Plated Subscription Food Service – Review

By Jeremy Del Nero on 6 February 2015
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Busy people often don’t have the time or energy to stop at a grocery store, especially after a long day at the office. Dining out is essentially fun, but over time it can also become an expensive and unhealthy habit. For those who love to cook but aren’t always able to shop for groceries, Plated offers a fine alternative that is readily accessible via its website. In essence, Plated is a service that delivers pre-measured ingredients with recipe instructions straight to your doorstep – think GrubHub meets FreshDirect. The menu changes frequently and varies based on season and location.


A large banner on Plated’s homepage describes the service as “reconnecting people and food in thoughtful, convenient ways.” Plated uses local, seasonal, and sustainable ingredients, including 100% domestic and wild caught fish, antibiotic- and hormone-free meat, and, whenever possible, hand-picked vegetables from local farms.

Each recipe at Plated is designed by a professional chef, and new recipes are added on a regular basis. Because the order ships with the exact portions a cook will need, leftovers don’t become an issue. Each Plate costs $12, and a minimum of two Plates per recipe and at least four Plates in total must be included in a single order. Ordering the minimum amount of food –enough for four people – for example, would cost $48, but orders over $50 ship free. Ordering dessert at $4 a serving will help push orders over the minimum.

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Shoppers are automatically subscribed to receive Plates on a weekly basis, but cancellation is easy and does not incur any penalty. As with all prepared convenience foods, it may cost more than cooking from scratch, but Plated is less expensive than going to – or ordering food from – a restaurant, and lets the culinarily inclined claim at least part of the pretense of creating a home-cooked meal.

The website provides multiple items to choose from and most every dietary need can be satisfied. As a vegetarian, I had the option of a variety of dishes, and settled on one vegan recipe, Tofu Carnitas, and one vegetarian recipe, Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese, to be delivered for a Friday night dinner party. I placed my order on Wednesday and the shipment arrived on Friday afternoon, leaving me ample time to prepare the meals. Plated ships from New York City, Chicago or San Francisco, and claims to deliver to 95% of the continental U.S.

The ingredients were separately wrapped and packaged in an insulated freezer bag accompanied by three dry-ice packs to keep things cold and fresh. Each recipe called for a few common ingredients not shipped with the Plates (cooking oil for frying the veggies, water to boil pasta, and salt and pepper). Everything else needed to prepare the dishes was included in the shipment.

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