(WTNH) — Part of it is the pandemic. People don’t want to walk into a supermarket. Part of it may be New Year’s resolutions to eat healthier. Whatever the reason, meal delivery services have never been more popular.
Choosing the right service for you can be daunting, due to the number of options out there. On the websites of meal delivery services like Home Chef, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, everything looks terrific, but the box of meal ingredients that comes to your house might not look so great.
“With every service that I’ve tried, inevitably there would be a bad one where the vegetable is not quite fresh,” said Annie Liu Braley.
Braley cooks for her family of four, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) said one of the first questions you should ask a meal delivery service is about its customer service.
“So, if you do have any issues, who are you going to contact?” asked Luke Frey of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau. “Is it going to be a form page on their site? Is it a live chat? Are you able to call?”
Another concern deals with how much work each meal requires.
“Know your skill level,” Frey warned. “There are a couple of companies that are usually created for culinary experienced people.”
Braley uses Home Chef and said the service tells you how long everything takes to prepare and to cook.
“It’s very clear from the choices before you even select them,” Braley said. “So, if you know you have a busy week, you can pick easier and quicker meals.”
She said she is wasting less food because the exact amounts get delivered. She doesn’t need to risk going to the store, which also saves her time.
“I can do something else with my time,” said Braley. “I’m having something that I can follow along so that I don’t have to sit there and figure out what to make.”
For Braley, that offsets the cost. The BBB warns everyone to be aware of bargain introductory deals.
“A lot of consumers, after those promo codes go away, are sometimes looped into a pricey shipment package that they might not want after that promo code is over. If you decide to try a service, give it a few weeks to figure out if this is really for you. If not, just call them. don’t be shy, and just be like, ‘Sorry, this didn’t work out,’ and they’re really good about it.”
If you are unhappy with a certain meal you receive, let the service know and see what it does. If you are unhappy with the service, go ahead and cancel. There are plenty of other choices out there.