- pros and cons of food-delivery startups based on my free trial experience.

I couldn’t help but notice a number of food-delivery startups being advertised all over the internet lately (it’s been happening for a while, I know, I am slow as usual). Plated, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh – just to name a few. They assemble and deliver meal boxes to customers with all the ingredients and instructions to cook meals at home.

So, I thought, “I love startups, I love things being delivered to my door and I love trying new stuff. Hmmm…I have to find out what it is all about!”

I decided to try Plated, just because they offered the cheapest deal for the first order of two meals. You pay $20 for shipping and get a box with 4 free plates and trial membership. I picked two recipes which seemed most appealing to me: “Steak with Pear and Radicchio Salad” and “Shrimp, Bacon and Broccoli Stir-Fry”.

The delivery was scheduled on a Saturday of the next week. That worked perfectly and covered dinners for me and my boyfriend for that weekend. Not bad for $20.

Ok, here’s what I got:

Once both meals were prepared and consumed, I came up with the list of pros and cons (my humble opinion only, of course) for using

1)      The excitement of getting a delivery to your door is always present and any positive emotion is a huge plus!
2)      Plated offers 7 new, interesting and healthy recipes every week for you to choose from, which introduces great variety to your diet.
3)      It is really easy and fun to cook when everything is measured and organized for you.
4)      It saves time on grocery shopping, brainstorming what dish to prepare and cooking itself.
5)      By cooking with Plated you support startups which mission includes waste-free operations, using local and family-owned purveyors (as opposed to “brick-and-mortar” groceries) and promoting healthy food choices.

1)      Vegetables and fruits were a bit withered.
2)      If you order for the full price ($15 per plate, $30 for a meal for two people) you are looking at more expensive home meals than the ones you would cook with your own bought groceries. My boyfriend said, “If we are paying more, why not just go to the restaurant and avoid the hassle altogether?” Makes sense.
3)      With the well ahead of time ordering, you kinda have no other choice but to cook on the day the box is going to be delivered, and the next day (otherwise the food will go bad). A whole bunch of questions pops up immediately in my head:
-          What if I don’t feel like looking that day?
-          What if other plans come up?
-          What if I get sick, sad, tired, lazy, etc. etc.?
For me personally, this lack of flexibility is a big minus.

After some consideration, I cancelled the membership. Plated plans to expand and introduce new features on top of their current services, so I might reconsider and become their customer later.

Try Plated special offer of 4 free plates for $20 here.

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