It’s a common scenario: An invitation comes through for a friend’s Meal Train page. Maybe you’re at work and you can’t plan the meal just yet but you want to secure the date. You click open the page, find a date that works, and enter TBD in the field for the meal you’re bringing. Phew! At least you got the date you want - you can always come back and change it…
It’s helpful for everyone on the Meal Train page when you edit your booking from TBD to what you’re actually bringing. Here’s why.
It’s helpful for the recipient
If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a Meal Train page you know there’s nothing like seeing the calendar fill up with friends and family willing to help. Ideally, each booking would have the meal listed so the recipient knows what to expect. Seeing TBD is OK because the recipient knows something good is coming, but it’s even better to have the actual meal listed so there’s no guesswork. They might have to be very specific about the foods they eat during this time and it would bring them peace of mind knowing those details are being considered.
It’s helpful for other participants
We’ve seen it many times where every date is booked on a Meal Train calendar but they are all listed as TBD. If every day is marked as TBD the recipient could receive lasagna 5 days in a row. Lasagna is delicious, but they’d probably prefer some variety. Listing 'TBD,' or 'Something yummy,' creates a domino effect for everyone trying to sign up. None of us wants to make the same thing someone else is making, especially in the days immediately surrounding your booked date. You can always edit your booked date and, when you do so, it allows other participants to see the offerings and plan their meal accordingly.
Pro Tip: The Meal Train page is the hub of communication for the recipient’s support networks, so if the person taking a meal before you has TBD listed, click the envelope icon next to their name to see if they have decided.
It’s helpful for you
“Whatever you want!”
These are all good placeholders while you decide what to make, and it’s a great strategy for getting the date booked. It is hard to decide on a recipe sometimes (see our article about the 5 Best Meal Train Meals if you’re stuck), especially if there are dietary needs or restrictions. But when you see what others are bringing it can help you narrow down your options. Someone’s bringing enchiladas the day before? Maybe steer clear of red sauce and cheese. Someone else purchased pizza delivery for the day after? Maybe the recipient would enjoy a fresh, simple salad for balance. Knowing what others are bringing (see paragraph above) can help you make your decision.
Pro Tip: Having your own registered account is key! It gives you the flexibility to secure the date and come back to edit as many times as you’d like, without burdening the organizer or recipient to do it for you.
Variety is the spice of life! Don’t leave your meal a mystery. Remember to edit your TBD! Need some inspiration? Check out our 5 Tips article.