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Here's How to Get a $5 Lunch from a Different Restaurant Every Day

Jan 26, 2016

It's possibly the most annoying question of the workday: What's for lunch?

A startup subscription service called MealPass aims to make answering that question much easier—and more affordable, at least for folks who don't pack their own lunch before heading to the office.

Subscribers pay $99 a month, and then get to choose from a variety of lunch options at over 50 nearby restaurants—veggie pizza, zucchini quiche, chicken teriyaki, and so on. You place your order via smartphone on the morning of each weekday, and it's ready for pickup in a specially designated line (with no wait!) at the restaurant at lunchtime. (Sorry, no delivery is offered, at least not yet; it's pickup only, which helps keeps costs low.) If you use the service on all weekdays of the month, the cost-per-lunch could work out to slightly less than $5. That's generally a few bucks less than what each of these meals would cost if you purchased them individually.

MealPass just launched in Miami, with daily options offered from restaurants such as Obba Sushi, Burgerlove, Lolita, Eat Greek, Juana M, Confucio Express, The Great Eatery Café, Batch Gastropub, and Brother Jimmy's BBQ. One of MealPass's co-founders, Mary Biggins, is also a co-founder of ClassPass, a subscription service that allows members to sample a wide range of exercise classes from a network of 10,000 fitness studios. Essentially the same approach is now being offered to diners who can choose from a spectrum of prepaid daily lunches in their city, the Miami Herald reported.

Next up for MealPass is a launch in Boston, starting on Wednesday of this week, with lunches ranging "from Vietnamese noodle bowls at Sa Pa to Creole burgers from Wheelhouse and Mediterranean dishes from Piperi," according to the Boston Globe.

“You probably shouldn’t be spending $15 a day on lunch,” Biggins said to the Globe. “This is an affordable way to get really good food.”

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