Where the consumer dines is still a big question but simplicity is still the answer for consumer meal purchases.

September 19, 2017

A wave of options are now available for restaurant meal delivery like Grubhub, Postmates and Uber Eats but can American consumers afford to pay $12-$15 for the convenience?  For those who purchase meal kit delivery from Blue Apron or groceries from Instacart, the time is still a concern as they prepare, cook and serve a meal to their family, and don’t forget the cleanup afterwards.  Today’s customer isn’t just looking for affordable restaurant quality, they are looking for simplicity.  For consumers willing to take the time to pick up their takeout meals, there is a new service available that may shift their behavior from delivery to self-serve pickup.

A new platform from startup MealPal creates a subscription service that allows users to subscribe to a list of restaurants for takeout lunches or dinners.  The service will be available in the US, UK, Canada and Australia.  The fixed fee will fall around $7 for dinner and $6 for lunch providing a selection of restaurant entrees available for pickup.  This model allows the participating restaurant to choose a signature meal that they can plan for demand and which better insures quality execution.  The restaurant can build a margin on the higher volume item and still make money on the transaction.

Although many consumers are comfortable with delivery fees, the broader lower and middle income consumer will find this service more affordable and accessible.  Within the urban markets, younger consumers will find this a high-value that allows Millennials and older GenZ the opportunity to purchase restaurant quality meals more frequently.  Older Boomers that are retiring will have options to purchase meals within their budgets and enjoy their lifestyle.

After receiving $20 million in funding, MealPal is in a strong position to leverage their platform because according to the company, they are making a margin on each order today.  Leveraging technology toward future profits has been the strategy of many startups but showing profitability this early on will drive chances of success long into the future.

As consumer behaviors evolve and trends change, restaurants offerings have become very complex. A focused meal option with MealPal can be easier for restaurants to execute and consumers to keep it simple.