11 Tips: Meal Train Etiquette for the Savvy Participant

Meal Train® etiquette suggestions straight from the source.

With millions of meals scheduled each year, we know what works. Whether this is your first time on a Meal Train® - or fifteenth - it’s helpful to have a few guidelines when you drop off your meal. Let these suggestions inform and inspire you as you prepare your contribution, and your recipient is sure to appreciate your thoughtful efforts.

Follow these tips for a flawless experience.

  1. It's best to expect that the recipient is not yet ready to entertain. Unless suggested by the organizer or recipient, plan to stay no more than 10-15 minutes when dropping off a meal. See our article on Should I Stay or Should I Go?
  2. If there are open calendar days after your delivery, make enough for leftovers. Freezable meals are also nice.
  3. Don’t forget the extras like drinks, condiments, and salad dressing.
  4. If you’re having something delivered (e.g. pizza), make sure to pay and tip in advance.
  5. If possible, deliver your meal in a recyclable or reusable container.
  6. Be sure to label any items that you would like returned. Include a large paper bag with your name on it that the recipient can use to store your items until you can coordinate a pick-up date.
  7. Include clear preparation instructions, i.e. "Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees." Add some style to your Meal Train drop off with a printable dinner label.
  8. Update your meal description 24 hours before your delivery. Consider sharing a link to your recipe in the "Notes" section of your meal booking so the recipient can know the ingredients.
  9. As a nice bonus, bring breakfast food for the following morning, such as muffins, bagels, and fruit salad.
  10. If possible, text the recipient that you are on your way. A little heads up can go a long way.
  11. If you don't live nearby or can't cook, consider sending a gift card.