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David Chang Brings Team of Chefs On Board to His Upcoming Delivery Service

David Chang Brings Team of Chefs On Board to His Upcoming Delivery Service

David Chang’s new food delivery service’s chef team includes Soa Davies, Dan Kluger, Mark Ladner, and Brooks Headley

If there's anyone who might be able to pull off high-quality food delivery, it would be David Chang.

We’re slowly getting more information about David Chang’s highly-anticipated new food delivery service, Maple, which will be launching sometime this year. We reported in November that Chang’s delivery service will bring New Yorkers high-quality restaurant food for under $15. Now he has announced the first members of Maple’s culinary board of directors, including Soa Davies of restaurant advisory firm, Salt Hospitality; Dan Kluger, James Beard award winning-former executive chef at ABC Kitchen and Cocina; Mark Ladner, executive chef of Del Posto; and Brooks Headley (executive pastry chef of Del Posto and founder of last year's pop-up veggie burger restaurant, Superiority Burger).

Davies, who previously served as head of menu research and development for Eric Ripert's famous New York seafood restaurant, Le Bernardin, (the number one restaurant nationwide, according to The Daily Meal's 101 Best Restaurants in America), will be coming on board as executive chef, and will lead menu development and drive “culinary vision on a daily basis.” Her culinary board will work with Davies on recipe development and locally-sourcing ingredients to provide a locavore lunch experience for New Yorkers.

"Maple represents an enormous opportunity for impact,” Davies told The Daily Meal. “Our commitment to sustainably raised food and sourcing, in addition to using only the best ingredients, means better meals on more people's tables. The ability to work with innovators such as David, Dan, Mark, and Brooks is only going to make to make our job that much easier."


Below is an overview of the federal hiring process. This process is in place to make sure all applicants receive fair and equal opportunity.

USAJOBS

Create a USAJOBS profile

First, create and complete your profile to apply for any job on USAJOBS.

With a USAJOBS profile, you can save jobs, automate job searches, and manage everything you need to complete your application, including resumes and required documents.

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Once you create your profile, you can search for jobs.

It's best to sign into your profile before searching. Why? We can use your information to improve your job search results.

You can also use filters such as location, salary, work schedule or agency to narrow your results.

Review job announcement

If you find a job you're interested in, read the entire announcement to determine if you're eligible and meet the qualifications. It's important to read the announcement because there are required qualifications you must meet and include in your application.

Prepare your application in USAJOBS

Read the How to Apply section of the job announcement before starting your application. Click Apply, and we'll walk you through a five-step process where you'll attach a resume and any required documents.

During the application process, you can review, edit and delete your information. We'll automatically save your progress as you go so that you won't lose any changes.

Submit application to the agency

When your application is ready, you'll be directed from USAJOBS to the hiring agency's system to submit your application. Before you submit, you may need to complete other agency-required steps such as a questionnaire or uploading additional documents.

The time it takes to submit depends on the job you are applying for and the hiring agency's requirements.

You can check your application using the Track This Application link in your USAJOBS profile or contact the hiring agency listed on the job announcement.

Transition to Agency

Agency

Agency reviews application

The hiring agency begins reviewing applications when the job announcement closes. The hiring agency will review your application to make sure you're eligible and meet the qualifications for the position.

The hiring agency will place applicants into quality categories. Those placed in the highest category are sent to the hiring official.

Interview

The hiring official will review the highest qualified applications and select applicants to interview based on agency policy. The hiring agency will contact applicants directly to schedule interviews.

You may be interviewed by a panel, in-person, video or phone interview, and there may be more than one interview round. For example, an applicant may have a phone interview and then an in-person interview.

Scheduling an interview may take some time, depending on the number of applicants to interview.

Agency selects candidates

After all interviews are completed, the agency will select a candidate(s) and contact them to start the job offer process.

For those not selected, the hiring agency will update the job's status to Hiring Complete.


Sunshine Noodles Is Going on Hiatus Until March. Meanwhile, There’s Fried Chicken.

Diane Lam of Sunshine Noodles is launching a new chicken wing ghost kitchen concept.

Even before I physically stepped foot in Portland, I knew that Sunshine Noodles was special, from its potato chip salad, chile relleno banh xeo, and lime-pepper chicken wings to its COVID-conscious outdoor patio with Dance Dance Revolution-style arrows and cartoon noodle bowls painted on the ground as social distancing markers. The contemporary Cambodian pop-up, which opened over the summer at Psychic Bar on N Mississippi, was one of our picks for Best Restaurants 2020 . From the beginning, we knew that Sunshine Noodles’s residency at Psychic Bar would come to an end in early 2021, and that made the place all the more special. Now, that time has come: Sunshine Noodles as we know it will have its last service on Thursday, December 24. But chef Diane Lam, former chef de cuisine of Revelry, is gearing up to open a new, permanent location of Sunshine Noodles in March 2021. In the meantime, Lam is launching an experimental fried chicken wing takeout and delivery operation at Psychic Bar in its place.

The to-be-named chicken wing pop-up will launch January 15 and will feature Lam’s gluten-free fried chicken wings , much like those served at Sunshine Noodles—except here, the Cambodian-inspired sauces will be served on the side. There’ll be dipping sauces like lemon pepper, makrut lime buffalo sauce, shallot oil-infused oyster-hoisin sauce, and a French-Cambodian ranch sauce that Lam learned from her aunt at age 7. Customers will also be able to order rice sets—rice and garnishes—branded after Sunshine Noodles’ adorable cartoon tiger mascot. The Health Tiger rice set might come with cauliflower rice and steamed spinach and mung beans the Spicy Tiger might come with jasmine rice, papaya salad, and pickled tiger chiles the Street Tiger might come with jasmine rice, pickled wakame seaweed, and candied anchovies. They’ll be ditching plastic takeout containers for more environmentally-friendly paper wrapping, a la Nong’s . Chicken wings will be available for takeout and delivery until 2 a.m.—a late-night snacking rarity in Portland.

Delicious-sounding sauces aside, Lam’s experimental fried chicken concept is also notable because it’s based on the concept of a ghost kitchen : a delivery and pick-up only kitchen that has no brick-and-mortar presence, focusing the branding on the product rather than the restaurant experience. Ghost kitchens from Miami-based brand Reef have quietly established themselves in Portland, sometimes drawing ire— refer back to April 2020 , when David Chang’s Fuku fried chicken ghost kitchen opened for delivery during the pandemic and quickly closed due to public outcry in favor of supporting local restaurants. Portland restaurant group ChefStable has also ventured into ghost kitchen territory, and so has Andy Ricker of now-closed Pok Pok chef Doug Miriello, most famously of Dimo’s Apizza , has launched delivery-only fried chicken and delivery-only salads out of the ChefStable catering kitchen, while Ricker partnered with Reef Kitchens for a limited time to sell his famous fish sauce wings.

Ghost kitchens are a huge buzzword right now,” Lam says. “Honestly, there’s so much politics going into this concept. It almost feels like [a] corporation versus brick-and-mortar, mom and pop situation, [but] I know so many chefs out there right now that are entertaining this idea. Most chefs . fulfill [their] identity by carrying it out through their brick and mortar, but right now, how do you bridge that gap when you take away the brick and mortar? So what we’re focusing on as a team is bridging that gap, and making it almost like a lifestyle brand that you relate to on an online platform. We’re trying to show people what our brand is . and it doesn’t feel too sterile, and it reflects the experience that we’re having in Portland. All the guests that eat my chicken and eat my food, I want them to feel like I’m still cooking for them.

Lam plans to add a fun, experiential element to her ghost kitchen by creating an online community. There’ll be live-streamed material on IGTV or Twitch—things like talk shows, game shows, and comedy shows that customers can tune into while eating their chicken wings from the comfort of their own homes. “We want to have it represent the people who are in our lives, who inspire us, and who we inspire,” Lam says.


Friday’s TV Highlights: ‘The Mind of a Chef’ on KOCE

Undercover Boss: The CEO of Tilted Kilt, a Celtic-themed restaurant and pub chain that’s been called “Hooters with a Scottish twist,” dons a disguise and works goes to work in a new episode of the unscripted series (8 p.m. CBS).

America’s Next Top Model: The models create their own television commercials for the Jamaica Tourist Board in this new episode (8 p.m. KTLA).

Last Man Standing: Mike (Tim Allen), is angered when his son gets in trouble for playing a forbidden game of dodgeball in a new episode of this family comedy (8 p.m. ABC).

Kitchen Nightmares: Chef Ramsay tries to help New York Italian restaurant Mama Maria’s in this new episode (8 p.m. Fox).

Nikita: Owen (Devon Sawa) manages to escape from a Russian prison. Maggie Q, Sarah Allen, Melinda Clarke, Shane West and Noah Bean also star in this new episode (9 p.m. KTLA).

Shark Tank: Comedy writer Bruce Vilanch appears in this new episode helping an entrepreneur pitch his idea for a virtual classroom to teach technology to baby boomers (9 p.m. ABC).

Austin City Limits: Acoustic music from the Civil Wars and Punch Brothers are featured in this new episode (9 p.m. KLCS).

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade: A woman falls for a consultant who helps her coordinate a Thanksgiving parade in this new TV romance starring Autumn Reeser and Antonio Cupo (8 p.m. Hallmark).

Women’s college basketball: Carrier Classic: Notre Dame vs. Ohio State (1 p.m. NBCSP).

College basketball: Armed Forces Classic: Connecticut vs. Michigan State (2:30 p.m. ESPN) Carrier Classic: Marquette vs. Ohio State (4 p.m. NBCSP) Barclays Center Classic: Kentucky vs. Maryland (5:30 p.m. ESPN) Indiana State at UCLA (8 p.m. FS Prime).

College football: Pittsburgh at Connecticut (5 p.m. ESPN2).

Pro basketball: The Utah Jazz visit the Denver Nuggets (7:30 p.m. ESPN).

High school football: El Toro vs. St. Margarita (7:30 p.m. FSN).

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M&A Activity Trending to Near-Record Highs

Overall M&A activity has been growing at a 9.0% CAGR in the last five years and has topped more than $4 trillion globally, across all sectors. Restaurants account for a small piece of this activity around the world — and it’s in the tens of billions for the U.S. foodservice market. Deals in the food and beverage industry grew at a 9.7% CAGR between 2010 and 2017, while the restaurant portion of that sector enjoyed 6.6% growth over the same period.

Emerging brands are studying incumbents and segment leaders for weaknesses to exploit — and some are, successfully. Those with size and scale are throwing their muscle and might into buying more muscle and might.


There are many explanations for this harried pace of buying, selling, merging, and spinning off.

Some factors impacting the influx of restaurant M&A activity include:

  • Capital is cheaper than ever, thanks to record-low interest rates
  • The availability of capital is at a near-record high, thanks to increasing corporate profits
  • There’s been more money poured into private equity, and a proliferation of PE firms (now more than 8,000 globally, up from 5,000 just ten years ago) leading to increased competition between firms, and some of them seeking new sectors — particularly disruptive forces
  • Foodservice remains a steady — and relatively easy-to-forecast — growth sector, expanding with inflation, population, and discretionary income
  • Emerging and frontier economies will see the bulk of future growth, and conglomerates in these markets look to Western brands first to build their empires
  • While there are plenty of advantages of being a publicly-traded company (most notably, liquidity), it can also lead to greater pressures and short-term distractions with quarter-to-quarter scrutiny

Meanwhile, profit margins are compressing globally, most dramatically in the Middle East, as its foodservice economies move from emerging to developed markets. In response, many scaled chains have adopted a “grow fast or die slow” sensibility. And it’s working — power and dominance are consolidating.

Though restaurants have been gaining a steady share of stomach year-by-year in most geographies (though grocery stores in the U.S. have started to fight back), the battle for the biggest piece of that share is escalating. In mature markets, the slugfest is brutal and unapologetic. While industry growth is stable and steady, some sub-sectors and categories may be characterized by a sometimes-gruesome competitiveness. In some environments, it’s more dangerous to stand still than to take calculated risks.

Acquisitions make strategic sense in this era of cheap capital, fierce competition, and slow growth, but only if these moves are backed by solid due diligence and a forward-looking strategy.


Why Escoffier's Brigade System Has To Go

A long time ago, a young chef named Auguste Escoffier opened the Ritz hotel and restaurant in Paris and introduced the world to the Kitchen Brigade system. Taken from the military structure, there was always a hierarchy and a chain of command that ruled the kitchen world. This system has brought order and stability in a term we industry folks call ‘organised chaos’.

It’s also the reason why you can have a fish dish, your friend can have the steak, your other friend can have pig's trotters, and your girlfriend can have the chicken. It organises the kitchen to where each protein can be cooked simultaneously, and your table gets the food at the same time and enjoys a magical experience.

Because of this system, it seemed like the way to come up in the industry was just through pure brute force and the will to take on the most. The reward was beer and a cigarette at the end. You’re saying, “WTF are you talking about?” I’m saying, yes, this was our world for so long. We were doing 350 covers with three people on the line with a party of 40 top-dining privately, and a 12-top that just sat down on a Friday night. And at the end of the night, we’d do shots and maybe a line of coke to get us through the cleanup, and go home and do it over again for six-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year.

Whether on the sauce station, the grill, commis, or sous - the model Escoffier left is one that has played out militarily in more ways than one. Ok, it’s organised and it’s efficient as hell. But it also sees those at the bottom of the hierarchy destroyed by a bag of onions. Killed by peeling carrots or whatever other menial tasks that have been dreamed up by the higher-ups that day.

Now you're saying, “That’s ridiculous,” and I’m saying, welcome to our world. Or as we like to say: Bienvenido a America puto! What Escoffier conceived as a white jacket and toque hat-wearing system, turned into rap and Mexican norteño music blasting in a cramped kitchen. The extended hours focused the operation, and the hierarchal breakdown turned into abuse. Abuse from those in positions of power, who quickly forget they even started at the bottom. And then there’s the self-abuse. The drugs to push through a shift, and stand the line through a bad back. The alcohol to ease the adrenaline at the end of a mad service of being screamed at by the drill sergeant, and this is just the tip. The final hit of this system, the result of this profession we call passion, is often depression in the worst cases, suicide. And people ask why chefs are dying.

Anthony Bourdain, the guy who we revered for his honesty and truth storytelling, had a job and a life that looked like heaven. Travel the world, eat, talk to Obama, learn empathy and compassion through travel - and this motherfucker offs himself. Okay, he’s not a motherfucker, but it gives a nice punch, doesn’t it? Just like when you put micro-cilantro on a taco and charge me $12 for it (you know who you are).

Chef Bernard Loiseau, stricken with depression and at the time, was one of the most famous chefs in the world. Suddenly shoots himself because of a rumour of him losing his third Michelin star. Another chef, Joseph Cerniglia from New Jersey, who appeared in Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, was in debt for over 80k. With that much debt and pressures of life, he jumped off a bridge in 2007. Or chef Homaro Cantu of famed Chicago restaurant Moto, who took his own life in 2015 when he reached his breaking point. Its all part of this $800 billion industry, and the systematic bullshit we go through, day in and day out.

That’s just what people know and see. They don’t even see the scars the industry has left on all of us. Big-name chefs are chasing clout and money, so they’ve got to fake it, but the real know bro. Divorced, toiling away at a bullshit restaurant where the owners have you by the balls. It’s real out here. Chefs are fucked up in the head, and physically fucked yo. How did I get gout at 28yrs old? Oh, it’s probably the 25 ounces of butter we go through a week or the fucking duck skin chicharrón we fight like animals over at the end of the night. Oh, or maybe it’s me drinking gallons of soda that we broke the bar gun. Not only for us immigrant Americans, how about the immigrants who come here to have a better life? Using them as tools and ammo to load the clip to continue this thing we call service.

Exploited and underpaid, they’ve carried the restaurant industry on their backs, and when COVID-19 hit, we forgot about them like they shit. Why? Because they weren’t high enough up Escoffier’s chart? Or is it because of the color of their skin and the rampant racism we face in this industry also? What’s even more fucked up is those GoFundMe funds that were supposed to go to the workers. Where’s the money? They go hungry every day. Oh, and you, the owner, had the nerve to say they should be cleaning up instead of taking food to feed their family. And you are asking me, “What about me? Who’s going to care about my issues thru this virus?”

This is what happened to our industry. The craft that we love, the place of solace and family where we can be creative and feed the people who are homeless and have less than us. It got dirty with people being greedy and forgetting what it’s about—making people happy.


Restaurants are Saying Goodbye to Third-Party Delivery Apps

Forced into relying almost exclusively on delivery and pickup after the COVID-19 pandemic, most restaurant owners see themselves in a Catch-22. If they don’t use third-party delivery apps, they fear missing out on customers. But if they do sign up with hired guns, they fear the high fees will take their already slim profits and flatten them like a pancake.

It used to not matter all that much. Before COVID-19, while delivery was rapidly growing, it was still only 3 percent of all restaurant orders in 2018.

Now, as delivery and pickup have become the main source of business, with to-go sales increasing by 96 percent in May, restaurants fighting for their survival have seen how third-party apps, with per-order fees that can be upward of 30 percent and marketing that drives customers to the apps, not restaurants, is not a bargain they need to take. They can blaze their own path with a little elbow grease, a pinch of creativity, and a dash of more sustainable, affordable technology.

Yes, I have a stake in the outcome. GetSwift, which I co-founded, provides a crucial part of the technology that restaurants can use to replace the third-party giants and take full control of their food delivery: routing jobs, tracking drivers, and notifying customers. Frustrated by the third-party apps, independent bars and restaurants have been coming to us for solutions throughout the pandemic.

Just as the U.S. restaurant industry is projected to lose $240 billion this year and an estimated 8 million restaurant workers have been laid off or furloughed due to Covid-19, third-party delivery apps are doing more than fine. Uber’s CEO called UberEats a “big opportunity” that “just got bigger” as gross bookings increased by 50 percent. At GrubHub, revenue was up by 12 percent, year-over-year, for first three months of this year, to $363 million. You could expect them to do even better when second quarter numbers come out. Doordash, the fastest-growing of the delivery apps during lockdown, saw a 21 percent increase in revenue in March alone.

Restaurateurs finally had enough—not with the third-party profits, but with a lack of their own. In normal times, Grubhub is known for its 30 percent-per-order fees. But after COVID hit, some restaurants who signed up for a promotion called “Supper for Support” started receiving less than 50 percent of their Grubhub order totals.

Five of nation’s largest cities (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Washington, D.C.) have had to enact specific laws to temporarily stop the apps from charging grossly high fees, capping them at rates like 15 percent (in Seattle) or 20 percent (in New York). Meanwhile, Chicago passed a law to require the apps to show customers where their money is going by breaking down the long list of fees and commissions.

Across North America, restaurants are using a variety of tactics to forget about the apps and do it themselves, in their own unique style with some combination of creative menus, in-house marketing, an eCommerce platform, and in many cases, software to track deliveries. Why? Because not only can they keep more of their profits, but they can keep their well-earned customers for themselves.

By March, one of Seattle’s top restaurants, Addo, shifted everything from dine-in to pickup and delivery, and due to chef Eric Rivera and his team’s creativity, sales doubled. They created a new menu of staples like a $9 “Bowl of Food” (such as pork, rice and beans) and $45 “Pasta for Two” with a bottle of wine that can be ordered in advance. To promote, Rivera uses @Addo on Instagram for photos for upcoming meals, and @EricRiveraCooks for behind-the-scenes pics of operating a restaurant during these strange times. Addo doubled its staff in March and is even using an inventive way to deliver—one staffer drives and the other is a “runner” who communicates with guests.

Up in Alberta, Canada, the five-restaurant group Hoot Company, is now doing 250 delivery orders per week, up from zero in early April (they never had to offer delivery). Hoot Company rehired many of their waiters to become delivery drivers, providing customer service at doorsteps rather than tables. They use our app to see all their upcoming stops, accept any changes on the fly, and automatically alert customers. One staffer at central dispatch manages the whole operation.

In Queens, the owner of the barbecue restaurant Queens Bully, Rohan Aggarwal, was shocked to see about 50 percent of the money from Grubhub’s April orders vanish to fees. He’s decided to go his own way by starting Tipsy Takeout, cocktail pouches delivered right to a customer’s door—all they have to do is shake or pour over ice. As for Queens Bully itself, the website already allows pickup, with a delivery option coming soon. Aggarwal is looking into adding the crucial piece: delivery management software to route and track orders, and alert customers.

In all, these restaurant groups are among scores across the country asking their loyal customers to order directly from them. It starts with that simple step: posting on their websites and social media and emailing customers to promote their innovative dishes, asking customers to order online or over the phone.

Restaurants can build it from there, not in one day, but by growing out each component week by week. Hiring one or two drivers. Adding digital marketing. Building your website that stores customer contact info. Trying out delivery software. Adding a little more digital marketing, and so on. Those are all costs. But when those costs add up, you’ll see what restaurants are seeing all across the country: profit margins can be as healthy as ever, and customers as loyal as ever. And as off-premise dining becomes the new normal, this relationship with your customers will always be yours.


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"I find the height of my purpose working with my hands, collaborating with farmers, serving my community. That farmer that needs you to buy his bell peppers is the same as the homeless guy on the street asking for money. Everybody&rsquos just trying to get their needs met." - Erick Williams

"Chefs don't make mistakes they make new dishes." - Elizabeth Briggs

"Cook more often. Don't study just cook." - Masaharu Morimoto

"No rules. Don't be afraid to do whatever you want. Cooking doesn't have to have rules. I don't like it that way." - Masaharu Morimoto

"We&rsquove been told numerous times that our cooking is 'feminine,' which people always intend as a compliment. We&rsquore happy to be identified with femaleness, as strong and proud women, but the masculine/feminine binary has no legitimate place in culinary expression or its criticism. It&rsquos an artificial construct we&rsquod be happy to see done away with." - Sarah Kramer & Sarah Hymanson

"Remember, it is never the knife's fault." - Daniel Boulud

"But more infuriating is the question about to whom I should have been paying dues. It seems like the only ones keeping track are the white guys with tall hats. And how did those guys get into the club? By paying dues to older white guys with even taller hats. As for the thousands of black and brown chefs&mdashdubbed cooks, domestics, servants, boys, and mammies who were kept out of restaurant kitchens or overlooked within them&mdashthey were beyond consideration. Their work, like them, was invisible." - Kwame Onwuachi

"To eat well, I always disagree with critics who say that all restaurants should be fine dining. You can get a Michelin star if you serve the best hamburger in the world." - David Chang

"It's okay to play with your food." - Emeril Lagasse

"The difference between being a good cook and being a good chef is as big as the difference between playing online Texas Hold&rsquoem in your pajamas and holding a chair in the World Series of Poker." - Gabrielle Hamilton

"Working in a restaurant means being part of a family, albeit usually a slightly dysfunctional one. Nothing is accomplished independently." - Joe Bastianich

"I used to think the skills my mother and grandmother had were small and insignificant, because the world taught me that black food was small and insignificant. But now I realize what we contribute to food in America is vast. Right now that&rsquos all I want to cook, and I want to cook it on a level that resonates with me, beyond whether it tastes good.&rdquo - Mashama Bailey


What’s the Difference Between Your Mission, Vision, and Values?

Mission, vision, and values can easily get mixed up – and are sometimes used interchangeably.

However, there are distinctions between the three. Here’s a quick guide to differentiating them, accompanied by restaurant mission statement, restaurant vision statement, and restaurant value statement examples.

We’ll be referring to a fair trade coffee shop we made up (let’s call it Philly Fair Trade Coffee Co.) in all of our examples to showcase how its values statement, mission statement, and vision statement would vary.

Restaurant Mission Statement

A restaurant’s mission statement explains why your restaurant exists and what you believe in.

Example: Serve Philadelphians the best cup of coffee they’ve ever had while supporting fair trade coffee practices in Costa Rica.

Restaurant Vision Statement

A restaurant’s vision statement (a.k.a. credo) describes what the future will look like when you accomplish your mission.

Example: We imagine a world where there’s no such thing as a bad cup of coffee and all coffee farmers live prosperously.

Restaurant Value Statement

A restaurant’s values statement describes what you believe in and what your business stands for.

Example: Our values include providing fair wages for workers, giving back to the communities we work with, and serving great coffee.

Some restaurants establish a mission, vision, AND values, while others just create one of the three. Even just one statement will help give larger purpose to your work.

While some restaurants make their purpose public by publishing them on their website or placing them on signage throughout the venue, others keep their goals internal. Whether or not you decide to publish your values, mission, or vision, let them guide you and your staff in their decisions.


We have used Blue Apron, HelloFresh and are currently using Sun Basket. Blue Apron was adventurous and very interesting but sometimes a little too time consuming for the end of a long weekday. When we got a foster kid, we switched to HelloFresh because the menu’s were more basic meat & potato style Americana food. Good but not enough vegetables for me really. We are now kid free again and using Sun Basket for the organic ingredients and more veg. Recipes are interesting, don’t take too long, but can be very light on calories which doesn’t work for us. Also, the cost for 3 meals per week is not $8.99 as stated in the article. We average $11.99 per meal and sometime add $2 ea meal more to upgrade to organic meat. It’s at an uncomfortable price point where I’m looking for other options. We’ve been using meal kits for 5 years. They took the burden of planning, managing, and cooking EVERY dinner off my plate. We happily traded the couple of extra bucks a week for the health and sustainability of our relationship. My kitchen challenged guy has gained A LOT of confidence and gets a real thrill out of making great food for us. Really couldn’t do it without the menu/recipe support and organization meal kits come with every week.

I have done Hello Fresh and Blue Apron but it’s has been a while. One of the main reasons I quit was my daughter can’t do tomatoes or anything with it. There wasn’t option to not have the meals without. A

I’ve tried Hello Fresh and many meals are delicious I seem to take twice as long to prepare as they say. I use so many dishes to cook the meals it takes just as l ok ng to clean up. I don’t know what meals you purchased but I’m always chopping vegetables, snipping herbs, and mixing sauces. Try to be calorie conscious can be hard with some of the selections. It’s always a struggle to compare cost (many choices are extra), variety, dietary restrictions.

We are a family of three and have tested Blue Apron, Freshly and Home Chef. None of us liked Freshly that much and so we quickly switched to Blue Apron. Blue Apron was an improvement, but we also encountered missing (or incorrect ingredients) like another reviewer below. We also noted that we didn’t like all of their meals which left us with a somewhat limited selection. So, we moved on to Hello Fresh. Initially, it seemed quite similar to Blue Apron, but then we found that there are just more options. Most importantly, we have yet to encounter a meal we didn’t like. Happy subscribers to Hello Fresh for 8 months now. Cost wise they are all quite similar. Some charge a little bit more for shipping where as others charge more for their meals, but in the end a meal we don’t like is a complete loss and haven’t had that happening with Hello Fresh yet.

I have given meal service plans a lot of thought for about a year now and finally signed up with Home Chef last night. It felt like the best option for my family. It is the 3 meals for 2 people plan just to give it a try and give me a few go-to meals during the week.

Just wondering if you’ve heard of Green Chef and what your thoughts are on it? Thank you

We have heard of Green Chef! Check out our review, here.

I dropped Blue Apron because 3 times my shipment had either missing or incorrect ingredients. Once, even twice, I could understand. But 3 times? You’re a food delivery company!

This must be a regional thing. I have used BA for years and have never…not even once…been shorted or had the wrong ingredients. I did have a few ingredient changes, but I was emailed about them beforehand and received a small card with the recipe explaining that a change had been made. I get my BA from Dallas I think.

Hello Fresh charges extra for some meals whereas Blue Apron doesn’t do that. We found the two very similar in taste and quality of goods but were insulted with added cost for a few meals.

We’ve been using Blue Apron for about 9 mos. and generally we really like it. Personally, I don’t find the plan to be that terribly expensive, especially when we balance it out against eating out less, wasting less food (having only the amount of ingredients we need without extra going bad or going to waste), having a nice variety of nutritious meals, and saving time and money at the store are all well worth it! Maybe I’m lazy, but I love having only the ingredients I need, in the amounts that I need, show up at my doorstep every week.

We tried Hello Fresh and found it to be very good and very similar to Blue Apron. But the major problem for us (my partner is pescatarian) was that the vegetarian plan had no options to tweak it to include seafood. Blue Apron let us indicate that seafood was okay, and so our vegetarian plan has a nice variety of vegetable-based and seafood meals. With Hello Fresh, everything was vegetables only, so we got a lot more entree salad type meals that were not really what we were looking for. I did like the way Hello Fresh put everything for each meal in its own bag, but that’s a minor point.

I will agree that it would be nice to see them decrease the amount of packaging (although much of it is recyclable), but that’s not at all a deal-breaker for us.

Overall, we’re very pleased with the meal delivery service concept in general, and with Blue Apron in particular. There are some things it would be nice to improve (less packaging, as mentioned), and even more customization (like the ability to exclude all peppers, which I detest, from all recipes!), but I get that that’s not practical. For us, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.

Very very expensive. I can make a meal for under 4.00 per person and that is also with left overs. Organic I can make it for about 6 bucks per meal. I find these type of things a crutch for people who are lazy to shop. You can make a healthy well balance satisfying meal at home for under 30 minutes. With these things you still have to cook, get rid of the excess packaging and clean up. Not to mention the calorie and or quantity of the average adult person might not fit the quota that is filling enough.Plus have to be home within reasonable time to bring it in the house. Can’t have it delivered and have it in the elements. I see no point in this. No one is that busy that they can not shop/plan and prepare a meal. I worked full time with kids/dogs and home to take care of. I know people spend more time on computers/phones when their time can be better managed with less wasteful mindless social media. They have supermarket pick up and they even put it in your car too now. I find that helpful for people who are handicap or sick, but for the average person it will just makes lazier. What is next? Be like the old cartoon the Jetsons? on a conveyor belt though a machine you will be washed/,dressed then fed and out you go into your car? Funny as it may seem

Yes, these plans are expensive, but I have MS and am caring for my husband who is incontinent and has Alzheimer’s so I welcome a service where everything is delivered. We live in a rural area and the nearest grocery store is 20 miles away. Don’t assume we are all like you. To say “No one is that busy that they cannot shop/plan and prepare a meal” is ignoring the fact that so many of us cannot get out regularly. I’d like to see the color of the sky in your world. It must be magical.

Try working 4 day/12 hour work weeks. Working in that environment sucks for leading a healthy life and I’ve done it for 11 years and have gained 35+ lbs because of it. On my days off, I find I’m only catching up with house hold chores, family and daily errands, which leaves very little time to cook. In fact cooking for one person is downright un-enjoyable. Working life is not all as easy as some folks may perceive.

Get off the cross, somebody needs the wood! Geez, a little closed minded and opinionated!

Hello Fresh has a sister company called every plate that is more cost effective for some families.

Just curious really but how do you manage to cook a balanced and healthy meal in under 30 minutes? Not saying it can’t be done but I have a hard time imagining anything healthy, prep time included and all, can be made in less than 30 minutes unless we’re talking about just a salad. You seem pretty certain of yourself in terms of self sufficiency, and being a single mom here if you got tips I’ll take em! Im just skeptical….

Home Chef is immediately out since I can’t see the menu until after I pay. It’s like going to a fancy experimental restaurant where you order and pay and only then is your mystery meal delivered to you. Helps to know who to eliminate right off the bat.

If you go to their main page http://www.homechef.com on the top if you click on our menu it shows you what their menu is and you can skip ahead to the next few weeks to see the options

That was also a turn off for me.

Thank you for the information. I decided to try Blue Apron first. Unfortunately, they apparently don’t understand that when a person says they can’t have gluten there needs to be more meals to choose from! Guess I will only be getting one week and then canceling.

All of http://www.freshly.com meals are gluten free. I’ve been using them for about 4 months now and we really like them.

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I am looking at giving my daughter one of these plans as a Christmas gift but I am having trouble finding a side-by-side comparison. I can find how much each meal costs, which appears to be about the same for all the major plans. But, it’s hard to determine how much it will cost every week AFTER the first week which, for all plans, includes a discount coupon? I would like to know the following for each of the major plans:
1. What is the minimum number of meals you have to order each week?
2. Which ones require a subscription and which can you order and pay each week for the following week (or not, if you don’t want any for the next week)?
3. Can you choose from a number of menus or do they select what menus to send?
4. If you have to subscribe, how hard is it to cancel?
5. How much is shipping?
6. Do they offer a gift card so that I can get her started but then after the first few weeks she pays herself?
7. Which is the most dependable i.e., arrives when scheduled, has everything you need?

I would really appreciate some clarification.

Looks like a side by side comparison has been added so re-read the article for some of the answers to your questions. I’ve used both Blue Apron and Hello Fresh and another that is like Freshly. People chose the service that best suits their lifestyle. I like Blue Apron the best because I am an experienced cook and can pull the meals together quickly and the recipes are really good. I don’t like to grocery shop and plan meals so I love that Blue Apron arrives every Monday and I don’t have to worry about 3 evening meals. I know other families with small children that gave up on Blue Apron and went with Hello Fresh because the meals are faster to prepare (not as interesting though). If your daughter just wants to have a meal at home after a long work day and not cook then go the route of a Freshly-type service.

You have to fully subscribe to the service to get meals delivered but it is easy to cancel on-line – everything is web based so these can be difficult for elderly who aren’t good at ordering and managing meals on-line.

Thanks for your questions!

1. The minimum number of meals varies between the different companies. Blue Apron and Hello Fresh require that you purchase a minimum of 2-3 meals a week, whereas Home Chef only requires 1-2 meals per week. Plated sets the minimum to 2 servings a night, and Freshly enables you to order a minimum of 4 servings a week.

2. While you or your daughter will need to subscribe in order to enjoy the delivery service, you can choose to skip a week at whichever company you sign up with. Just make sure you notify them a few days before your weekly order should arrive.

3. Home Chef allows you to mix and match the meals for your following delivery, but Hello Fresh only lets you switch one meal for one from another menu. This means you need to choose one menu per order. With Freshly, Blue Apron, and Plated, however, you have the chance to customize a menu from their wide selection of dishes.
4. You can cancel your subscription with the company of your choice at any time, and it’s quite easy.

5. Blue Apron, Freshly, and Hello Fresh offer free delivery, whereas Home Chef has a $10 fee on all packages under $50 (with free shipping for any amount above this level). Plated doesn’t mention a shipping cost on its website, free or otherwise.

6. As for gift cards, each of the five companies listed above offer gift cards.

7. According to our team’s test runs with the companies, each of the providers was able to deliver meals on time. The packages also included everything we needed to prepare the meals ourselves.

For more information about the meal plan delivery companies or their meal plans, feel free to consult with us or contact the service providers directly.

This is exactly what I was wondering. I would also like to give maybe 2 months of meals for my son and his partner, with the option for them to continue or cancel after that.
Looking forward to seeing the response to your question.

My son loves the Tinker Crates. We started receiving the kits in August and they have been a huge hit. My son loves reading all the information and putting the projects together. He is learning so much. We have had great experience with customer service. One of the boxes we received were damaged from the rain. I emailed the company and they shipped out a new one within a few days. Overall we love it ?

We first tried Blue Apron and then Home Chef, getting three meals for two people once a week. They seemed similar, but I think Blue Apron was a bit tastier – and Home Chef was a bit easier to prepare. But we started adding a few things to the recipes and so the taste issue worked out. We most recently used Home Chef which has always been delivered as promised – actually we are supposed to receive our delivery on Wednesdays but it has always arrived on Tuesdays – and we live in a very rural area.

It is kind of nice to get to try out dishes and prep techniques that you might not try on your own, and nice not to have to think about what to have that night – a little surprise awaits. The food is usually good – sometimes so-so, sometimes very good, but not over-the-top great, the calorie count is reasonable, the quantity of food is sufficient – and sometimes we have leftovers. And the instructions are clear enough (important to read thru first though). We have noticed that at time the veggies do not appear first quality – slight wilting and flavorless tomatoes at time.
It seems a lot of the veggies are things we usually have on hand and most are roasted, which is how we prepare most of our veggies anyway, along with steaming. And I like how you can skip weeks easily on-line and pause your account as well. I assume the other services also permit this.
The verdict? Well, we are going to stop for a while. We both prepare our meals and enjoy doing that. And we do typically prepare tastey and healthy meals – fish, chicken and red meat once a week. And lot of veggies. If the delivered meals were truly gourmet we might continue, but I think that taking a little time to pick out a few great recipes – sort of building a favorites list – and adding some new things from time to time, and also taking the time to plan our menus in advance and shop for ingredients, and always improving our techniques ( youtube) will result in some over-all great meals. Less convenient for sure, but better meals and more satisfaction. All doable and fun. So we have currently paused our account as it is perhaps not the best fit for us – but recognizing for some it would be a great choice. We are going to try meal prep on our own – we think the extra effort is worth it.

We have been using Blue Apron for several months now. We also tried Hello Fresh but every time a delivery came some of the produce had spoiled.

One tip for Blue Apron subscribers. Buy a gift card at Costco. You can buy them for $80 and they are worth $100. Makes them by far the cheapest service.


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