Home Chef is a meal delivery service that delivers ingredients to your doorstep so you can cook a tasty, home-cooked meal quickly. They offer new menu items for their patrons every week and make future meals available to view so you can plan what meals you want far in advance. Home Chef was brought to fruition in 2013 when CEO Pat Vihtelic partnered with a chef to design easy-to-follow and delicious recipes. That partnership with one chef quickly grew into a team of several chefs, who work to design new and innovative meals each week.
The company has grown tremendously since then but their mission is still the same: help those with a busy lifestyle skip the grocery store with their perfectly portioned ingredients that are made into delicious meals in a matter of thirty minutes. They conveniently deliver to 98% of the United States, and are always looking to expand if you happen to be in one of the few areas they don’t reach. They are proud to purchase their ingredients through suppliers that they trust. They state that these suppliers are innovative and strive to benefit the ecosystem they work in.
They are in a highly competitive market with established, successful companies like Blue Apron and Plated as their opposition. These meal delivery services have been around for over five years and, with each day, more and more companies like them open their doors with enticing new twists on the business. To be able to make it in this market you’ve got to offer not only high-quality food but something that is unique to only you.
While they’ve been open only a year less than the other big companies, they haven’t made as big of a name for themselves but still have a lot to offer. They have potential and do offer unique spins on the meal delivery service industry that will allow them to continue their growth in the coming years.
Unlike other reviews, this Home Chef review will look at the meal delivery service as more than just a simple recommendation and examine the company from every angle. You’ll get information on whether this company offers any options for those with dietary restrictions such as those who are gluten-free or vegetarian. You’ll also find out what makes Home Chef unique from other meal kit businesses. Most importantly you’ll be able to determine whether Home Chef is a good fit for you and your needs.
How It Works
When you sign up to receive Home Chef, you’ll be asked questions to help determine which meals they offer are best for you. These recommendations are based on what type of meats, vegetables, and other ingredients you prefer. They don’t limit you to just those choices though. If you’re not really feeling the recommendations they made, you can still choose from their full menu. The customization of your order is completely in your hands but Home Chef tries to help you along your way.
The meal choices that are offered are varied. Though they only offer 10 meals each week, there is something for everyone. They have a wide variety of meats to choose from and a few veggie options. They have a claim that they are healthy and this is partially true. All of their meals are less than a thousand calories, which is alright, but some are very high in sodium. If health is your concern then you should be very careful and read the nutritional information for each recipe available on their website. The prep and cook time for all of the recipes are guaranteed to be 30 minutes or less so they are quick and easy to make.
Home Chef allows their customers to schedule what meals they get weeks in advance. They set their menus five weeks in advance so that those with busy schedules can plan their weekly meals with ease. You can easily change your delivery day, skip a week, pause your account, or adjust your meals. You can even make these adjustments on the go with their app.
They have a delivery fee of $10 on orders that are under $45. You can choose what day your meal kit is to be delivered. Your options for delivery days vary depending on where you live. Expect the packaging that your meal’s in to be recyclable and the perfectly portioned ingredients to cut down on food waste.
You can also get your friends in on the amazing choices and delectable meals that Home Chef has to offer. They have a referral program that allows you to gain credit with Home Chef whenever you convince someone to sign up. You and the person you referred get $30 credit each. You can also send electronic gift cards to friends you might feel are interested in Home Chef. The gift cards offered are completely customizable and allow you to choose from a wide value. You can print the receipt yourself or send it along with the gift card and a customized note. The ability to adjust just about everything about this meal kit, and your subscription to it, is extremely appealing.
As mentioned previously, their menu has 10 possible options available each week. When you sign up, besides filling out your dining preferences, you’ll also be asked if there are any foods you wish to avoid. You’ll get to choose whether you want to plan for a low carb or a low-calorie diet. You’ll also choose the number of serving you wish to receive for each meal and choose how many meals you want per week. The number of meals a week you can get ranges greatly from 2 to 6. The serving sizes also give you quite a range of 2, 4, and 6, allowing you to feed yourself and a significant other or a couple with 2 kids or even a larger family. The portioned ingredients will correspond with the number of serving you choose.
If you’re looking to stick to a particular diet, they allow you to alter your preferences to that. In your dietary preferences they let you choose what foods you wish to avoid, allowing you to view dairy-free and gluten-free. This process also allows those with food allergies narrow their search down without having to look at the ingredients of every meal. The options are also not super fancy and the ingredients used in most are pretty common, so kids won’t have a problem eating from the menu.
Some of the options that you can expect from Home Chef include sun-dried tomato pesto spaghetti, BBQ shrimp pizza, and chicken pot pie primavera. You’ll find that they offer specialty meals that are a bit pricier than their average meal around holidays. You can expect to find that these will come with a desert and multiple sides. Their variety shows that they’re dedicated to catering to a bunch of different taste buds and allows for people to try things that they might not otherwise consider.
Home Chef has an advantage over a lot of other meal delivery services because of its low, reasonable price of $9.95 per serving. The lowest cost possible would be for a couple receiving 2 meals a week; that’s a price of only $39.80. For orders that are under $45 there is a delivery fee of $10 tacked on. That means if you’re receiving the 2 meals per week for 2 people than the actual price is $49.80. The good news is that any other combination of servings and meals, besides the 2 servings and 2 meals, should be over $45 so free shipping is almost always guaranteed.
The most money a person can possibly spend per week on a Home Chef delivery is $358.20 for 6 meals per week that feeds 6 people. The likelihood that that is the plan you are looking for is probably nonexistent, so there’s no need to worry about this price point. Home Chef also offers a little extra that you can add on for $4.95; each week they have a smoothie set you can and they always offer a fruit basket with both of these bonuses coming in serving of 2.
When comparing the quality and price of food to what you can get at a supermarket or restaurant, you’ll find that Home Chef is a pretty sweet deal. The average a person pays for a meal at a restaurant is $12; the $9.95 price point for Home Chef’s meal kit is a couple dollars cheaper and could save you money in the long run. When you compare the ingredients you receive to those found in your local grocery store, you’ll find that the price is not that far from the price asked for by Home Chef.
● The dietary preference profile is extremely beneficial. The taste profile they have you fill out when you sign up is extremely helpful in helping you choose your meals, but also very thoughtful on the part of Home Chef. Not only does it address certain dietary restrictions due to allergy or just because you don’t want to consume that product, but it also takes into account religious restrictions on the consumption of certain foods. If you keep kosher or keep to the dietary restrictions of Islam, then you can easily find dishes that fit into your lifestyle as Home Chef allows you to avoid dishes with pork and shellfish. You can easily find a meal for yourself with Home Chef’s range of preferences to choose from and the different style of foods that they offer.
● Their recipe cards have visuals which are helpful. Sometimes recipe cards can be hard to follow and you might not know what exactly they want you to do, especially if you’re new to the kitchen. Home Chef makes it nice and easy for you to follow along with the recipes they give by providing visuals with each step. This makes even their recipes for more advanced cooks easier to follow.
● They are extremely flexible which is perfect for those with busy lifestyles. They really did all they could when they decided to brand their company for those who just do not have time to cook. This is perhaps the most flexible scheduling system we’ve seen. The amount that subscribers can customize is unbeatable. It’s easy for users to switch their serving size, their number of meals per week, the days they have their meal kit delivered, and their taste profile with absolutely no commitment to them. If you’re not satisfied with what you’re getting or just need a break for a week, it’s just as to pause or cancel your subscription as it is to do anything else with Home Chef.
● The price point is perfect. At $9.95 per serving and almost all orders guaranteed to be free from delivery cost, Home Chef is one of the more affordable options in the meal delivery business. The price is really appealing to their target audience, people with busy schedules, as the price to dine out is more expensive than Home Chef and the product offered by Home Chef is better quality than can be found at fast food chains. It’s not a bad deal when compared to shopping at your grocery store for the same ingredients either although you will save the hassle and gas money that come with travelling to the grocery store by using Home Chef.
● Attention to customer needs is unique. While their contact page can be hard to find, located at the bottom. of their main help center page, they offer quite a bit of help in different ways. Their contact page allows users to submit requests concerning a variety of problems customers may face. They display their phone number off to the side underneath Customer Support and list their hours, which are kind of limited, underneath as well. You shouldn’t need to contact their customer service as they provide plenty of information on their thorough FAQ’s page about every aspect of their website and services. The need sometimes does arrive though to get in touch with any company about an issue that is faced. Home Chef strives to address your issue and if they can not easily fix it, you can expect credit or a refund based on the circumstances. They encourage feedback on their meal kits so they can continue to grow and provide their customers with the best service possible.
● The delivery days are very limited. Delivery days vary depending on where you live, some people get a range of Tuesday through Friday to choose from, while others only get the option for delivery on two days like Thursday and Friday. It’s understandable since Home Chef is still a growing company and they service all but a few parts of the United States; it would be nice if Home Chef could expand their delivery days in all of their markets. This will allow customers to see even more flexibility than they already expanded into their delivery options.
● Not all of the recipes are for beginners. While they do include helpful visuals on their recipe cards that they included in your delivery, not all recipes are for beginners. This means that it could take more time to finish the recipe which makes Home Chef’s claim that all of their meals are able to be made in 30 minutes and under invalid. This is a simple fix of either simplifying the menu or stating that it takes a little longer than 30 minutes to complete.
● It would be nice if they provided more details about where they source from. Home Chef claims to trust their suppliers and as a customer, you want that too. Some people who are environmentally-friendly or are concerned about where their food comes from might like a little bit more information on where Home Chef gets their product before they become subscribers.
What Makes Home Chef Unique?
While Home Chef has nice flexibility and an affordable price, you could probably find that at any of the other hundreds of meal delivery services in the US. One of the things that makes Home Chef unique and worth the subscription is the extras you have the option of buying. While a fruit basket may seem trivial, it gives the option of providing the nutrition that fruit has to offer. This is a nice bonus especially since Home Chef and many other meal kit companies focus their meals on meats and veggies.
Their smoothies are also a nice bonus since many people like smoothies and they’re becoming more and more popular in health-centric spaces. This allows people who do not have time to make their own smoothie to have an alternative to going to a smoothie shop and paying upwards of $5 for a small smoothie.
Besides offering extra food goodies, Home Chef also has a page, that is linked to amazon, where you can buy any kitchen supplies you may need. This is convenient for those always on the go because the likelihood that you have zester is low. Instead of going to the grocery store to buy one, you can just throw it in with as you place your weekly delivery. It’s all about making everything as convenient as possible for their customers.
The Bottom Line
Home Chef has been in the meal delivery business for awhile now and has stuck around thanks to their flexibility, variety options, affordable prices, and unique offers. With new competition popping up each day, Home Chef does a good job attracting people to their service. The attraction is amplified when you consider the wide range of people they cater to with their taste profile, vegetarian dishes, and low calorie and low carb options.
Like they’ve said themselves, Home Chef is perfect for those always on the move. You get pre-portioned ingredients that eliminate the time it takes to prepare for a meal with recipes that are easy to follow and a cook time that is around thirty minutes. It removes the worry and stress you may feel about getting to the supermarket in time or getting too much fast food. If you’re tired of ordering takeout and want an easy fix, then Home Chef is definitely worth the subscription.