Frequently Asked Questions
HI THERE. ASK A QUESTION, DON'T BE SHY
Cooking is... just awesome! We love it. We get a much more intimate relationship with what we feed ourselves with. We start to look at unhealthy food more critically, and can tell a boring tomato from a great one. We learn to understand what different food groups do to our body and discover new flavours and know where they come from.
We are truly inspired by Jamie Oliver’s TED talk where he said that school should teach every child how to cook 10 dishes from scratch. We think it’s an important life skill not having to depend on ready-made meals, restaurants or takeaway.
There’s also great joy to be found in creating something yourself and to have others commend you on it.
Last but not least, cooking for someone has a primordial nature to it (“UGH! Tarzan feed Jane!”) so that it can also be a wonderful way of accelerating the courting process, cutting short the lengthy stew that is formal dating, and to dish up a feast for the senses.
So in sum, what’s NOT to like about cooking especially when we make it so easy?
Hm. Why don’t you like cooking? If it’s because of all the fuss that surrounds it (shopping, prowling the aisles for sun-dried onion-infused cucumber jelly that the recipe you read calls for, not being able to follow a badly-written recipe), then we feel your pain! We were in that spot, too. This was one of the main reasons we started Dinnr - all the hassle and uncertainty that surrounded cooking.
So, if what you dislike is the usual pre-cooking effort but the ACTUAL cooking does sound fun, give us a try. You won’t regret it.
Dinnr takes the entire cognitive load off cooking and you can focus on enjoying the process itself.
First, Dinnr offers you the convenience of getting all the ingredients in top quality and the right amount delivered to your doorstep.
Second, we select great ingredients from places all around London (and beyond) to create a really remarkable dish. It would take you a lot of time to do all these errands yourself if you wanted to buy in a specialist cheese store, an Italian artisan oil merchant and an Argentine beef farm.
Third, we give you really good, intuitive and image-rich recipe instructions sheets that make all the uncertainty of cooking a new dish go away. You’ll love them.
We now deliver across mainland UK! Within central London we are able to offer a same day service to the postcodes below, or for the rest of mainland UK we are able to offer a next day delivery service for orders over £35. Delivery takes places between 9m - 5.30pm
We currently offer delivery with a same day option in these postcodes: E1, E2, E3, E8, E9, E14, EC1, EC2, EC3, EC4, N1, N4, N5, N7, N16, N19, NW1, NW3, NW5, NW6, NW8, SE1, SE11, SE15, SE16, SE17, SW1, SW3, SW4, SW5, SW6, SW7, SW8, SW9, SW10, SW11, SW13, SW14, SW15, W1, W2, W4, W6, W8, W9, W10, W11, W10, W12, W14, WC1 and WC2
We recommend delivery to your workplace. But of course we also deliver to your home if it’s in one of the above postcodes.
Here's a comprehensive infographic of our delivery regime.
Our ice packs and tests show that your Dinnr bag can stay out of the fridge until 8.45pm. We hope you aren't still at work then!
Background: Your Dinnr bag leaves our premises at 2:45pm at the earliest for 3-6pm deliveries, 4:45pm for 5-7pm deliveries, and 6:45pm for 7-9pm deliveries. The bag includes an ice pack which keeps sensitive items such as meat, fish, cream or cheese chilled at below 8 degrees for at least two hours (a normal home refrigerator keeps things cold at between 4-8 degrees).
So, 4:45pm is the earliest time that the items cross the 8 degree threshold. By law, chilled food can heat up to more than 8 degrees for a maximum of 4 hours, after which it either has to be chilled again, used (for cooking) or discarded. In the above scenario, you should make sure to get home before 8:45pm and pop your Dinnr bag into the fridge. Once it’s back in the fridge, you can easily keep it there for a day or two if you then do use it up (i.e. don’t let it stand outside again)
Finally, we arrived at the 2 hour figure above during the warmest days of Summer 2012 - so any day when it’s colder than 25 degrees Celsius outdoors, the time period of the food staying fresh is actually longer.
We deliver Monday - Saturday and offer same day delivery. We deliver in the following time windows:
a) 3-6pm (cut-off time: 2pm - ideal for office deliveries!)
b) 5-7pm (cut-off time: 4pm)
c) 7-9pm (cut-off time: 6pm)
We can't offer narrower time windows yet, but you can ask us for a narrower time window in the comment box when ordering and we will try to accommodate you - (but again, we can't guarantee it).
They range from easy to elaborate. You can see the ladle symbols next to every dish on the recipe listing sheet - 1 orange ladle means very easy, 5 orange ladles means that even experienced cooks can learn something new.
We find the best ingredients from all around London - best if you check our page “Our Suppliers”
We have collected recipes from various sources. Some have been created by professionals we worked with such as Rachel Davies, Cordon Bleu-trained chef and CEO of Rachel’s Kitchen, www.rachels-kitchen.com a cooking school in London. Hers is the all-time favourite recipe in the Dinnr portfolio; Kerry Saretsky, food writer and blogger with a devout following: Her blog www.frenchrevolutionfood.com attracts thousands of readers in London alone; Julian Lodeiro Martinez is the manager of Lupita Restaurants, a place where the tacos taste so good that you can almost hear the waves crash in on Puerto Escondido’s beach. Before his managerial work, Julian studied cookery in London and loves to reconcile the raw power of Argentinean cuisine with the sophisticated expectations of the Londonite palate.
Many other recipes have been created by friends, mums and grans. It's all a collective effort at Dinnr!
Most importantly, every single recipe is stress tested to assure that timings are right and the end product is top notch. We eat a lot in Dinnr HQ.
Calories, proteins, carbs and fat. The numbers given are maximum numbers that assume that you’ll lap up every last droplet of olive oil from the pan which we frankly hope you’re not actually doing (cos that would be quite weird).
By all means - visit our Membership page - it's all explained there. Great discounts and a badge of honour for great cooking skills await!
Short answer: Well of COURSE - This is what we’re all about!
Long answer: The fact that for many people cooking is more of a chore than enjoyment is what made us start Dinnr in the first place. We thought: What if there was a service that improves everything that currently keeps people from cooking more: Coming up with a good recipe, shopping for the right ingredients and having clear and understandable instructions to follow. Wouldn’t that make more people cook?
We are quite frustrated when we find a recipe online that doesn’t properly explain a step and assumes too much prior knowledge. And often, we despair over a complicated description of a step where an image would say more than 1000 words.
So, in a nutshell - even if you aren’t great at cooking, you’ll get better with Dinnr. And you definitely don’t need experience. We are creating our recipes and instructions with people like yourself in mind.
Even if you are very experienced, we might have a few recipes up our sleeve that teach you something new or that let you discover new flavours. We try to have a special something in every recipe - a great piece of meat that’s hard to get, a secret ingredient you can only get in that little specialist store in North London etc.
Another good reason to use us is the convenience of having everything delivered to your doorstep. If one day you feel like staying in and cooking and don’t want to go shopping, Dinnr does it all for you.
For every recipe, we’ve checked how much these ingredients would cost and in nearly all cases, you’d pay more if you bought everything from scratch (because you’d have to purchase in relative bulk - you can’t really buy 25g of parmesan). You can verify this on the recipe detail page where we put up the link “How much would it cost if I bought all the ingredients myself?” So in that sense, Dinnr is very wallet-friendly, too.
Well, we thought that it makes more sense to allow you to start cooking straight away after you come home instead of waiting around for us to arrive. A Dinnr bag is not heavy and is, in our humble opinion, a very trendy accessory to be seen with on public transport. But again, we also deliver to your home if it’s in our range of postcodes.
Well we don’t (yet) deliver hobs, ovens, pots and pans. So we expect you to have a reasonably equipped kitchen at home: Hob, oven, kettle, microwave, fridge/freezer.
In terms of tools, households vary strongly, which is why we are including a list of things you’ll need for each recipe, which types of pots, pans etc - just check the recipe’s detail page. We deliberately tried to keep the complexity down. Whenever a slightly more uncommon tool is needed, we tell you what the alternatives are: Instead of a potato masher you can use a wooden spoon, for example.
Finally, we don’t deliver vegetable oil, olive oil, table salt and pepper. We thought this is something that basically everyone has at home.
In this case, it’d be great if you could let your receptionist know that you won’t be available and have him/her accept the delivery for you. Alternatively, just let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org when in the 3 hour time window you won’t be available and we’ll try to work around it and not deliver to you then (although we can’t guarantee it). Finally, you could also ask a colleague to accept the delivery on your behalf - in this case, again, please let us know at email@example.com
We really try to make it to 35 minutes or less. Sometimes we just overrun this by 5 minutes or so, but in that time you’ll have time to start washing up.
Yes, we are registered with the relevant authorities. They haven’t yet reviewed our premises but that’s standard procedure - they usually only come by a few weeks after trading starts. However, since they can show up any day, we are keeping our premises spotless and follow every single official rule.
And our CEO has earned his Level 2 in Food Safety and Catering in 2012, so he knows what he’s talking about.
You can cook with Dinnr on the day of delivery or the following two days. Some items such as grains, nuts and spices have a longer durability but the fresh stuff is good for at least two days.
We inform you of the major food allergies (such as milk, gluten, fish, nuts etc) that could be relevant in each of our recipes. You can see this information on the recipe detail pages and on your recipe sheets in the bag. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org if you think we’re missing something in this area
People have different levels of hunger and stomach capacity. In measuring, we tried to be very generous and rather err on the side of excess rather than paucity. You know best when to stop. We think that there’s nothing worse than those ready-made meals in supermarkets that promise to feed two, while in reality one hungry city cowboy easily wolfs it down by himself! So we really are quite lavish - you see it in the calorie count. Just keep some for tomorrow or feed Buster with the leftovers.
We don't offer discounts on our ad-hoc ordering any more but you can get great discounts if you sign up for the Dinnr Membership.
We use a reliable courier firm that handles our deliveries across the UK. They can't guarantee a certain time window and deliver between 9am and 7pm. If you can't be at the delivery location all the time (and who can?) please give us instructions in the comment box when ordering if the box can be left in a secure place around your house or with a receptionist.
The sensitive items are protected with ice and an insulation material called Woolcool that keeps them fresh for up to 48 hours (but you should aim to put everything in the fridge as soon as you receive the product.