MealPass gives Boston a pass at new lunch options

Posted March 1, 2016 by Cheryl Fenton in Business
Subscribe for $99 per month, you'll get to choose from a variety of lunch options.

Every morning before leaving for work, hopefully after you’ve had coffee and can think straight, you must answer an important question – what’s for lunch? If you’re not reaching for a Tupperware for last night’s leftovers then you’re counting cash to ascertain if you have enough time in your schedule for the dine-out option. Queue up another cup of coffee. That’s too much thinking too early in the day.

Now you can take a pass on all that nonsense. Quite literally.

MealPass, the brainchild of Colby alum/Sudbury native Mary Biggins and MIT grad Katie Ghelli, solves the never-ending workweek lunch drama by offering a time-saving alternative. Launched at the end of January in Boston, its second market after Miami, this subscription service is an efficient way to enjoy lunch from your favorite downtown restaurants minus the wait time.

On the heels of Biggins’ other successful venture ClassPass, which allows exercise enthusiasts to enjoy different workout classes around Boston with a single pass, this food-focused venture operates separately from the fitness service but in the same vein. The idea for MealPass was cooked up during a brainstorming session between Biggins and Ghelli at Whole Foods. When the two women took note of the huge variety of quick and quality options, they became hungry for a better mid-day meal solution for the busy working set.

When you subscribe for $99 per month, you’ll get to choose from a variety of lunch options from more than 50 downtown Boston restaurants. Think of the potential options –  Mexican tortilla soup, spicy yellowtail sushi, power smoothies, stir fried kimchi, or a hearty burger topped with bacon.

Not only does MealPass give Bostonians an opportunity to dine at their tried-and-true haunts (we were happy to see Wheelhouse and Chicken and Rice Guys on the ever-growing list of restaurants), it can also give diners a chance to try new places before committing to a full lunch hour. A few other big name favorites on the list include Papagayo, Avana Sushi, Falafel King, and The Merchant.

Here’s how it works. At 7 PM every night, you will receive the menu for the following day. Since each restaurant offers a different daily dish for MealPass, you would be hard pressed to get bored. Once you’ve made your tasty decision, place your order via smartphone by 9:30 am on the morning of each weekday. When you’re ready to chow down, your lunch choice is ready at the restaurant for pickup in a specially designated line (read: no waiting) within the time frame you’ve requested. There is currently no delivery option, but bypassing the lines at the counter offers the chance to save significant time each week for a freshly prepared meal of your choice.

And that’s an opportunity no one should pass up.