Many of us are familiar with food delivery services such as Deliveroo and FoodPanda. After all, there are definitely times where one is too busy or too exhausted to head out to purchase food and thus utilise such services for convenience.

Recently, a US-based service, MealPal, has been launched in Singapore and forums have started discussions over this latest meal service.

What is MealPal

MealPal works on a subscription basis where customers will pay a monthly fee of $95.88 to receive 12 restaurant meals. The cost per meal is $7.99.

For an additional $2, they’ll get two more hawker meals on top of that.

According to MealPal representatives, the company has signed working partnerships with more than 250 food and beverage (F&B) partners. Examples include Teppei Syokudo, Grain Traders and Folks Collective, as well as half a dozen hawkers each at Amoy Street Food Centre, Maxwell Food Centre and Lau Pa Sat.

The service is available at four business hubs in Singapore – Buona Vista, Central Business District (CBD), Novena and Orchard for lunch and dinner every weekday.

Here’s the catch, though! Instead of getting the food delivered to your doorstep, users of MealPal have to pick up the food themselves at their preferred timing. In order to successfully collect a meal, one has to make an order before 10.30am for lunch and 4pm for dinner.

One other feature that sets MealPal apart from other food delivery services is that F&B partners will only offer one specific dish each day with no customisations allowed, which makes it more economical and convenient for them to prepare the food. This allows the restaurant staff to continue serving walk-in customers without having too much hassle in packing the orders since there is no need to make much adjustment to their cooking and preparation methods.

What’s good about MealPal

Mealpal is good for those who simply wish to skip the queue and have the privilege of being able to grab and go when it comes to food. This is definitely useful for those who are working as lunchtime crowds can be a nightmare! Colleagues can also coordinate their orders when ordering.

In a sense, the structure of MealPal also allows for efficiency in restaurants.

Why some netizens are skeptical of this service

After the closing of startups such as Obike in Singapore, some netizens expressed their doubt towards the success of this startup.

This is especially so due to the fact that a credit card needs to be registered before one can start using the service and those who previously lost deposits from other services may feel extra wary.

Some also felt that the prices were too high and not affordable.

There was also doubt about the quality of food prepared as some felt that restaurants may prepare the meals in anticipation of the orders, making it less fresh than if they were to be ordered on the spot.

Of course, there were also netizens who felt that it was worth a try and a good deal for those who order in groups or want more healthy options.

What do you think of this new startup?