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FAQ

Shmeal is a sharing economy app (like Uber or Airbnb) that connects you with home cooks in your neighborhood. Cooks post meals they're going to be cooking, and eaters submit requests and pick up from the cooks place. All meals are $8.

We think of Shmeal like a neighborhood cookout, where friends and neighbors pitch in to make a big meal and then share it.

Many similar services are currently in operation that helped inspire Shmeal, like EatWith and Meal Sharing. The main difference with Shmeal our focus on sharing meals at an affordable price, and that meals are only for pickup.

Shmeal cooks post a picture and description of what they're going to be cooking and when. Eaters see the Shmeal and its approximate location, and submit requests. When the request is approved, the eater gets the pickup address, and picks up the Shmeal from the cook's place. Each meal is $8.

Yes, we are only in Chicago at the moment, but we hope to expand soon.

No, we don't do delivery. Picking up is part of the fun - that's when you get to meet the cook who made your meal!

You can download Shmeal on the App Store.

We are working on an Android app and hope to have it launched by fall 2019.

We do our best to ensure that all Shmeals will be safe. We meet all Shmeal cooks in person and see their kitchens before they are approved to cook on the app. We provide options for cooks to tag their meals with possible allergens, and users are able to mark their profiles with allergies, which are then shared with the cooks. If a cook's food is found to have made a user sick, or if the cook is found to be using the app in a way that is unsafe, that cook will be removed from the app immediately.

As outlined in the Terms of Service, it's important to understand that you use Shmeal at your own risk. You should exercise your own best judgment before eating a Shmeal.

Here is our policy on safe pickups: When an eater arrives at the pickup address, they are asked to wait outside, notify the cook in the app, and wait for the cook to bring their Shmeal out to them. At no point should an eater approach a cook's door or enter a cook's home. Any instance of an eater approaching the cook's home should be reported.

There is a rating system built in to the app, and we ask our community to provide honest feedback regarding the quality of every Shmeal served. If a cook's rating drops below a certain number, that cook will be reviewed by the Shmeal team. There are also built in tools to report Shmeals and to report unsatisfactory meals to the Shmeal team.

After you've installed Shmeal on your phone (Shmeal on the App Store), go to the Cook tab, and tap the button that says "Apply to cook." Fill out the application there. If your application is approved, we will contact you and set up a time to deliver some Shmeal containers to you!

The user pays $8 per Shmeal. Cooks get $7 and Shmeal gets $1. That helps cover our costs, including the cost of containers and cutlery, which we offer to cooks free of charge.

We provide Shmeal containers and cutlery to cooks free of charge. Read more about Shmeal containers in this blog post.

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