It’s Just Lunch Review: Is It Worth It?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Aug 6, 2020

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.

Founded in 1991, the company now has over 150 locations around the world where professional matchmakers seek out suitable dates for their clients.

It’s Just Lunch members are interviewed about their lifestyle, relationship goals, and dating preferences by the matchmakers.

These matchmakers then seek out appropriate matches from their pool of members, coordinate the first date, and debrief with them afterward to learn what worked and what needs to change for the future.

Instead of seeing each person as a profile on a website, IJL matchmakers conduct confidential phone interviews to answer any questions about the service as well as discover the personal attributes, previous dating experiences, and life goals of their potential clients.

In this analysis, we take a detailed look at what It’s Just Lunch offers, to help you decide if this service is right for you.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Great way to meet local people without online dating
  • Many people found love
  • You can pause your membership if you click with someone
Cons
  • No refunds
  • Many people shared their matches were nothing like their specifications
  • A small pool of potential dates unless you are willing to go to a major city

Benefits

As an industry, professional matchmaking services seek to guide the process of finding love for people who are too busy or too disillusioned to set up dates for themselves.

It’s Just Lunch lets you outsource the partner search process, similar to how you might trust your investment decisions to a financial planner.

In this way, the company claims to streamline the modern dating process, so you don’t spend hours endlessly scrolling through online profiles.

Once you sign up, you’re guaranteed to go on dates with hand-selected partners. The company handles every detail of these dates, from the destination to the dinner reservations.

It’s Just Lunch has a customer support team that is available by phone to offer coaching, dating advice, and general service information for their clients.

But this begs a bigger question—is signing up for a matchmaking service a good idea in the first place?

Amber Artis has worked as a professional matchmaker since 1998, and she is the founder and CEO of the boutique matchmaking firm Select Date Society. In her view, working with a matchmaker offers advantages for falling in love you won’t get otherwise.

“Working with a matchmaker is a better strategy for meeting the right partner than using online dating for a number of reasons,” she told us.

“A matchmaker makes it her full-time job to find her clients the one! In my 22 years as a matchmaker, clients often share with me that they make great decisions in every area of their life except when it comes to love.

“A matchmaker is an expert when it comes to dating and can introduce you to the right potentials without wasting your time.”

In other words, working with a matchmaker can be a great way to get some expert insight into your dating life, especially if you don’t have the time or inclination to sort through potential options yourself.

How It’s Just Lunch Works

If you’re intrigued by IJL, the first step is letting the company schedule a free phone-based private interview. This gives them a chance to answer your questions, gather your personal information, and clarify what you are looking for in a match.

The purpose of this interview is for the matchmakers to learn what did and didn’t work in your past relationships, as well as learn about your hobbies, passions, and long-term relationship goals.

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

When IJL finds a good fit, a matchmaker will call both parties separately and gauge their interest in each other.

You will only receive each other’s first names, and email addresses; phone numbers, and additional personal information is never disclosed before a first date.

Assuming 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 result of the date, the matchmaking team will debrief with you to get your opinion and start seeking out a different match if necessary.

IJL states that honest feedback is an essential part of the matchmaking process, as it provides the information the matchmakers need to fine-tune future matches and improve your dating experience.

While the company 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.

It’s Just Lunch doesn’t perform background checks because it believes that they would provide clients with a false sense of security.

Instead, the company strives to empower clients to use good judgment and take responsibility for their own safety.

Pricing

Signing up for It’s Just Lunch guarantees you’ll go on dates with a variety of matches, personalized attention from your matchmaking team, and further aid and guidance along the way.

The cost of an IJL membership will vary, depending primarily on your location and the number of dates you want to go on. If you’re willing to travel, you can sign up for multi-city packages for a larger pool of prospects.

From our assessment, you can expect to pay around $2,000–$5,000 for a basic membership. You’ll get further information about your personal costs during the interview process.

Analysis of Customer Reviews

Below are our key takeaways from IJL customer reviews on our website as well as other platforms:

Common Compliments:

  • Some users had great experiences with quality matches and professional matchmakers
  • Valuable service for making connections if you don’t want to date online
  • Many members connect with their matchmakers and felt they received great personalized service

Common Complaints:

  • Members pay lots of money for the service, often without ever going on dates
  • Many are matched with people who don’t fit their criteria
  • Many had dates suspiciously cancel at the last minute
  • Difficult to get refunds
  • Low-quality date options
  • Members were often shuffled between different matchmakers
  • Expensive, tedious signup process

Alternatives to It’s Just Lunch

It’s Just Lunch Elite Matchmaking
Premise Work with a matchmaking service to go on dates with quality singles. You’re guaranteed to go on dates. Work with professional matchmakers to be matched with singles in your area for dates. You can pre-approve every match and will receive feedback after every date to improve continuously.
Estimated Cost $2,00–$5,000 (price will depend on your location and term length) $3,000+ (depending on service length)
Locations Cities across Europe, North America, and Oceana, including 40+ US states Locations across California, Florida, Texas, Washington D.C., Boston, and New York.
Money-Back Guarantee No No

These two matchmaking services promise similar things. Both claim to let you outsource your love life to experts so that all you need to do is show up on dates.

They also each promise to improve in value over time, as your matchmaker will use your feedback from every date to guide the search for the next one.

However, each of these services suffers from the same downsides. First, you’ll need to put a lot of money down to start going on dates, with a minimal guarantee that you’ll like who you meet in the process.

Likewise, the pool of potential dates might be limited, depending on where you live. Unless you live in a big city or are willing to travel to one, there’s a decent chance that either matchmaking site is working with just a few hundred potential suitors.

If a large applicant pool is a significant concern for you, we suggest going the direction of It’s Just Lunch. This more-established matchmaking business is available in more US cities, which means you’ll likely have more prospects to consider.

The Bottom Line

It’s Just Lunch claims to offer a dating solution for busy urban professionals who want to find someone to spend their life with. Our research shows that this site seems to be a viable option for anyone looking to go in a different direction with their dating life—so long as you’re willing to pay for it.

While the service is more expensive than online dating, our research looking into the reviews left by hundreds of It’s Just Lunch members shows 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 that they liked that they didn’t need to put any effort into finding matches or arranging their dates.

However, customer feedback also shows this service can be limiting. If you want to have some autonomy over the search and planning process of your dating life, you could experience frustration with It’s Just Lunches’ top-level management style.

If you live in a city and struggle to find the time to make meaningful connections with potential dates, then we think It’s Just Lunch might offer you an option for making connections with datable partners, without the initial effort of online dating.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of It’s Just Lunch:
  • 27 Customer Reviews
  • 4% Recommend This Service
1.1 out of 5
5 star: 0% 4 star: 0% 3 star: 3% 2 star: 0% 1 star: 96%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

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  • Unhelpful and overly pushy

    • By Becca M.,
    • Greenville, SC,
    • Sep 9, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    • Length of Use: 1–2 years
    Overall Experience:

    I signed up for IJL years ago but was quoted a $2300 rate and laughed at them for it. I got called every once in a while for the next few years offering me $500 off but I still could't afford it, and I only ended up joining once someone called and offered me a free trial. Almost a year after this free trial I finally got contacted by email about doing a video call with a guy. I was given no personal info about him, no picture, no nothing, just a time and a link for a Zoom call. Then a week or so later, I was contacted by another "matchmaker" by phone asking requested that I do a video call with another guy. She read his list of interests and character traits as if it was a sales catalog, speaking in a monotone and speaking very quickly, and really gave that "impersonal and unprofessional call center" vibe. She explained his religious background, and since it wasn't anywhere near mine and I knew that was a huge dealbreaker for me, I told her I wasn't interested. She went on a 5-minute incoherent sales pitch speech about how that shouldn't matter, but maybe it should, but it could change, but it's always worth a try, and blah blah blah. She seriously couldn't form a coherent sentence or finish any train of thought, but she basically wouldn't let me say no. (This was Vanessa.) I finally agreed to the date just to make her shut up and hang up, and then I emailed a few days later saying I wasn't interested and that I'd been pressured into accepting the date and I asked that they please tell the guy I wouldn't be showing up.

    Just recently I got another phone call by a "matchmaker" named Obed asking about a date, and again was given the guy's name and a quick list of interests and character traits. (Honestly though, these details are the same that anyone would put on their dating profile and I would just as soon read them for myself and decide whether or not to contact the person rather than having it done for me by a call center trainee!) I got an email right after the call and immediately replied to say that I was at work but would contact them when I had a change. I got an auto-reply saying "sorry our offices are closed" which made no sense since it was 2 minutes after they emailed me. When Oben finally replied, there wasn't any "we want to know if you're interested in meeting" and instead it was "please send us all your available times for the next 2-3 weeks so we can set up a date." So I gave them a few times and was sent the restaurant and time info. Then I was emailed again a day later asking if the date could be moved to a different town an hour away from me on request from the guy I was to meet. I said it would have to be a different day and asked if we could meet halfway, and quickly received an email saying "great, we've set it up for a different day" essentially. No discussion about meeting halfway, just felt like a very cold sales transaction. I'm probably going to end up canceling this one too or requesting it be moved to video.

    You aren't "assigned" a matchmaker, your file is in the system for the next call center employee to look at and badger. Just don't spend the money. If you want to spend money, try eharmony. Much cheaper and you're in complete control of who you contact and when.

    Pros and Cons:

    • No “pros” were specified in this review
    • Cold "salesman" feel to the "matchmakers"
    • Unprofessional customer service
    • Serious lack of communication

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


  • FRAUD

    • By Henry F.,
    • Philadelphia, PA,
    • May 11, 2020
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    My name is Henry F, I paid $3500 for an It's Just Lunch membership over a year ago and haven't been on one date, they keep matching me with people that don't fit my criteria. They fraudulently induced me to sign their contract. I asked them to provide me one match before I signed to see the caliber of women, she was beautiful and right after I signed, the rep told me the woman thought I was "too tall" which I think is bogus. They have assigned me to 4 different matchmakers, one more incompetent than the next, they are non-responsive, evasive, and difficult to get ahold of. I just talked to a Vice President at It's Just Lunch who basically told me they are aren't refunding me. I have heard of people getting refunds or partial refunds by contacting news agencies. Can you help me at all? This company is engaging in fraudulent business practices which are evidenced by the countless lawsuits against them. They need to be stopped and exposed, they are stealing people's hard-earned money. Can you help me?

    Best.

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


  • Fraud organization

    • By Neel J.,
    • Redondo Beach, CA,
    • Dec 3, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    This is a fraud organization with capital all the way. I signed up, was told by the lady how they paid attention to detail, etc. All BS. I had another lady FaceTime me to verify and after a few days tried fixing me up with a washed-up retiree who lived 2 and 1/2 hours away from me. When I said "No" she tried 4 different times trying to convince me. After that, she realized I wasn't even in the area and was way above my age limit.

    I immediately asked for my money back.

    A month later after I sent in a request about my refund, I got a call from some idiot telling me they don't do refunds. I will see about that, especially when they talk to my attorney.

    This company also has a class-action lawsuit filed against them in the District of New York for similar reasons.

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


  • Total scam

    • By Terry S.,
    • Atlanta, GA,
    • Nov 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I joined It’s Just Lunch some years ago. I am a professional black female.

    I will date interracially, however, at that time there were very few black male clients and apparently, there was a problem creating interracial dates.

    I was very specific that I do not date men shorter than myself. I am around 5'7" without heels which I always wear. One date, the guy was no more than 5'4". You could not believe this match.

    I was not matched with anyone that met the criteria I asked for. One guy was a Scientologist. I’m Catholic. Are you kidding me?

    I think you get the picture.

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


  • Total scam

    • By Shara C.,
    • Kansas,
    • Nov 15, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I signed up almost 5 months ago and I was promised 6 dates that matched my criteria. I went on 2 dates because the "dating coach" begged me to be open-minded even though neither person met my criteria. The salespeople will strong-arm you into paying a HUGE fee to join and then totally drop you. I have called, emailed (several people in the company), and cannot even get a response from anyone. Unfortunately, they have my money and have disappeared. One of the dates I went on was not even a member. He told me that someone called him randomly and was sent my photo to go on a date. The lack of professionalism, lack of integrity, as well as customer service is appalling! Plus, they are downright liars. BEWARE! I highly recommend staying away from these thieves! They currently have settled a huge class-action lawsuit and I am getting in touch with an attorney to sue them as well!

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


  • A scam

    • By Donna L.,
    • South Carolina,
    • Nov 13, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I can’t believe they are still in business. I was scammed in 2010. They presented to me that they had potential dates in mind during the initial interview. My first date stood me up at a restaurant. My second date was very physically unattractive and his professional background was misrepresented. My third was the no-show first date after I had specifically said I didn’t want to meet him. The poor guy was morbidly obese and it was obviously the only way he could get a date. During dinner he told me he had discovered how to make gasoline from water. The hair literally stood up on the back of my neck. Totally misrepresented the dates, their level of professionalism and physical appearance.

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


  • Horrible

    Overall Experience:

    I paid $2,800 for this service. I was put through three different interview processes of which all asked me the same question. You can tell their employees come and go quickly. I was then assigned a dating consultant and that changed 3 times. After almost 5 months of not receiving a referral, I got quite upset. I was promised with the sales pitch that the Sacramento market was "Hot, Hot, Hot." Really? 5 months and not a referral? Because I threw a fit, I was sent a match, who appeared to be ok. Went on the date, however, that individual was not a paying member and stated to me that he had not seen or read anything about me, but he didn't have anything to lose. He was also renting a room from a friend? Really? I find better material from Tinder!

    I was beyond upset and contacted ILJ, I demanded my money back. They talked me into staying saying that they had candidates, I just needed the right consultant. That was in July 2019. I still have not received a candidate. I just contacted them and said, it has been over 7 months, please reimburse me because I now met someone on my own. And then they send me a referral. I probably won't get my money back, but I will write bad reviews of this business all over the net until they do. Total SCAM! Do not believe them.

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


  • Horrible

    • By D S.,
    • New York City, NY,
    • Oct 17, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    It's been 6 months and I have had one date who falsified his entire background. Wondering if this service really screens its clients. Have had to change matchmakers multiple time due to horrible proposed matches that did not even come close to requested profile. Most recent matchmaker "disappeared" and now a new matchmaker who is proposing the same referral (what a coincidence). This is the worst service I have experienced.

    Oh, BTW I also just received (this week) a class-action lawsuit against the NY section of the company. Guess there are more people than we know who are totally dissatisfied with this company.

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


  • This company is a joke

    • By Alison R.,
    • Greensboro, NC,
    • Jul 26, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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


  • Not impressed

    • By Diana P.,
    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Jul 23, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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


  • Waste of money

    • By Tim A.,
    • Minnesota,
    • Apr 9, 2019
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    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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