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Bistro MD vs Home Chef
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.
Developed in 2005 by Dr. Caroline Cederquist, bistroMD emerged from her experiences with patients at her medical weight loss clinic. She observed that even the most committed patients struggled when it came to knowing how to eat healthy at home. All of the meals created for bistroMD are designed to help customers reset their metabolism and lose weight by giving their bodies the right balance of macronutrients.
bistroMD offers four primary menu selections in their meal delivery program: Standard, Gluten-Free, Diabetic, and Menopause. From there, you'll choose how many days a week you'd like to eat their entrees - 5 or 7 - and whether you'd like the full program of breakfast/lunch/dinner or just lunch/dinner on each of those days. You can also take a look at the Silver Cuisine, Men's Program, and Women's program - with specific nutritional plans based on each respective group; those links are at the top of the page.
Once your order is placed, bistroMD's team of dietitians will put together a customized plan for your weekly delivery. You can always see in advance what your team has selected for you; if there's something that you don't like, you can remove it from the schedule and replace it with any one of the 150 meals that are available for delivery that week.
All of bistroMD's entrees are cooked from fresh ingredients, and then frozen in a vacuum-sealed pouch, to be shipped in a dry ice container to your doorstep. You'll have a nutritionally-balanced, delicious meal to eat after just a few minutes in the microwave.
There's no contract to sign, but we did see some customer reviews mentioning that they were billed for the second week of deliveries before they'd even gotten the first week's food, so watch for that.
bistroMD does have a satisfaction guarantee too: "we'll do our best to make it right or refund your money". We were pleased to see that their reps actively respond to customer complaints, resulting in a solid "A" rating with the Better Business Bureau. A few customers said that they were only offered a percentage of their price and not a full refund, but most were able to get a satisfactory response to the problems they had.
One of the most appealing aspects of bistroMD's meal delivery program is the price. At the time of our review, there was a promotion offering an attractive 25% discount on the first week's food; even without the savings, their prices tend to be more affordable than many other services, without sacrificing any quality in the food. For example, the standard program that includes 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners (with one night, called "My Night", left as a do-it-yourself option for eating out or practicing your own healthy habits), is regularly priced at $179.95. When we reviewed the site, the promotion brought that down to just $134.96. Compared with all of the other services in our review, which are typically cost at least $9 per serving, bistroMD is a bargain.
Another perk is having access to dietitian support. Individual and group sessions are available with your meal delivery plan at no extra charge. You'll also get weekly wellness updates from their team of doctors, dietitians, trainers and even the "resident foodie".
Of course, bistroMD isn't going to be your ideal meal delivery service if you want a box of fresh ingredients to assemble and cook, or if weight loss is not your primary goal. However, if the idea of getting balanced, tasty meals delivered to your home interests you, and you're hoping to drop a few - or many - pounds, consider partnering with bistroMD to make it happen.
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.
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:
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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