Plated delivers ready-to-cook ingredients for a gourmet meal. Recipes are selected and prepared by chef's each week for customers to choose from. Plated, like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, is a new way to think about meal delivery. Instead of ordering frozen meals to be delivered to your doorstep each week, Plated delivers you ingredients for you to make a home cooked meal for two, three nights each week. It's a service for those who like to cook at home, but don't like to (or don't have time to) plan out each meal and go to the grocery store every week. In 2012, Plated was founded by Nick Taranto and Josh Hix, two Harvard Business School grads. Today the company is headquartered in New York and employs over 200 people. They ship to 95% of the U.S., but do not reach Hawaii, Alaska, or select cities in Texas.
- Meal variety
- Money back guarantee
- Recyclable boxes
The best thing about Plated is their variety of meals
. Like most ingredient-delivery services, Plated has a weekly menu for consumers to choose from. This menu changes weekly based on what chef's choose to prepare and what's in season. When it comes to selection, Plated gives a few more options than their competitors. They even have desserts.
Here's a sample of a weekly menu you can choose meals from:
- Zucchini fritters with Greek Tzatziki and a dill cucumber salad
- Oregano chicken kebabs and basil creamy corn
- Balsamic steak sandwiches with salad (cucumber and horseradish)
- Smoked Salmon with creamy rye pasta and sugar peas
- Corn-stuffed zucchini, cajun rice, and garlic collard greens
- Sweet peppers and black ramen noodles in a scallion sesame sauce
- Chicken fajitas topped with caramelized pineapple salsa
- Tomto-goat cheese strata and peach salsa on top of roasted pork
- Summer pesto vegetable medley on Alaskan salmon
- Plum cherry cobbler
- Glazed cinnamon rolls
As you can see, the selection Plated offers is much larger than their direct competitors. The food is also finer. So while you will be paying more each meal, it may be worth it if you and your partner are into gourmet, seasonal meals.
You may also be able to tell that Plated has a mix of different meats they offer each week. This isn't by accident. Each week, Plated has meals for vegetarians, meals with fish, poultry, and beef. They like to present options for everyone.
Another great thing about Plated is their guarantee. They promise that food will be fresh and taste great, or your money back
. They do have people send in pictures and explain why food was unsatisfactory, but we believe they do their best to work with customers on this. If you are issued a refund, it will be in the form of either a replacement, store credit, or cash back.
Plated makes a quality effort to eliminate food waste and garbage. Their program makes it so you don't have to buy too much of an ingredient you really don't need. On top of this, the cardboard box they deliver meals in is 100% recyclable
. These boxes even keep your food refrigerated and fresh for 24 hours.
- Website information
The first thing most people look at before ordering from a meal service is the price. Right away, it's clear that ordering from Plated is not cheap. Plated cost around $12 per meal
. This is higher than most diet companies charge per meal, and higher than other ingredient-based meal delivery services.
Even though Plated eliminates wasted food, trips to the grocery store, and extensive meal planning, paying $36 a week for 3 meals you have to make yourself ($144 each month), seems a little high to us. This is especially the case if you take into account that their competitors charge under $10 a person and offer the same high-quality ingredients and recipes.
Another thing about Plated is that they don't offer a variety of packages like other meal plan companies do
. When you order on Plated, you are taken straight to an order page. There, you only have one option: order three meals for two people each week. Other companies give consumers options as to the number of days they would like to receive meals, and the number of people they are feeding each week. We wish Plated had a little more flexibility.
Plated gives you 9 dishes to select from each week. The recipes tell you a general idea of what is in the food, but there is no detailed description. We assume that when you sign up for the service, you'll be able to see more details, but as a visitor to the site, they are missing valuable information such as...
- All ingredients
- Recipe difficulty
- Nutritional information
The Bottom Line
There are a lot of pros and cons to choosing Plated to deliver your ingredients for a home-cooked meal. We see this product as being for one or two people, definitely not a family meal service. Those looking to eat and cook delicious, fancy meals will appreciate what Plated has to offer. Anyone who is a picky eater probably won't like Plated (one more reason it's not a product for kids). If you have more questions about signing up for Plated, visit their website. They have a chat box that pops up after you've been on the site for a few minutes, and can answer any questions you have.