MealPal, the lunch subscription service which recently raised $20m in new investment, has chosen London to launch its new on-demand service, MCA has learnt.

Consumers currently pay less than £5 per meal, for a 12 or 20-meal plan, and usually have to order by 9.30am on the day.

After quietly trialling the on-demand service in New York, consumers will be able to order what is available almost immediately for the first time, allowing for greater flexibility.

Co-founder Mary Biggins told MCA the Series B investment led by Menlo Ventures would enable MealPal to accelerate its expansion in the UK, describing London as the start-up’s fastest growing market, with 300 operators signed up after six months of operation.

On the launch of on-demand on Tuesday, she said: “We know people’s schedule can be busy and thing can come up, so we started testing ability for people to open app at 12 or 1 and check what’s available immediately.

“We tested it in New York, and figured out the data side, such as how to predict the demand and volume we should pre-reserve, so London will be the first market where we launch this Tues.”

Biggins said London and Manchester would remain the focus for MealPal in the UK in the short term, though said they were evaluating other potential UK markets.

She said the model was favourable to operators, as they only produce one meal for the platform each day, creating less of burden on labour costs.

Consumers collect their meal, rather than having it delivered, and Biggins said this would remain the offer.

She added: “Our model is very different to others in the market, and restaurants have been pleased with the efficiency they’ve received.

“The biggest cost is labour, and because they’re only doing one a day, we make the labour costs more efficient, as they can make a lot the same meal a lot faster, which is much easier.

“We’ve been really excited with the growth we’ve seen so far in the UK, which has been faster than anticipated. So we are gong to put in more resources into growing the market, which means growing our reservations, and adding new product features.

“People want good food, convenience, and affordable and we don’t think there’s anyone who can combine all three like we do.”