Lunch For Under $6
Lunch for under $6. That’s what MealPal promises.
Here’s how it works: you place an order online, anytime between 5:00 pm the night before and 9:30 am that morning, and you get to choose from lots of restaurants that have partnered with MealPal. Each restaurant offers just one meal, but you get a picture and an ingredient list. Set when you want to pick up your lunch, between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm. Then at lunchtime, you walk up to the counter—skipping that long lunchtime line—and pick up your lunch. That’s it.
Of course, what makes this possible is economies of scale. As founder Mary Biggins explains, “we're really helping restaurants with their labor costs. So for restaurants, labor is actually the biggest cost that they have. That accounts for over 35% of their total cost. It's much more than food. Food is usually about 25% of a restaurant's cost. And so because on MealPal, each restaurant is only offering one meal per day, they get a lot of efficiencies of scale, because they're making a lot of the same thing at once.”
One fascinating aspect of MealPal is that they launched in Miami, where Mary was located at the time, and Mary thinks that this helped them: “In San Francisco and New York, there are so many people knocking on the door of restaurant owners every day--whether it's a delivery service or something for front of house or back of house, and so in Miami we didn't have that same competition, and the restaurant owners that we interacted with were so helpful.”