MealPass: weekday lunch service

- The co-founder of ClassPass is taking her monthly membership concept and applying it to lunches. If you're looking for lunch delivered right to your door, this is not for you. But if like a lot of New Yorkers you'd like to spend less money on lunch and save time in line, MealPass may be your answer.

Andy Jacobi, founder of Untamed Sandwiches (www.untamedsandwiches.com), makes unique braised meat sandwiches with sustainable ingredients. Jacobi's restaurant on 39th Street is just one of about 500 New York City restaurants that you can access on MealPass.

Customers pay $119 a month and can get lunch every weekday, says Mary Biggins, MealPass CEO and co-founder. At 7 p.m. each night, MealPass sends out an email, opening up the menu or "kitchen" for the next day. That email will list all of the different meals available. You have until 9:30 a.m. the next morning to make your selection from over 500 meals. You can also choose what time you want your meal to be ready. When you pick up your lunch, you skip the line, and your food is waiting for you.

Katie Ghelli and Mary Biggins launched MealPass in beta earlier this year, serving over 200,000 lunches in New York, Boston, and Miami. This week they've expanded in Manhattan to serve Wall Street through 60th Street with their new MealPass app.

Biggins says it was important to make MealPass affordable for all of those people who don't like spending $12 to $15 a day for lunch. People who order MealPass five days a week pay less than $6 per meal. 

Biggins also wanted to make it really convenient, so they built MealPass to enable people to skip long lunch lines.

Some of the most popular MealPass restaurants are Mulberry and Vine, Inday, Dante, Hennessey's, and of course, Untamed Sandwiches. Restaurant partners get paid for each meal they serve, while also getting exposure.

Jacobi loves that MealPass brings in new customers, who often come in and order additional things.

If meat isn't your thing, no problem. Both Untamed and MealPass have options for vegetarians and customers with other dietary restrictions.

Biggins says she is a picky eater and likes to know exactly what she is eating. On MealPass, a professional photographer take pictures of every single menu item, so you know what you're getting and what it's going to look like. They also list each individual ingredient.

So how are the portions? Biggins says MealPass partners are supposed to serve full lunch-sized portions, and customers submit reviews evaluating each meal, including its size.

Another cool feature: you can use MealPass in any city, so if you travel for work to Miami or Boston, you can use it there.

MealPass is also planning to launch in San Francisco next week. They are also working on launching a $79 per month, 12-meal plan.

Right now, there is a wait list. You can head to www.mealpass.com, sign up, and then sit tight for an invitation to join.

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