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      July 19, 2018

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Meal Delivery

  1. Bistro MD
  2. Veestro
  3. Home Chef
  4. Sunbasket
  5. Hello Fresh
  6. Blue Apron
  7. Diet To Go
  8. Gourmet Station
  9. Harry & David
  10. Magic Kitchen
  11. Personal Chef To Go
  12. Martha & Marley Spoon
  13. Plated
  14. Home Bistro

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Bistro MD

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Home Chef vs Gourmet Station

Best Meal Delivery Programs

To help you find the Best Meal Delivery, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of Home Chef and Gourmet Station.

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Who is the best Meal Delivery company? Are you looking for a way to simplify dinner after a long day at work? Using a meal delivery service has become an easy way of getting nourishing, flavorful food on the table without the hassle of grocery shopping.

Of course, the most popular reason for using a meal delivery company is the convenience. Customers love being able to order their favorite entrees, side dishes, or even appetizers and desserts, and to choose how much cooking they'd like to do. Some meal delivery services are reheat-and-eat, while others provide you with all of the ingredients you need to create a restaurant-quality meal in your own kitchen.

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Best Reviews

2018

Prepared Meal Reviews

4 stars
Home Chef

HOME CHEF Visit Site

Cost:

Starting at $7.99 per serving

Shipping is free on orders over $45

Home Chef is one of the original services to help busy people create meals at home with convenient delivery of fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes. With more than 10 million meals delivered in a year, this company has definitely made an impact on people's ability to enjoy a home-cooked meal without the stress of planning or shopping. And, with an upcoming partnership with the Kroger family of companies, Home Chef's reach continues to expand.

Your order will include fresh, pre-portioned ingredients for recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. One convenient part of Home Chef's service is the ability to plan your meals up to five weeks in advance. You can take a look at the available entrees without having to sign up for their service; some of their client favorites are Korean Fried Chicken, Wood-Fired BBQ Chicken Pizza, and Creamy Parmesan Steak Penne.

To be able to look at Home Chef's options for your meal delivery, you'll need to enter your email address (which we don't love having to do). You may also get offers as you start the process. We got a pop-up offering a savings of $30 on our first order if we entered our email address, so keep an eye out for any extra discounts that might come your way as you browse the site. Just a step or two later as we were setting up our account, we got another "flash sale" discount of $10 to apply to a future order.

As you set up your plan, you'll need to make a few selections, like how many meals you'd like to prepare each week, anywhere from 3-6. One plus of Home Chef's meal delivery options is the ability to order for a larger family. You can choose plans for 2, 4, or 6 people - and, of course, if yours consists of 3 or 5, you can pick a plan that might leave you with some leftovers.

Next, you'll need to select if you prefer to eat meat, seafood, or vegetables; you can select all 3 if you wish. Then, you specify if you want options like low-calorie or low-carb meals, or if you'd like to avoid certain ingredients (for example pork, soy, wheat, milk, nuts, mushrooms, shellfish, soy, or red meat).

From there, you're taken to the delivery address screen. Be sure not to miss the requested delivery date drop-down on that page as well, otherwise you'll get the default of Tuesday. Delivery options are Tuesday through Friday (at least in our area).

Home Chef had received some criticism in the past for not making customers amply aware of their cancellation and refund policies; but, compared with their competitors, Home Chef's approach seems fairly standard. You can cancel or pause your weekly deliveries at any time, and they'll give you a refund or credit if you're not 100% satisfied with your delivery. If only part of your meal shipment is a problem - maybe the cilantro was too wilted to use or a can was dented- Home Chef reserves the right to decide whether they'll issue a credit or a replacement for just that portion of your order.

Evidently, the BBB agrees that Home Chef is responding appropriately to customer concerns, because at the time of our review they had given the meal delivery service a rating of A+. Actual customer experiences are more of a mixed bag. More recent reviews tend to mention poor delivery service, because at least in some areas Home Chef switched from a big-name shipping company to a smaller one that hasn't been as reliable. We also saw continued complaints about pausing or canceling service through the website; some customers kept getting deliveries even after trying to put it on hold or stop the service altogether. Even some of the most positive reviews mention getting a delivery that was missing part of the meal - including main components like salmon or chicken, not just smaller items like spices.

Home Chef is a fantastic choice for people who want to cook and just need the convenience of pre-planned recipes and easy delivery of ingredients. This meal delivery service is likely to be a winner for larger families that might not find options with other services. Just be sure to keep a close watch on your orders, to ensure that everything arrives as expected; don't hesitate to contact Home Chef's customer service to request that they fix anything isn't as it should be.

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3.5 stars
Gourmet Station

GOURMET STATION Visit Site

Cost:

From $79.99 and up

Gourmet Station has been offering meal delivery since 1999, with more than 100,000 customers in their two decades on the market. Many of their choices are focused on gift-giving, providing upscale dinner options that can be used for employee rewards and incentives and client gifting or for holidays and other events. Of course, all of their selections are available as a personal indulgence for special occasions like anniversaries and birthdays.

The easiest way to shop the Gourmet Station website is by category: Dinner Gifts, Occasion Dinners, Meal Plans, Gift Certificates, Monthly Clubs, or Soup & Appetizers.

Dinner Gift options are impressive:

  • Occasion Dinners for Two - priced at $109.99, you get a card, white cloth dinner napkins, a floating candle and free gift packaging, in addition to your choice of four-course meals (Americana, Parisian, Tuscan). You'll get to choose the bread, soup, entree, and dessert, as well as a coffee or tea and candy.
  • Four-Course Gourmet Dinners for Two - for $99.99, you can select from Parisian, Tuscan, or Americana options (the same as the previous package, minus the extra gift items like the candle).
  • Three-Course Gourmet Dinners for Two - priced at $89.99, you'll get to choose an appetizer, two entrees, and a dessert.
  • Gourmet Dinners for Two - if all you need are the entrees, you'll pay $79.99. Choices include Chicken Cordon Bleu, Lemon Dill Salmon, Mushroom Ravioli and more.

Other selections in the Dinner Gift category include Wagyu (Kobe) Steaks and Steak Dinner Gifts and Dinner of the Month. This last option can also be found in Gourmet Station's Monthly Clubs: if you want a regularly-scheduled meal delivery for yourself or for a lucky gift recipient, the possibilities range from Soup or Dessert of the Month to full 2-, 3-, and 4-course dinners.

On the other hand, if you're specifically looking for meal delivery services that help you with dinners during the week, you'll want to look at Gourmet Station's Meal Plans. These are packaged for one person, for five meals a week. You'll be able to select from Tuscan, Parisian, Cajun, Americana, and International menus. For $144.99, you'll choose five entrees from the categories of Pasta, Beef, Pork, Seafood, and Poultry. Each entree comes with a side vegetable, but you don't get to choose which one you get; depending on the menu you select for the entree, you may get Oven-Roasted Tuscan Veggies, Creamy Spinach & Artichokes, and so on.

All entrees come deep-chilled and should be refrigerated on the day they're delivered. You should eat your entrees within 3 days; otherwise, you can freeze your entree and reheat at a later time. Gourmet Station's meals need to be reheated in an oven, not a microwave. This allows the full flavors and textures of the gourmet meals to be retained, but might be less convenient for people who want to be able to heat up their food more quickly or who don't have a full kitchen.

Standard delivery means that your meals will arrive via UPS on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, with the exception of major holidays. You can schedule special-occasion deliveries even months in advance, but you'll still be limited to those three days of the week due to UPS' scheduling.

Gourmet Station meal delivery is a good choice for people looking for restaurant-quality food, either for a special occasion or for those weeknights where no one wants to cook. But, for customers on a special diet or a limited budget, this service probably won't be the ideal fit.

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Continued from above

As these services have grown in popularity, the types of meals and plans has expanded as well. Has your doctor recently put you on a special diet, and you're not sure how to incorporate it into your lifestyle? Whether you're adapting to a diet that's low in carbs, diabetic-friendly, or even gluten-free, you'll find a meal delivery program that can help.

Are you interested in becoming a vegetarian but unfamiliar with how to create a balanced meal? Once again, there's a meal delivery service for that - use it for a few weeks to get ideas of lunches and dinners that you can recreate, or for as long as you like as you adapt to your clean, green way of eating.

As you consider which meal delivery service is best for you, you'll quickly see that they vary greatly when it comes to price, preparation, and types of food offered. Keep these criteria in mind as you decide which company fits your needs:

  • Reputation. What do past and current customers have to say about the meals they received and the overall experience, from ordering to delivery?
  • Cost. What will you spend for the meal delivery plan you choose, whether you opt for a la carte entrees or regularly-scheduled weekly or monthly shipments?
  • Variety. Does the meal delivery provider have an appetizing range of flavors and cuisines to choose from? Will you be able to select meals that you'll actually want to eat?
  • Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're unhappy with the service, the quality of the food, or the condition of the meals at the time of delivery, can you get a refund or a replacement?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best meal delivery services available today. We hope these reviews help you find the service that puts the food that you're craving on the table right away!

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