About It's Just Lunch
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.
2 out 2 people found this review helpful
Do not waste your money on It's Just Lunch!
Recently, I began seeing It's Just Lunch (IJL) advertising on Fox news. Since I am on vacation and have some time, I decided to share my extremely unsatisfactory experience by writing this review expressing my contempt for this deceptive company; hoping to spare potential future victims.
Around five years ago, I wish someone would have shared IJL's business model with me so that now I wouldn't be out $2,000, which I may as well have flushed down the toilet. My blood boils every time I am exposed to their deceptive ads; which I know first hand are lies intended to lure you in and rip you off. IJL's prey are busy professional singles with money to spend and willing to take a chance on a company with crafty, well-targeted seemingly sincere advertising commercials.
My experience was: I went back and forth for months seeing their commercials and thought what a novel idea! I'm a busy executive, don't go to bars, no one I'm interested in at church, online dating is the same people and it hasn't led to anything, so why not try IJL? After all, it sounded like the perfect way to find someone! Initially, I called several times asking questions before one day the agent informed me of a special deal for $2000, saving $750, and guaranteeing I would go on at least four dates over the following year. I decided to go ahead and give it a try. The agent couldn't wait to get my credit card number.
Once I was a paid member, things moved pretty fast and I felt good about my decision. Within a week, a dating counselor set up a time to meet with me face to face and a dating director contacted me by phone as well. That was basically the end of any service from this company. I began to get even more concerned when the only contact from IJL was to inform me I had a new "dating director." To the best of my recollection, I was informed of seven different ones over the period of less than one year.
I was sent no matches until almost a year, and only after I began to complain about the process. The matches I was sent were nothing like I had requested or consistent with my profile on file, which only added to my buyer's remorse. There was only one date IJL ever informed me they were setting up and later they cancelled before it could take place for the reason the man was untruthful regarding his profile. That was it. IJL never did more than that, never sent more matches and never informed me again of anyone they wanted me to meet.
I do understand not everyone can be easily matched. However, I was a well-educated insurance executive in my late 50's, 5'5" size 6; with long dark hair and a former lingerie model. Surely, IJL could have found at least one gentleman fitting the description requested in my profile?
At the end of one year, I realized IJL either wouldn't or couldn't fulfill their contractual obligation. Therefore, I decided to exercise my refund option as detailed in my contract; which basically said I was entitled to a $1500 refund ($500 less than originally paid due to administrative fees). A formal refund request letter to IJL was submitted by certified delivery detailing my experience resulting in my dissatisfaction with their service. I received a letter from IJL stating they would not give me a refund, but in so many words, basically, they would be happy to do the job they promised they would do in the first place. But never did.
This company makes it very difficult, if not impossible to talk to anyone in authority if you have a problem or want a refund. However, if you want to sign up and give them your hard earned money, you'll have no problem finding someone to take your credit card number. No one is accountable; once they have your money, if you are fortunate enough to find someone to speak with, soon they are gone from the company, and you start all over again. It quickly becomes obvious IJL banks on their victims being too busy and possibly too embarrassed they entrusted a so-called matchmaker, that most will not pursue legal remedies and just accept their losses.
This company took my money, and offered NOTHING in return. Don't be fooled by a refund protection clause in your contact. You won't get one! $2,000 is still a lot of money to me. I want my money back and I'll tell everyone who will listen what this company is really about until I receive the refund I am entitled to!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
6 out 6 people found this review helpful
It’s just a rip-off
I wish I had read the Yelp reviews before I made the mistake of signing up and throwing away a lot of money.
The salespeople are awesome and sell you a load of crap. They said they had a large inventory of people and worked to find your perfect match.
My dates were TERRIBLE. None of the men were even paying members. They set me up with a warm body. One guy even showed up to dinner at a nice restaurant in jean shorts and a fishing hat!
The “matchmakers” are just people who humor you. They listen to you complain, say they will do better and then ignore you for months. I don’t know how they sleep at night playing this scam on lonely people.
Trust me, do NOT sign up!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
15 out 15 people found this review helpful
Feel I was conned
I was told that it was a matchmaker service, and there would be follow-up and that they had two great matches for me. After I paid them, I had a stressful and unsuccessful time in trying to connect with a coach.
I asked to cancel my $2800.00 membership and was told that is not possible. So I let them set me up with a date who was uneducated, seemed only interested in sex, and was 20 minutes late. I tried to contact my coach, and he did not return my call for two weeks and told me that I was being assigned to a new coach.
I again tried to dispute my charges with the credit card company and was contacted a week later by a new coach. I did not respond since I was disputing the charges, which I ultimately lost the dispute. It's Just Lunch said that I had used their service.
I feel that l have been scammed out of $2800.00 and have received nothing but a bad date, and I have no confidence that anyone at It's Just Lunch even knows me, let alone what would be a good match for me. They are difficult to reach, and take days or weeks to respond to messages by phone or email.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend