Food Delivery App or Prepared Meal Service: You Be the Judge
At the end of a day, juggling work and family schedules, the magical words quick and easy often become the primary motivators for deciding what prepared meal service you’ll use to feed yourself or your crew dinner.
And really, the “I’m too exhausted to cook a well-balanced meal” mindset is the catalyst for the increasing popularity of outsourcing our food management. And that’s why so many choose to purchase from food delivery apps or subscribe to a personal chef’s prepared meal delivery service.
There are most definitely pros and cons regarding the choices for healthier options, taste, cost, and convenience of both services, so let’s spread those out on the table and dig in.
Are Healthy Meals an Option with Meal Delivery?
Because food delivery apps provide a wide variety of eating establishments for you to select from, the pro is that there really shouldn’t be a reason you can’t make healthier choices for your family.
So, is it possible? Absolutely. Is it probable? Well, that depends on how much time you want to commit to it. Determining what makes a meal healthy means different things to different families, especially if anyone in your family has food allergies or sensitivities.
If you wanted to go the food delivery app route, your best bet would be to set aside time to research which food delivery apps offer the best healthy restaurant options. Once you know that, you can scroll through the menus to find the dishes that look most promising.
And maybe that’s enough, or perhaps you want to go one step further and secure the nutritional information online. Either way, you’ve gathered a few restaurants, a few dishes, and all it cost you (up until this point) was time. For some, that might be the “con” of this situation.
Meals prepared by a chef in a commercial kitchen and delivered straight to your doorstep doesn’t sound too different from food prepared at a restaurant and shuttled to your home by a food delivery app driver, right?
Except it’s completely different.
Purchasing from a prepared meal service means a personal chef customized your meals specific to your family’s tastes and dietary preferences. This means you can specify keto, vegan or vegetarian dishes, or even sugar-free, gluten-free, or low-sodium options.
And you don’t have to dig for the nutritional information to ensure you’re eating healthy. Nope. Your personal chef will only prep nourishing, gourmet meals cooked from wholesome ingredients.
The only con we can figure is the 5-10 minutes it will take you to complete an initial food questionnaire. But after that, you benefit from customized menu planning, grocery shopping, and full meal preparation and packaging. And of course, once-a-week delivery to your refrigerator and freezer.
Do You Have to Compromise Taste for Convenience?
Will your hamburger be soggy or your french fries cold when they arrive a half-hour after you place your order on your favorite food delivery app?
Unfortunately, it falls on you to select food that will travel well when it comes to using food delivery apps. Too bad restaurants don’t initiate a taste test. Y’know, prepare the item, wrap it in whatever packaging they use, let it sit for a half-hour, and then taste it.
Food delivery app drivers pick their profit over your palate every time.
Let’s do the math.
The only way food delivery app drivers can make a decent profit is by picking up several orders in the near vicinity before delivering your food. And let’s be honest, unlike chefs promoting their prepared meal services, that driver doesn’t care about protecting any restaurant’s brand.
Admittedly, this is where food delivery app services fail to compete with a prepared meal service.
Some restaurants require delivery app drivers to have an insulated hot bag during their deliveries. Still, when they are out with multiple deliveries, that will only slow the hot-to-cold progression of your dinner.
So how can prepared meal services win in this scenario?
They stock your fridge and freezer with personally prepared meals from the finest ingredients. When you’re ready to eat, you only need to reheat the food and serve it.
It’s fresh. It’s easy. And it’s faster than pushing off meals for the average 30 to 40 minutes it takes for your less-than-stellar, tepid and limp food to arrive.
The pro? Depending on your location, using a food delivery app or prepared meal service means nearly any food you want is available at the touch of a button.
What do you pay for that convenience?
It depends on the service you choose.
According to The New York Times, you pay up to 91% more when using food delivery apps than if you opted for the drive-thru or dined in at a restaurant.
When you place an order through a delivery app, multiple parties need to be paid. Your tab includes the driver, the app company, and the restaurant, who recoup their cost of participating with third-party deliverers by having separate price points for those menus.
Flip over to a personally prepared meal service, and you’ll find that the price of having three to five meals delivered right to your door is comparable to what you spend for the week at the grocery store or dining out multiple times a week at your favorite restaurant.
Plus, with prepared meal services, the delivery is included, and you don’t need to fuss over a tip.
Is Convenience Even a Question?
The convenience of having meals delivered to your doorstep is a no-brainer, whether you use a food delivery app or select chef-prepared meals delivered straight to your refrigerator.
We recognize our bias when it comes to the best choice for feeding families. Having multiple prepared meals, ready to heat up every week is arguably more convenient. It means you wrap up your workday, walk to the fridge or freezer and select yours or your family’s meal. The other option is to pick up your phone, swipe left, and wait for your driver to arrive. Which sounds more convenient?
Additionally, leftovers from freshly cooked meals serve up beautifully as lunches the next day.
Tailored to your health needs and taste preferences, friendly to the budget, and timely, the benefit of a prepared meal service means you get ready-to-eat gourmet dinners without shopping, cooking, prepping, or waiting for your delivery app to arrive.
A bonus (you may never have considered) for having chef-prepared meals ready and waiting in your refrigerator is not having to worry about your delivery app driver helping themselves to a taste of your dinner.
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