Best Meal Delivery
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Bistro MD vs Plated
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.
Plated isn't your average meal delivery service. While they definitely can save you time and bring healthy meals to your table, their main goal is helping you become a more confident cook by expanding your culinary knowledge and maybe even your palate too. Every weekly menu includes choices like Steak Gyros, Salmon with Salsa Verde, or even desserts like Napoleons or Fig Shortcakes - all with fresh ingredients and simple instructions that lead to a finished product in an hour or less.
To get started, you'll need to decide how many servings you want per meal (2, 3, or 4), and how many nights per week (2, 3, or 4) you'd like to have a Plated entree on your menu. For a family of two that only wants two meals delivered each week, the price is usually $47.80. On the larger end of the spectrum, getting four 4-serving meals per week is typically priced at $159.20. At the time of our review, there was a promotion offering a 25% discount on the first week of meal delivery.
Plated doesn't give you a specific plan for your service - in other words, you won't find options for a menu that includes just vegetarian options, or gluten-free foods, and so forth. Instead, you'll choose among 20 different recipes (including dessert) from each week's menus. But, you can tailor your subscription to show you choices that meet your preferences (such as dessert-seeker, seafood lover, omnivore, and so on) from those 20 possibilities.
Plated has one of the widest delivery day ranges we've seen: every day but Sunday. Your box should stay cold until midnight on your selected day of the week, so there's no need to rush home from work to stick things in the fridge. As with comparable services of this type, your delivery includes everything you need to create your selected meal or dessert choices, including seasonal produce and specialty items that you might not even have at your local supermarket.
On the other hand, Plated has one of the most disappointing customer satisfaction policies we've seen with a meal delivery service: if you are dissatisfied or something is missing from your delivery, Plated "may, at [their] sole discretion, issue a credit." We found more than a few customers ranting how their delivery included moldy food, and Plated's answer was to give them a credit for just $12. Plus, many reviews of the Plated service said that the recipes were "just okay" and the ingredients weren't nearly as premium as they'd expect from a meal delivery company.
Another frequently-mentioned issue with Plated is their gift cards. Unfortunately, gift card recipients have to enter their credit card information to use their gift credit - and some of them then found themselves subscribed as a paying customer to a service they never wanted. That's not a great way to keep gift-givers happy.
Compared with other meal delivery services, Plated has a few unique features. But, their track record is definitely less-than-impressive, especially when looking at their refund policy (or lack of it). You'll probably find a meal delivery plan that's better to you and for you by selecting a service with a higher rating.
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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