Are you bored with cooking the same dishes all the time? I know I am.
I find I lack inspiration and keep returning to tried and tested meals for the family.
Sometimes when you are so busy it’s hard to think outside the box and try new things.
It’s easy to get stuck in a repetitive rut when it comes to meal times. Fish on Friday, chicken on Tuesday etc etc etc!. Same shopping list each week!
I think I may have found the answer. Why not let someone else do the thinking for me?
Plated delivers high quality ingredients direct to your home for you to cook. All you have to do is choose what you want.
Sounds easy right? Let’s take a closer look.
What Is Plated?
Plated is a meal delivery service. They conveniently supply all the ingredients you need to cook restaurant quality meals in your own kitchen.
The company was started by Nick Taranto and Josh Hix in 2012, two Harvard Business School graduates. Nick, a former marine, was miserable working at Goldman Sachs on Wall Street. He partnered with Josh to start up a business with the aim of enhancing the dinner experience for people.
After initial struggles, to try and raise funding, the company appeared on the popular TV show Shark Tank.
The initial deal they struck up on the programme fell through. They appeared on the spin off series for the show, Beyond The Tank and secured funding. The success of the company led them to sell it for $300 million to Albertsons, the supermarket chain, in late 2017.
Elana Karp, a The Le Cordon Bleu-trained chef, heads up their culinary team and has been with them from the start.
The company aims to give you everything you need to cook amazing meals in one box.
The quality ingredients are sourced locally wherever possible. The meats are free from antibiotics and the beef free from hormones. They use seasonal, hand picked, organic produce from trusted suppliers. Whenever they can they use sustainably fished seafood.
The company uses recyclable packaging. They also donate selected perishable food to local food banks and organizations.
How Does Plated Work?
It really is very straightforward. Choose your recipes online for the nights you want and however many people you are feeding.
Your selections will be delivered to your home on the day of your choosing. They will come in an insulated box that is designed to keep your food fresh until midnight on the day of delivery.
When you unpack your fresh ingredients from the box you will find they are all labelled by recipe. This makes it easy to find which ones you need to cook for each meal.
You will get a detailed recipe card giving you concise instructions how to prepare and cook your ingredients.
It will give you tips on how to get the best out of your meal. It will also tell you how long your meal will take to prepare and cook. You can also find the recipes on your phone app or online.
The company also has a dedicated online chat which can be useful if you need further help. This is not 24 hours but you can always call or email.
All packaging is recyclable. Just break down your box and place it with your recycling.
The company works with cardboard suppliers that are members of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. Jute which is used to line some of the boxes and is brown in color is fully compostable. You could use it in your garden as a liner to help prevent the growth of weeds.
What Makes This Company Different?
You’re probably wondering what it is that separates this company from others.
Let’s highlight some of the reasons:
- Dessert!!! Who doesn’t like a nice dessert at the end of a meal. This is the only company of this type that currently offers two dessert option each week. Great for those of you with a sweet tooth.
- All the ingredients are clearly labelled indicating which recipe they belong to. This makes it easy to just take them out of the fridge and start cooking.
- The flexibility of choice on their menus allows you the freedom to choose what suits your needs the best.
- Produce is all fresh and delivered from local facilities closest to where you live.
- Ingredients may be unusual and exciting expanding your culinary knowledge.
- Ingredients are all measured out and ready to cook so less preparation time.
- You can change your delivery day from week to week if you want.
- You can choose specialist menu options, such as vegetarian or gluten free.
- Nutritional breakdown provided for ingredients.
- Convenient app available for Iphone and android that mirrors everything on desktop. This makes it super accessible wherever you are.
Plated Meals And Recipes
Plated offers 20 recipes each week. The recipes are available to view on the company website.
You can choose from 2, 3 or 4 servings for each recipe depending on how many people you are cooking for. You can select from 2, 3 or 4 nights per week.
This gives you fantastic flexibility. This is particularly useful if not everyone in your household is home for dinner every night.
You have the options to choose your menu by various categories. These include:
You can also further filter your choices further by selecting from:
- Gluten free ingredients – important if you are sensitive to gluten products which many people are
- Low carb – this may help if you are looking to lose weight reduce the chance of cardiovascular problems
- Less than 600 calories
- Stove Top cooking
- Quick preparation
- Encore – these are meals that customers have rated highly from previous weeks menus
Another really useful piece of information they supply is the chef that created the dish. You may find favor a particular Chef’s style and this makes it easy to find recipes from that chef.
Plated Reviews & Complaints
The company is registered with the Better Business Bureau and has an A+ rating.
Overall customer reviews that I have been able to find are positive.
Of 114 reviews on Sitejabber, 94 are rated at 4* and 5*.
It also has a rating of 4.08 out of 5 on Influenster, based on 354 customer reviews.
Lee L writes about her experience:
Plated is ideal for people who love food, and they customize all of your meals to perfection: desserts, seafood, meat and veggie meals. What I love most about Plated is the variety of food options on offer. This Meal Kits services company offers an incredible 20 dishes every week. These menus are designed for newbies and experienced pros alike. Some of the menu items can take a while to prepare, from 20 minutes up to an hour so bear that in mind.
Customers report that the delivery service is good and the insulated packaging keeps food fresh. They love the variety and the detailed, easy to follow recipe cards.
Customers have also stated that the experience of cooking together in the kitchen has enhanced their relationship.
Jen R from Seattle writes:
The age old question “what’s for dinner?” has finally been solved. No more back and forth “what do you want?” “No, what do you want?” Then ultimately reaching for the takeout menus. I love the simplicity of knowing what’s for dinner. The meal ingredients arrive with step by step instructions that even my husband who can barely boil water can follow. While it’s wonderful to no longer have the back and forth over what will be for dinner, it’s even better that we are now using that time together in the kitchen making healthy meals from fresh ingredients together in the kitchen. Plated has brought more than just great meals into our life, it has brought us team cooking. Plated should be recommended by marriage counselors, because it truly brings you together over a meal.
Sarah C., among other customers is a fan of the convenience and ease that the Plated phone app gives her, she writes:
The Plated app makes it so easy to swap meals, skip a week, change plans, etc. The food is really flavorful but still offers selections to accommodate varied tastes in my family. The recipes cards are so well thought through and take the timing and guesswork out of cooking. The different ingredients and technique tips on the recipe cards make me feel like I’m learning something too! The boxes are well-organized and separate out pre-measured ingredients by recipe which some of the other box meal services don’t do. It seems like a small thing but it’s a huge time saver on busy weeknights!
There are some customers that are not quite so satisfied. The issues raised are regarding delivery not being on time, and occasional substandard quality food.
There are also some issues around the company policy to have a credit card number supplied when people are gifted meals from someone else. It seems the only way you can order, even if is a gift, is if you supply details of a credit card.
There are also comments that the price may be prohibitive for some people and not all members of the family would approve of the recipes offered.
Elizabeth O reports:
Plated is appealing because it takes some decision pressure off my husband and I and makes it easier to cook meals during the week. A lot of the produce wasn’t the best quality and for $12 a meal, we could do better at a restaurant. We’re paused right now but if the price were lowered we’d probably unpause that subscription.
Plated: Packages, Prices & Where To Buy It
All orders can be placed on the company website.
Shipping is free on orders over $60. It may be beneficial if you only place the minimum order for 2 servings, 2 nights per week to sample the two delicious desserts on offer that week. That way you would get free shipping and only pay $10 more.
See below how the official site looks like.
The company delivers throughout the US. They do not deliver to Alaska, Hawaii, and any other island territories. There are also a few areas in Texas are excluded (San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland).
Before you to sign up for their service, the company will verify your ZIP code. They will not allow users to pay until they have verified that they actually can deliver to that specific area.
For most areas outside big cities, deliveries are secured by FedEx. In big metropolitan areas, local companies may deliver the food to you.
Plated Pros & Cons
Plated Review: Final Thoughts
Plated could be the inspiration I was looking for. They have a very flexible wide choice of meals that would save me having to rack my brains when it comes to meal times. We could eat something different every night.
Couple that with the benefit of not having to trudge all the way to the store. I save time and get to spend more of it with the family.
It might even be fun to get them involved in preparing and cooking these meals. More bonding time, especially with my teen who is permanently glued to her phone. She could put it to good use helping me on the app.
If you too want inspiration and to save some time while trying out delicious new meals, have a look at what’s on offer at their official website.
Read next: Blue Apron Review 2021: How Does It Work?