The days of packaged, pre-made foods are waning, because today’s shopper wants fresh, not fabricated. They want a healthy meal that is better than the processed foods you see weight loss companies promote. Not only do they look the way they taste, you miss out on the fun of preparation. Eating is as much about the experience as it is about your taste buds.
Enter food delivery services like Plated. These companies do more than manufacture meals on a massive scale and package them in cardboard. Plated approaches food preparation with a broader stroke. Their marketing campaign states they want you to “Open the door to a new kind of dinner.” Companies like this one are popping up more and more in response to consumers who want it all – healthy, fresh and easy. So, what does Plated bring to the table? Find out in this comprehensive Plated Review.
What is Plated?
Plated is not a weight loss service or a grocery store that delivers. It is a food delivery service that offers a little extra in each box. Their goal is to provide Plated subscribers with all the fresh ingredients they need to make their own meal along with step-by-step instructions that walk them through the prep and cooking. It is a lot like taking your grandmother’s cookbook with you to the grocery store and buying everything you need to make her famous stroganoff, but without the legwork.
You go online, handpick the meal you want to cook and everything you need comes right to your doorstep. The benefit goes beyond just saving time at the grocery store, though. The meals are properly proportioned, nutritious and well-balanced without any effort from you. As a Plated subscriber, all you do is pick, order, prep and cook.
What Comes in the Plated Box?
You go online, you pick a meal and what happens next? Within a few days, you get a box that includes a recipe on a card that you can save for future use and the ingredients you need to make that recipe with a few exceptions. Plated does not provide staple items such as:
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
They do provide other seasonings if the recipe calls for them, though. For example, if the secret ingredient in their Mac and Cheese recipe is nutmeg, you will get just the right amount of it with the ingredients in the box.
The other thing they don’t supply is cooking tools. You will need to have basic pots and pans. If the recipe calls for grated cheese, it will come to you already grated.
They get their ingredients locally when possible from suppliers they have vetted and partnered with in your area. The food is not necessarily organic, but Plated does offer a few promises about the quality of their ingredients.
- 100% domestic.
- They use only sustainable sourced seafood.
- They use only antibiotic-free meats and hormone-free beef
- Their food is fresh, seasonal and hand-packed
Plated Food Menu
Inspired by Plated’s chefs’ travels and unique culinary backgrounds, they are able to create nine delicious recipes for veggie, meat and seafood lovers each week. You are able to see meals for this week as well as the upcoming week.
*You can change and customize your recipe selections by clicking the ‘Change Recipes’ button on your Weekly Menus page, and then clicking on “swap” next to the recipes you’d like to change.
*The deadline to skip a week or modify your box is six days prior to the scheduled delivery day.
*You can find complete Plated FAQs here.
Plated Reviews: What People are Saying about Plated
The people at Plated offer a list of publications that have something nice to say about their service. For example, Well+Good calls Plated a great choice if you want to have your hand held while you cook. The recipes are well thought out and balanced. They come with lots of veggies. Subscribers choose from nine seasonal dishes each week, too. They especially like the fact the Plated offers nutrition labels for their meals right on the website.
The fitness subscription channel Daily Burn calls Plated an awesome meal delivery service for a newbie cook or semi-pro.
For the most part, the reviews were good. One blogger did suggest that Plated was not the environmental choice because they tend to over package things using unfriendly options like foil, gels and plastic.
Another reviewer stated that even though the price was a little high, it was a good value, especially considering some of the off-the-wall ingredients. One of the meals he tried called for lemongrass, which is not something he buys every day at the local store. The company provided just the right amount of lemongrass to make his pork dish, so there was no waste.
The reviews on Influenster were mixed, however. A woman from Huntington Beach, CA called the food tasteless. Her goal for using the service was to upgrade her meal choices, but she didn’t feel the company made that happen.
Wayne for Las Vegas felt very let down by Plated, giving it only one star. He claimed the food didn’t taste good and they ended up throwing it away. Some of the ingredients were stale, too. When they complained, the customer service agent cancelled their subscription, but not before the next delivery, so they had to pay for it.
Wayne was not the only reviewer to complain about the customer service, either. One member said it took days for them to get a response from the company and their problem was never resolved.
Pros and Cons: What Many Plated Reviews Don’t Mention
- Delivery right to your doorstep
- Easy to follow recipes – many reviewers claimed this was a good choice for a novice cook.
- Most ingredients included in the box, especially hard to find or rarely used items like lemongrass to cut back on waste.
- Fresh food purchased locally when possible.
- Portioned servings
- New dishes that you might not otherwise try
- Multiple plans and sizes available
- The plans shown on the website are only for couples. If you are feeding more than two people, you have to make a phone call.
- The packaging is over the top even for a company promising fresh ingredients.
- The timing seems to be off for many of the reviewers. One stated the food was delivered in the evening, so not in time to make dinner.
- Limited delivery areas
- A few customer service problems
- No vegetarian or kosher plans available, but they do offer vegetarian recipes
- The website is difficult to navigate. For example, if you click to see the plans, there is no link back to the homepage.
- If the recipe calls for sea salt or kosher salt, they still consider that a staple item
How to Order From Plated
To order, you start by signing up for a plated account here or visiting the official plated website. You can also call or chat online with a representative, but eventually, you will need an online account anyway. You go through what Plated calls your Taste Profile. This allows you to indicate what type of foods you want to try and list any dietary restrictions or exclusions.
When you pick a plan, the first thing you do is enter your zip code. The plans vary by area and Plated does not deliver to all regions, although they do cover most cities. The plans for your area pop up on the screen and you pick the one that best suits your needs. For instance, if you want to just try out the service, you might opt for the 2-person, 2 meal plan.
The subscription starts after you place your first order. Each week, they post nine recipes and you pick the ones you want via the Weekly Menus page. If you change your mind about a selection, you have until six days before the delivery date to swap recipes or to skip the week altogether.
You can cancel your subscription with Plated at any time without penalty. Just click on the “Subscriptions” tab and deactivate your account. If you decide you want the service again, you can go back and reactive it at any time, as well.
If you are looking to try a food delivery service, than Plated is a reasonable choice if they deliver in your area. They have a diverse menu and provide fresh ingredients plus easy to follow recipes. The pricing is in line with other services, although they don’t offer quite as many choices.
Have you tried Plated? What did you think about the food? Were Plated recipes easy to follow and did you get the results you wanted? We’d love to hear about your experience and help our readers make the best meal delivery and nutritional choices.