Lunch can be fraught with indecision, long waits and too expensive lunches. MealPal launched last week in Seattle to help eliminate most lunch frustration. The service uses a subscription model to offer daytime meals for less than $6 a day. MealPal comes from the same people who helped bring flexibility to the standard exercise class with ClassPass.
"As a rising technology hub with a strong foodie scene, Seattle is a perfect market for MealPal," said Mary Biggins, co-founder and CEO of MealPal. "We are excited to connect Seattleites with their favorite restaurants in a new and more affordable way. Seattle has the potential to bring the best food offerings yet to our members."
Restaurants offer one special MealPal menu item per day which can be selected between 5 p.m. the day before until 9:30 a.m. the day of pick-up. Customers then select a 15 minute window in which to snag their lunch, bypassing lines and long waits. The service allows smaller kitchens to utilize a catered food preparation process which also helps curb costs for both the restaurant and customers.
Seattle Refined tried out the delicious service by first stopping at Lulu Salads in South Lake Union. We ordered our Lulu Chopped Salad the night before using the MealPal app and quickly selected a pick-up time. MealPal then added a reminder to our calendar along with the location. We did run into one hiccup when we went to pick-up our salad. Lulu Salads is a food truck and their regular location was under construction which meant they had been moved a few blocks over. MealPal did inform us of the change but not until two hours after our pick-up time. An extra walk on a sunny day was a welcome treat and the salad was one of the best we’ve ever had.
For our second lunch, we headed to Belltown for a Salmon Bowl from FOB Poke Bar which was an awesome value and delicious. The poke bowl we got was easily worth $12 but by using MealPal, we only spent $5.99. Pre-ordering through MealPal meant we by-passed the growing line and were out the door before parking enforcement could notice we hadn't paid for parking.
MealPal debuted in 2016 and is now in 14 markets around the world including NYC, San Francisco and Sydney. Currently MealPal is offered in the South Lake Union and downtown areas of Seattle. Seattle users who travel can also switch their location to grab MealPal while exploring the globe. There are two subscription tiers, which are prepaid for the month, offered in the Seattle Market: a 20-day package for $5.59 per meal, or a 12-day package for $5.99 per meal.
Biggins said the ideal customer for MealPal are working professionals looking for a way to have a convenient and affordable lunch that allows them to power through their days. MealPal certainly helps with those goals with the inclusion of more than 150 restaurants around downtown Seattle and South Lake Union at launch, including places such as Din Tai Fung, Evergreens Salad, Lulu Salads, Pokeworks, 206 Burgers, Pasta Casalinga, Kigo Kitchen, and more.