About It's Just Lunch

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Published on: Jul 3, 2017

For busy professionals struggling to squeeze dating into their already packed agendas, It’s Just Lunch claims to offer a personalized matchmaking service that works behind the scenes to set them up on personal, private and convenient dates.

Proclaiming on their website that they are they are the world’s number one personalized matchmaking service, It’s Just Lunch (IJL) offers an alternative to online dating. Founded in 1991, the company now has over 150 locations around the world filled with professional matchmakers that seek out suitable dates for their clients.

According to their website, It’s Just Lunch members are interviewed about their lifestyle, relationship goals, and dating preferences by the matchmakers, who then seek out appropriate matches from their pool of members, coordinate the first date, and debrief with them afterward in order to learn what worked and to gain guidance for future matches.

The company’s website tells us that their professional matchmaking team’s personal commitment to the success of each client is what sets them apart.

Instead of seeing each person as a profile on a website, IJL matchmakers conduct confidential phone interviews t o answer any questions about the service as well as discover the personal attributes, previous dating experiences and life goals of their potential clients. Relationship goals, personal hobbies, and long term career goals are all covered.

How The It’s Just Lunch Matchmaking Process Works

Professional matchmaking is an industry that seeks to guide the process of finding love for people too busy or disillusioned to go through the search themselves. In this way, It’s Just Lunch strives to let you outsource the search process for potential dates just like you leave your investments to a financial planner.

With It’s Just Love, finding love (or at least a suitable date) is streamlined so that clients spend their free time going on dates instead of endlessly scrolling through online profiles. Every client of It’s Just Lunch is guaranteed to go on dates with hand-selected matches, and their matchmakers handle every detail of these dates, from the destination to the dinner reservations.

To provide personalized support throughout the matchmaking process, It’s Just Lunch has a customer support team who is always available by phone at (800) 489-7897 to provide coaching, dating advice and general service information for their clients.

When you first connect with It’s Just Lunch, a free phone-based private interview is scheduled to introduce you to the company, let you provide personal information, and clarify what you are looking for in a match. The purpose of this interview is to share information about what worked and didn’t work in past relationships, as well as your personal hobbies, passions and long-term relationship goals.

Once the interview is completed, you have the option to sign up for a level of membership. After you commit, It’s Just Lunch matchmakers will comb their collection of clients to search for potential matches.

When a match is chosen, the matchmaker will call you and share some information about them to gauge your interest. As a privacy protection, only first names are given out, and email addresses, phone numbers and other personal information are never disclosed before a first date.

If both parties are interested, a low-pressure date is scheduled for meeting face to face. If sparks fly and you choose to continue seeing each other, you can suspend your It’s Just Lunch membership to see where things lead.

No matter the end result of the date, the matchmaking team will debrief with you to get your opinion and start seeking out a different match if necessary. According to the company website, honest feedback is an essential part of the IJL matchmaking process, as it provides the information they need to fine-tune future matches and improve your dating experience.

While It’s Just Lunch can’t guarantee that you’ll find your soulmate, they do promise that you will go on dates that can open you up to new possibilities for your personal life and renew your enthusiasm for falling in love.

How Does It’s Just Lunch Compare To Other Matchmaking Companies?

In recent years, professional matchmaking services have grown in popularity as an alternative to online dating. One competitor, Tawkify, also provides matchmaking services around the country, though the company requires a basic online profile and a photo from each member.

Members also have more options to control who they get matched with, or go “passive” and leave the process completely up to their matchmakers. Like It’s Just Lunch, all personal information on Tawkify remains private.

Elite Matchmaking, another popular dating service, also matches busy professionals for dates across the country. Though the service is located in only a few states (California, Florida, Texas, Washington D.C, Boston and New York), Elite Matchmaking prides itself on finding new matches for their clients every three weeks or less.

Because It's Just Lunch has more locations in U.S. cities than both of these matchmaking companies, we are led to believe that it’s reasonable to assume that they have a larger pool of potential matches to choose from as well. However, this might not always be a positive, as some reviews on Consumer Affairs shows that some clients believed that their larger size compromised the level of personal attention that they received with their dates.

We’ll talk more about customer feedback in a moment, but first, let’s discuss price.

How Much Does an It’s Just Lunch Membership Cost?

The cost of an IJL membership can vary widely, depending primarily on your location and the number of dates you want to go on.

However, signing up for membership with It’s Just Lunch will guarantee that you get personalized attention from your matchmaking team, prospective matches, and prearranged dates that are convenient for you. For those that are interested in dating outside their immediate region, many locations have multi-city packages that expand the pool of potential matches to areas you are willing to travel to.

Of note, It’s Just Lunch doesn’t perform background checks because they believe that these checks provide their clients with a false sense of security. Instead, the company strives to empower their clients to use good judgment and take responsibility for their own safety.

What is the Company Reputation?

According to reviews left on DatingSiteReviews.com, many customers believe that It’s Just Lunch is expensive, often costing several thousand dollars for membership ( the actual cost varies widely depending on the city and the guaranteed number of dates you choose). This pricing is comparable to other matchmaking services, though it is far more expensive than most online dating options.

Despite this, among more than 4,000 reviews on Consumer Affairs, most reported having positive dating experiences with It’s Just Lunch. Members mentioned that they appreciated the assurance from IJL matchmakers that dating should be fun and simple to fit into their busy schedule.

Others valued the staff’s commitment to their dating life and the unwavering support and advice they gave them through the process. Common comments were that the matchmaking staff is very professional and passionate about what they do, and that their enthusiasm often rubbed off on the clients themselves.

On the other hand, some clients found it limiting to have to go through a matchmaker for their matches, rather than having more personal control over the process like more traditional online dating websites.

While It’s Just Lunch does have a mobile site, members don’t get to browse photos or profiles because all matching happens offline by the staff. While this ensures privacy and discreteness, many reviewers felt it led to frustration at the slow pace that the service sometimes moves at.

One major consideration for signing up for It’s Just Lunch is that representatives for the company state that you will only be matched with other members. While some locations have thousands of members, others are limited to just a few hundred.

For clients living far from big cities, some felt they were paying too much money for the limited number of matches in their area. Other clients experienced long gaps between dates and grew frustrated with the lack of communication they got from their matchmakers.

In 2014, It’s Just Lunch was the target of a class action lawsuit in New York for using a misleading script on potential clients during their initial interview that said that the service already had two or more matches for them. Currently, the company is paying out settlements to qualifying clients that signed up for the service after 2001.

Who Should Try It’s Just Lunch?

It’s Just Lunch primarily targets itself at busy urban professionals as a solution to finding someone to spend their life with, without jumping through the hoops of online dating.

And according to our research on the company’s site, as well as third-party sites (we didn’t sign up for the company’s services ourselves), It’s Just Lunch seems to be a viable option for anyone looking to go in a different direction with their dating life.

While the service is more expensive than online dating, our research looking into the reviews left by hundreds of It’s Just Lunch members on Consumer Affairs and DatingSiteReviews.com has revealed that customers who are seeking a personalized approach to their dating life often appreciate it. Besides the initial phone interview, It’s Just Lunch clients report not needing to put any effort into finding matches or arranging their dates.

However, customer feedback also revealed that those looking to have more autonomy over the search and planning process of their dating life could experience frustration due to their overall lack of involvement.

While we didn’t test this service firsthand, our research has led us to believe that if you live in a city and struggle to find the time to make meaningful connections with potential dates, It’s Just Lunch might offer you an option for making connections with datable partners, without the initial effort of online dating.

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Read 19 It's Just Lunch Customer Reviews and Complaints

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Average Consumer Rating: 1.1
Rating Snapshot:
5 star: 0 4 star: 0 3 star: 1 2 star: 0 1 star:  18
Bottom Line: 5% would recommend it to a friend
Showing 1-11 of 19
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  • 7 out 8 people found this review helpful

    This company is a joke

    • Greensboro, NC,
    • Jul 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    What a joke! This was a huge financial decision to trust them in finding dates for myself. I am a veterinarian that travels a lot and needed help finding local people when I was home. I opened my "market" up to my entire state. I paid the initial $2900 and $295/month for hopes of having one date a month (their reported average). My first match was not attractive at all. I went over again what I wanted with my matchmaker Mel (who sounds like she is reading a script every time I speak with her) and even sent her pictures of my exes. Match number 2 was very attractive, we set up a date...he canceled on me twice! I said I would no longer make dates with him. A month and half goes by and I hear nothing. I call and ask to speak to a manager, they take a message. My matchmaker calls back with a match. Once again he is not attractive. I put in another call for a manager, she calls me at 7 pm on the day before a holiday. I return her call a week later because I now have her direct line. My matchmaker calls and says she has another match. He is also not attractive. I call the manager again and leave a message...waiting. At this point, I'm going to start disputing charges on my credit card. It has been 4 months with ZERO dates. This company is a joke!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Not impressed

    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Jul 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have been a member for one day and am very disappointed. I was not expecting after only one day for them to not keep their word twice. If you’re serious about dating, this is not for you. It didn’t feel like a scam, but it is very unprofessional. I wish I hadn’t joined. I’ve requested a refund. It was not what I’d hoped for at all.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 8 out 8 people found this review helpful

    Waste of money

    • Minnesota,
    • Apr 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was contacted several times and promised a lot of things before finally agreeing to pay the high enrollment fee. I gave them very specific details of what I was looking for before I agreed to sign up. I was told repeatedly they had many matches that fit my expectations and it would be no problem. I had my first two dates and neither was anything like they had described to me. In fact, on the first date I mentioned details they had given me about her, and when I brought them up in conversation, she had no idea what I was talking about. I did go on several more dates, most of which were also not successful. I felt I continued to give the same feedback over and over. One of the important criteria I gave them was that I still wanted to have kids so I wanted to meet someone younger.

    After running through the first series of dates I was told that they just did not have anyone for me that was interested in meeting someone of my age. That would have been helpful to know before I forked over the huge enrollment fee. So then they said we can match you with people more your age who don't want kids. Since I knew they would not refund me, I reluctantly agreed. I have been on a few dates since without any real success. And most I have nothing in common or any attraction. I have now not had any matches in over 6 months. The last 4 have all canceled, yet they still billed my monthly fee.

    If you are expecting them to really be able to find you matches that are detailed to your liking, you will be disappointed. If you just want to meet people and don't care who then maybe you would find value in this service. I myself have found it a big mistake.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 11 out 11 people found this review helpful

    Poor saleswoman

    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Mar 25, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I have received many calls/emails from IJL with special offers. I’ve even spoken with a few ladies over a period of time. I had a phone interview with Sjerstin Meyer, March 21,19. She asked me to pay her upfront $860 which I thought was a little crazy because I hadn’t gone on a date, or she nor I had determined if I was a good fit. And I thought I had to sign a contract first to get started. This is very suspicious to me. I’m not sure if I would recommend this place to a friend. It’s very costly so invest your time into researching this company’s reputation before investing your money or time!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 9 out 9 people found this review helpful

    Total scam!

    • New Orleans, LA,
    • Mar 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I was sold an entirely different service than what I actually received. The salesperson "selling" the service to me promised MUCH more than they could deliver. But once they have your money, there is no recourse. No refunds. No help. No service. After promising me that I would be matched with people who lived in my "area," my first match was someone who lived 80 miles from me. Of course, you are not told where your match lives until you meet them in person. So if you accept a match (at $500 each), it's just hit or miss as to where they live. After I paid my money, I was informed that the JLK definition of "area" is about 100-mile radius from my location.

    When I met my first match, she informed me that she herself was not a paying member of IJL (another omitted detail when you sign up is that you may be matched with anyone in the database, not just other members). She actually told me that she was not interested in dating but was just "doing my recruiter a favor" by meeting with me.

    There is not enough time or space in this review to go through all the details of how awful this service is. Of course, they will taut their few success stories, but they are few and far between. Apparently, the pool of candidates is not very deep either. After only three matches, they start re-sending me previous matches that I had already declined. After declining them a second time, the marketing department started applying the pressure to be "open to new experiences." Which is code for just accept what we have because we have nothing else to offer you. I (pre)paid for 4 total matches at $2000 total. After asking me specifically what I was looking for in a match, only one of the four actually met all of the criteria I had listed.

    Total waste of money.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 7 out 7 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money

    • New York,
    • Mar 21, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They are over-priced and pressure you that you only have three times to decline a selection they pick for you, so you are pressured into going onto a date with someone your not even attracted to.

    So you do the whole date thing and may/or may not work out and then done. You're dropped like a bombshell unless you plan on paying them money to find you another date.

    Don't waste your time on them and their high pressured sales team. They just boost your ego, make you feel like they are going to find the one who best matches you and they drop the bomb of no real prospects.

    My prospects didn't even live within 100 miles of my location.

    Be warned and trust your instincts as their sales team are highly manipulative personal who work on commissions to draw you in. Worse than a used car salesperson!

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Worst dating experiences I have ever had in my life

    • Spring, TX,
    • Mar 18, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    They absolutely misrepresented themselves. The people I was matched with I would never have considered if I had met them my self. They try to finesse you they are totally not interested in your experiences or opinions. At one point my matchmaker in a ranting email told me my last date was a tall dark handsome man. He was short, light, and pleasant looking, not someone I would call handsome. When I asked her to explain this and other mistakes, she just did not get back to me. This is a scam.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Did not honor contract in the end

    • Simi Valley, CA,
    • Mar 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I am in the second biggest market of theirs, LA. There are hardly any matches, period. And, even less f you are a woman who wants to have children and are over 35. Most of the men who join this are serious about relationships but are done having kids. They did give me men to choose from. However, they decided I was taking too long to pick a guy I liked for my final match. So, they lied and said that I said yes to some guy and then changed my mind for the fourth match. That was not true - I have e-mail evidence. They then ghosted me. Stay far away! If you go with this, make sure to get done within the 6 months because they don't honor the number after a year in which they say you have "forever."

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 5 out 5 people found this review helpful

    Unethical and unprofessional

    • Minneapolis, MN,
    • Mar 11, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    Wish I had known about the recent class action lawsuit against IJL before giving them almost $3000. Also, wish I had known about the Matchmaker job posting that doesn't have that skill as a prerequisite, but did ask for, "shouldn't shy away from objections and should excel at closing," and looking for, "friendly competition in the office."

    After being sent on 3 ridiculously inappropriate meetings, I tried to contact the Matchmaker. Front desk person belittled and tried to shame me, and Matchmaker yelled at me that she "doesn't fail!" and "isn't in customer service!"

    They lied in documents to the Better Business Bureau and the MN Attorney General's office. I write this in the hope no one else is harmed by this company.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 6 out 6 people found this review helpful

    Don't waste your money!

    • Baltimore, MD,
    • Feb 20, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I had one date in a year, and he lived over an hour away. Because I didn't reply to a match they sent that I wasn't interested in, they put my account on hold until it ran out. When I called to complain, she was pretty nasty and told me she could give me more time at a discounted rate, and kept telling me I didn't read the contracts. Supposedly, if you don't reply to a match, they put you on hold...forever...and you're beat out of your money. Bottom line, don't waste your money...I would give a zero if I could.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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  • 12 out 12 people found this review helpful

    It's Just Lunch is a scam ran by con artists!

    • Saint Louis, MO,
    • Feb 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer

    I joined It's Just Lunch on 9/30/18 and during a phone call when I was promised:

    1. You WILL go on dates.

    2. You will ONLY be matched with men serious about finding a partner.

    3. It's Just Lunch will do ALL the work so you can relax.

    10/12/18: My matchmaker Natalie sends my first match. I give date options for three weeks.

    10/31/18: Natalie never responds. I ask if I should send more dates. She says yes. I send date options for four weeks. Natalie never initiates contact after that.

    11/8/18: Another matchmaker, Jasmine, sends a new match. I ask what happened to the first one but she doesn't acknowledge my question. I send four weeks of date options.

    11/15/18: I find out my first date will be 11/30/18.

    11/30/18: My match cancels. I'd arranged and paid for a babysitter for the night. No apologies from Jasmine. She pressures me to reschedule for the weekend. I tell her I don't want to date someone who cancels at the last minute. I'd been with It's Just Lunch for two months, had wasted enough time/money, and had zero dates. I tell Jasmine/Natalie I want to cancel and get a refund. Natalie responds that she is working on my next match. She doesn't acknowledge my dissatisfaction or request for a cancellation/refund. Nobody from It's Just Lunch speaks to me for over two months.

    1/27/19: I call It's Just Lunch to complain and ask for a cancellation/refund again. I'm told that only Natalie can help. I'm sent to Natalie's voicemail but she doesn’t answer or return my calls. I send another email.

    1/28/19: Natalie calls and says she's not the one to talk to about cancellations/refunds. She says a supervisor will call in 48 hours. Still no apologies.

    1/31/18: A supervisor calls 24 hours late. He apologizes but refuses my request. He says they can't do refunds. The contract I signed disproves this. I ask him to cancel my membership. He refuses. He is in a hurry to get off the phone, and tells me that my next match will be coming soon.

    This company is a scam. They prey on optimists. Please help me and other potential victims from being prey to their scheme.

    Thank you.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

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