Shmeal is an app that connects you with talented, certified personal chefs in your neighborhood, so you can have amazing food experiences every day.
First, Shmeal cooks post a picture and description of what they're going to be cooking on the Shmeal app. 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.
First, make sure you have Shmeal installed on your phone: Download Shmeal on the App Store or the Google Play Store.
Next, go to the Cook tab of the app, and tap "Apply to Cook." Fill out the application. After you apply, a Shmeal employee will reach out to you to conduct a kitchen check, and deliver your first batch of Shmeal containers.
As of October 1, 2022, all cooks will be required to have a ServSafe Food Handler Certificate to access the platform. This is the same food-safety training required by restaurant cooks in Illinois. We also require all cooks to pass a kitchen inspection, and we taste meals from every cook before they are approved to post for quality assurance.
Cooks keep 85% of their sales on Shmeal, and Shmeal takes 15%.
First, make sure you have Shmeal installed on your phone. Get Shmeal on the App Store or the Google Play Store.
From the Menu: Tap on a meal you want to order.
You’ll see the meal’s location, description, and available pickup times. Tap on a time to select your pickup time (you can change this later). Select a quantity by tapping + or - . Optionally, add a note for the cook.
Tap “Submit” to send your order. When your order is approved, you’ll receive a text with the cook’s pickup location.
From the Explore tab or a Cook’s Profile: Tap on a meal you’d like to request.
Tap the “Request” button, and select a pickup date and time. Tap “Next.” Select a quantity by tapping + or - . Optionally, add a note for the cook.
Tap “Submit” to send your request. If your request is approved, you’ll receive a text with the cook’s pickup location.
After your order is approved, you’ll receive the cook’s pickup location.
An hour before pickup, you’ll receive a reminder about your Shmeal pickup.
When you open the app, a popup will appear at the top of your Menu tab, with an “On My Way” button and an “I’m Outside” button. When you leave to pick up your meal, tap the “On My Way” button, and let the cook know when you will arrive. When you arrive at the pickup address, wait outside the location, and tap “I’m Outside.”
The cook will bring your meal out to you as soon as possible.
No, customers should never approach or try to enter the cook’s place. When you arrive at the pickup address, wait outside, tap the “I’m Outside” button, and your cook will bring your meal to you as soon as possible.
Curbside pickups allow you to stay in your car during a meal pickup.
To request a curbside pickup, check the box marked “Request Curbside Pickup” when sending an order.
When you arrive at the pickup location, stay in your car, and turn your hazard lights on. Open Shmeal, and tap “I’m Outside.” The cook will deliver your meal directly to your car.
Yes, you can adjust your pickup time.
From the Upcoming tab, tap on your meal. Tap “ … “, then “Change Pickup Time.” Select a new pickup time, and tap Submit.
Yes, you can cancel your meal. Please give the cook at least an hour’s notice if you are going to cancel a meal.
If you fail to notify your cook, and miss your pickup, you may be charged a no-show fee.
During a kitchen check, our first priority is to ensure a cook's kitchen is clean and well-maintained.
Next, we inspect for safety. A few main points for kitchen checks include:
Every cook must pass a kitchen check before being approved to post on Shmeal, and every cook is subject to kitchen checks on a random basis.
Yes, a Shmeal employee tries a meal made by each cook before they are approved to cook on platform.
Testing meals ensures the high quality of all meals on the Shmeal app.
We have a two-sided system when it comes to food allergies.
Eaters are able to add any food allergy to their profile. If a cook gets an order from an eater with a food allergy, they will be alerted to the allergy automatically.
On the cook's side, every meal is tagged with any of the Top 8 food allergens that the meal may contain. So potential allergens are easily visible to anyone viewing meals, and are highlighted everywhere the meal is listed.
If any clarifying questions are necessary between the cook and eater, both parties can use the Chat to clarify.
If you have a serious food allergy, we ask that you do not use Shmeal at this time.
All pickups are completed outside of the pickup location.
When an eater arrives at the pickup address, they are instructed to wait outside, and wait for the cook to bring their Shmeal out to them. This ensures a smooth, consistent, and safe pickup experience for the cook and eater.
Optionally, if the eater is driving, they are encouraged to use curbside pickup. In this case, they can park outside the pickup location with their flashers on, and the cook will deliver the meal to the eater's car.
We ask our community to provide honest feedback regarding the quality of every Shmeal served, and we regularly monitor these comments and reviews. If a cook's rating drops below a certain number, that cook will be reviewed by the Shmeal team, and may be removed.
There are also built in tools to report Shmeals and to report unsatisfactory meals to the Shmeal team. This ensures the ongoing quality and safety of meals.
After a meal is served on Shmeal, the eater has a chance to Rate and Review their meal.
We ask our community to provide honest feedback regarding the quality of every Shmeal served, and we regularly monitor these comments and reviews.
If a cook's rating drops below a certain number, that cook will be reviewed by the Shmeal team, and may be removed. There are also built in tools to report Shmeals and to report unsatisfactory meals to the Shmeal team. This ensures the ongoing quality and safety of meals.
Head to a cook's profile to see all of their ratings and reviews!
Yes, we are only in Chicago at the moment, but we hope to expand soon.
We are not doing delivery at this time. All meals are pickup only.
If you follow a cook, you will get a push notification when they have a meal available (approximately 24 hours before the serving window begins).
If you’re not receiving notifications for cooks you follow, make sure your push notifications are turned on for Shmeal. Open your Settings app > then Shmeal > then Notifications > and make sure “Allow Notifications” is enabled for Shmeal.
From the Explore tab, tap on a cook’s picture to open their profile. If you want to follow them, tap the “Follow” button. To unfollow a cook, tap “ … “ and then Unfollow.
After you pick up a meal, a Review window will pop up for you to leave a review, starting the following day.
If you want to leave a review earlier, you can go to your Side Menu (Open Shmeal and tap on your picture in the top left corner to open your Side Menu), then tap History > tap on the meal you want to review > then rate and review your meal.