you're more or less out of luck here unless you want to eat the same thing for almost every single meal.

Best Prepared Meal Companies

Spendy on the shipping, and no choice of delivery date

If you're still convinced that bistroMD is the way to go, sign up for their email list to get a 25% savings on your first order. That includes free shipping, which is usually $19.95 per delivery. By the way, you don't get to pick when your prepared meals arrive: they get there when they get there, because we all love not knowing when the food we are counting on is going to be delivered...

Steep reputation drop

Which is more surprising to you: that bistroMD's rating from the Better Business Bureau is currently an "F" , or that it was an "A" the last time we evaluated them? The drop from the BBB comes from bistroMD's lack of response to three of the 13 complaints filed there, which in all honesty is not a big deal (you'll see other meal delivery companies with hundreds). However, customer reviews beyond the BBB tell a story of disappointment too: a full 30% of ratings call this service "average" , "poor" , or "bad" , saying that their meals were "bland, watery and slimy" and that they tasted very much like "cheap hospital food" . Hardly a ringing endorsement for these prepared meals. Might be a great way to lose weight after all, if you can't even stand to eat.

Wrong approach to customer service

In addition to the poor food quality, people frequently mentioned issues with bistroMD's customer service. When a company ships the wrong product (like a meal that should have been swapped or from a different menu category), the response should be along the lines of "we'll replace that right away" , "sorry for the inconvenience" , and "can we make it up to you?" That's not what customers seem to get, with support reps trying to lay the blame on the client. Pass.

A big disappointment

We struggle to find a single reason to buy prepared meals from bistroMD. You've got so many options for weight loss that don't require you to choke down disgusting food and be treated rudely by a customer service rep. We wish you bon appetit - somewhere else.

Which Prepared Meal Company is the Best?

We've all got so many tools at our disposal these days when it comes to mealtime: the traditional drive-thru run on our way home, getting our groceries delivered by Instacart, or even having our favorite take-out brought right to our house by DoorDash or UberEats. But, let's face it: many of those options are unhealthy, expensive, or both. And even with getting our shopping done online and our supermarket hauls delivered, we still have to do the cooking. Ugh!

Fortunately, prepared meal companies can help you eat healthy at the end of a hectic day (or even on the job). These aren't your average grocery store TV dinners, either. Sure, you can opt for frozen meals if you prefer, particularly for longer-term storage, but you've also got the option of having freshly-made, refrigerated meals that only need to be heated for a few minutes in the microwave.

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Prepared Meal FAQ

Prepared meal subscriptions are popular for the same reason your favorite fast food joint has a long line at the drive-through at dinnertime: they're convenient! Imagine never having to go grocery shopping again! However, most people who subscribe to a prepared meals plan use it to supplement their regular cooking rather than replacing every single meal (e.g. just for a few dinners a week, for all weekend meals, etc.).
That depends on the service you select. Some specialize in reheat-and-eat meals similar to a traditional TV dinner, while others deliver all of the ingredients you need to prepare the recipes they provide. There are also options for holiday meals, special occasion dinners, plus sides and desserts if you want to impress the crowd at your next office potluck - without having to do the work yourself!
Two words: convenience and taste. Would you rather come home to another dinner of ramen or PB&J, or to a box of fresh ingredients that you can pull together into a restaurant-quality meal in just a few minutes? Subscribing to a prepared meals service can help you get out of your fast food rut, spare you the agony of yet another week of meal planning and grocery shopping, or just add some welcome variety to your eating habits.
You might be surprised. Most prepared meal services let you see customer comments on each dish - while some might not have been a huge favorite, most have hundreds (if not thousands) of rave reviews. And, if you're not known for being terribly creative or skilled in the kitchen, prepared meals can help you get out of your comfort zone and expand your taste horizons.
It will definitely cost more than if you bought all of the ingredients and prepared them yourself. But, the per-meal cost is typically less than what you'd spend in a restaurant. Expect a cost-per-serving somewhere between $8 and $12, depending on the plan you select.
Most services offering prepared meals have several options to choose from, either as an overall plan (like vegan or gluten-free) or on a meal-by-meal basis where you choose from a menu of meals for the month and can avoid any ingredients that you prefer not to have.
Unfortunately, most prepared meal plans aren't going to be affordable if you're feeding a crowd every night. There are a few that cater to larger families (or that have more portions per delivery so that you can have leftovers, feed houseguests, etc.). These services even have some menus that are designed to be more kid-friendly.
That depends on the service. If your meals arrive in bad condition - rotten ingredients, thawed meals that were supposed to be frozen at the time of delivery, and so forth - you'll usually get a refund or a replacement. A few providers of prepared meals offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee with a refund or store credit, regardless of the reason.
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Continued from above...

Prepared meals are especially useful if you're trying to follow a special diet. Getting used to "going keto" , managing diabetes-friendly foods, or knowing what to eat on a renal diet can be frustrating and time-consuming. When you choose a prepared meal company, it relieves some of that burden from your shoulders - until you feel confident doing it on your own, or for as long as you like.

Some customers order prepared meals to help out in a time of need. For families of seniors who are struggling to get adequate nutrition - because they can't get to the store, their mobility or cognition is impaired, or they've got other challenges - these services offer them the peace of mind that their loved ones are consistently getting meals that are well-balanced and easy to prepare.

How does it work? Many companies require you to sign up for a recurring subscription: you choose the number of meals per week and the servings per meal, and they'll be delivered regularly unless you pause the plan, skip a particular delivery, or cancel the service. Others allow you to place orders as needed, but you'll often pay a higher per-serving cost for a la carte prepared meals.

Not sure which provider to pick? Don't worry. Here are a several criteria you can use to narrow down the options for prepared meals:

  • Fresh or Frozen. Do you have a preference? Keep in mind that most meals that are delivered fresh can still be put in the freezer for at least a few weeks.
  • Preferred Menu. Are you trying to follow a particular eating plan, like a weight loss diet or a strictly vegan lifestyle? Choose the prepared meal company that has recipes you'll actually want to eat.
  • Flexibility. Will you need to commit to a delivery schedule? If so, how easy is it to change days or skip a shipment? Can the meals be modified to be more to your liking, such as changing fish for chicken or adding more protein? Are there any extras you can add to your box, to save you a trip to the store?
  • Value. How much will you pay per meal, and how does that compare with what you'd normally spend at the store? Is it worth the cost for the convenience you'll get? Are there any discounts or other ways to save money?
  • Customer feedback. What do people say about the prepared meals and the company providing them? Does everything arrive well-chilled or still-frozen, or are there problems with thawed ice packs and other delivery issues? How's the taste? Does the company's customer service team handle problems poorly or professionally?

TopConsumerReviews.com has made it easier for you to find the right prepared meal company for your needs, by evaluating and ranking today's most popular services. We hope that this information will help you spot the perfect menu and take advantage of this fantastic time-saver. Let's eat!

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