Erica Yamamoto on National Take Out Day, MealPal’s success and more

Looking for an easy way to order top-rated food fast and easy, while supporting a great cause? You may want to check out MealPal.

Simply put, MealPal offers lunch and dinner subscriptions, giving its members access to great restaurants for less than $6 per meal. Members of this service can reserve meals from any participating restaurant.

MealPal lunch offerings are currently available in Auckland, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, London, Los Angeles, Manchester, Melbourne, Miami, New York City, Philadelphia, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, Singapore, Sydney, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and Wellington, while their dinner options can be ordered in New York City and Singapore.

MealPal, as the current leading food pickup app in New York, was one of the major participants in National Take Out Day, which took place this year on March 24, 2020. They also announced this month that New York-based subscribers can choose to donate April’s membership fee to local New York restaurants. And their current fundraising goal is $10 million.

The next 30 days are critical for restaurants and their staff, and to learn more about this, I spoke with Erica Yamamoto, the Vice President of Marketing at MealPal.

How would you describe MealPal to someone who’s never used it before?

Erica Yamamoto: MealPal is a subscription service for lunch and dinner to your favorite local restaurants for less than $6. MealPal members can reserve their meal ahead of time through the app, allowing them to save time and cut the line when they go to pick up their meal. MealPal also helps local restaurants increase their bottom line by offering up to four meals from each restaurant per day, helping to drive predictable volume while reducing their labor and supply costs.

MealPal has been involved with National Take Out Day. How did that come about?

Erica Yamamoto: We heard about it from our restaurant partners and wanted to take part to support them. If we don’t come up with creative new ways to support their businesses, they won’t be able to survive this crisis and our business won’t either.

What can everyday people do to help MealPal?

Erica Yamamoto: Support your local restaurants! In most markets, restaurants are still serving takeout and delivery but we know not everyone is comfortable going out for takeout. We launched a new initiative last week to drive $10 million to donations to restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 virus. On MealPal.com, you can now donate an amount of your choosing and 100% of the proceeds will go to support the 5,000+ restaurants on our platform.

I know it’s hard to name favorites, but any stand-outs or recent additions for MealPal?

Erica Yamamoto: This week we launched some additional locations with Dig in New York City, Boston and Philadelphia. Dig provides delicious, quality and accessible farm-sourced bowls. I love all their bowls but the meatball is a favorite!

National Take Out Day aside, what is coming up for MealPal?

Erica Yamamoto: Right now, we’re most focused on helping our restaurant partners get through this crisis. The best way our customers can help now is to support those restaurants through our Donate a Month initiative on mealpal.com.

When not busy with MealPal, where does your free time usually go?

Erica Yamamoto: I’ve got a 10 month-old daughter. Keeping up with her, particularly with work from home, is where most of my time goes now!

Finally any last words for the kids?

Erica Yamamoto: Be generous – whether it’s time, money, now is the time to help our communities and see what we can do. A simple click of a button to support our local restaurants could mean saving jobs. Let’s do what we can to help.

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More information on MealPal and its current charitable efforts can be found online by visiting their website here. Which great partner will you be trying today?