It’s Just Lunch matchmaking: 2022 reviews

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It’s Just Lunch is a matchmaking service, that is the largest and most affordable of traditional matchmaking services.

IJL was established, in 1991 and reports more than 3 million first dates set up!

It’s Just Lunch dating packages range from about $1,000 to $5,000. 

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Or, if you’re still curious about what matchmaking is like, keep reading:

Who owns It’s Just Lunch?

It’s Just Lunch was started in 1991 by Andrea McGinty who had just been dumped by a fiance. Today It's Just Lunch is owned by private equity firm Riverside.

How It’s Just Lunch works

Here is how it works:

  • Guaranteed number of dates. Your It’s Just Lunch contract comes with a guaranteed number of dates. (A date is arranged when your matchmaker presents you with people you matched with, and you decide if you would like to pursue a first date.)
  • They set up the date. It’s Just Lunch is unique in that the service makes a reservation at a bar, cafe or restaurant for you. You just show up and (hopefully) have a great time.
  • You provide feedback after your date — this helps the matchmaker hone her selection of new dates for you, as well as better understand the other party.
  • Your full identity, including contact info, is not shared with the other party.
  • You can pause your service at any time. So, if you signed on for a 16-month, 12-date  membership, and decide to be exclusive with match #4 on month 5 (or otherwise want to take a break from dating), you can pause your engagement with It’s Just Lunch, and pick up again later.
  • Each membership includes two, free one-on-one dating coaching sessions.
  • All the interactions with It’s Just Lunch are personal, one-on-one, and offline: From the initial consultation, to the interview and onboarding, to the first date — it all is handled by a human invested in your dating success.
  • Your matchmaker pulls from a vast database of potential matches — 100% of whom are from the It’s Just Lunch membership list of other serious daters who actively sought out and paid for the service. By contrast, other matchmakers recruit from their social connections and even strangers, often waiving fees in order to increase offerings to paid clients.
  • F Better Business Bureau rating — though individual city affiliate offices have their own (often high) BBB scores
  • Trustpilot rating of 2.5/5 stars
  • 213 It’s Just Lunch reviews on Consumer Affairs, with an average rating of 3.9/5 stars

Who can join It’s Just Lunch?

Any adult who can pay the fee is welcome to join It’s Just Lunch. However, one of the benefits of IJL is that report that they will not take your money unless the service is confident they can arrange a minimum number of quality dates that meet your dating criteria.

How much does It’s Just Lunch cost?

It’s Just Lunch guarantee dating packages are customized for each client, and range from about $1,000 to $5,000.

Prices are customized based on the member’s city and flexibility in their dating requirements, as well as age and other factors.

The service also has a deep database of millions of potential matches — all of whom actively signed up for and paid for the service. By contrast, many high-end matchmaking services recruit randomly from attractive people they meet, but may not actively pursue and pay for a matchmaker in an effort to find a meaningful connection.

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How do I join It’s Just Lunch?

I went through the It’s Just Lunch free, onboarding interview process, and left extremely impressed by how the program works, the type of people it attracts, the history and success rate, and It’s Just Lunch’s high standards.

While I happen to be happy with my boyfriend of 5 years, I had so much fun during the interview, and that evening enthusiastically recommended IJL to one of my single, successful girlfriends who is frustrated with online dating.

Have a listen to my experience with It’s Just Lunch dating specialist, Sandra, here:

How to sign up for It’s Just Lunch:

1. Call 1-800-805-9757, or enter your contact info here and a specialist will contact you.

Expect to spend 30 minutes on the phone, as the dating specialist will ask all about you:

  • What prompted the call
  • Your interests and values
  • Experience with dating — the good, bad and ugly
  • What type of relationship and match you are looking for
  • Your schedule and dating availability
  • Your levels of education and career
  • Any dating deal-breakers
  • Answer any and all questions you have

2. Based on your answers, as well as your location, the specialist will offer you a dating package — a fixed number of dates over a specific period of time. The package is based on a minimum guaranteed number of dates It’s Just Lunch feels confident promising. The higher the likelihood they can find quality matches for you in your area, the higher the number of dates they will promise. 

3. Once you are signed on, you will be introduced to your own personal matchmaker. This person will spend time on video interview getting to know you, who you are, your personality, and the type of person who will make a great first date — and help you reach your dating goals. (New to matchmaking? These are questions to ask a matchmaker.)

5. Your matchmaker will present you with potential matches, showing you their photo, and information about who they are and their age, interests and other information. Your full name, contact info, and other identifying information is kept completely confidential. And remember — none of this process is available publicly online. It is 100% private.

6. Once there is a mutual match, It’s Just Lunch sets up a first date at a restaurant, bar or cafe, based on your schedule.

7. Your matchmaker will follow up after the date. The info you share will help your matchmaker hone their matches for you in the future — as well as better understand your date.

8. Repeat!

Learn more about other matchmaking services, as well as how professional matchmaking works. Also learn about IJL competitor Tawkify.

Pros and cons of It’s Just Lunch

What we liked about IJL 

IJL has systematized matchmaking, offering a more affordable and results-oriented process with a guaranteed number of dates attached to a custom price based on your location and datability.

Also, it is anonymous with no online profile.

What we didn’t like abou IJL

What seems to have been a quality product years ago, online complaints abound about the staff over-selling the service and failing to deliver.

The It's Just Lunch BBB rating has fallen from an A+ a few years ago to an F. However, each individual city's operations work as an affiliate, and have their own ratings.

Minneapolis It's Just Lunch has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+.

Toronto It's Just Lunch has a Better Business Bureau rating of B-.

Houston It's Just Lunch has a Better Business Bureau rating of A+.

It’s Just Lunch reviews

BBB It's Just Lunch review

It's Just Lunch has a Better Business Bureau rating of F.

BBB review of matchmaking site It's Just Lunch.

Common complaints include lack of communication from your matchmaker, low-quality matches, failure to deliver on their guaranteed number of dates.

It’s Just Lunch reviews on Reddit

Reddit has a number of candid, mostly negative reviews of It's Just Lunch:

It’s Just Lunch reviews on Trustpilot

It's just lunch also has a 3.5/5 star review from Trustpilot, based on 95 reviews, some which are BRUTAL:

Trustpilot review of matchmaking site It's Just Lunch.
trustpilot review of matchmaking site It's Just Lunch.

Dating red flags- and how to deal

It’s Just Lunch complaints

Common IJL complaints include:

  • Clearly incompatible matches
  • Poor communication between matchmaker and client
  • Failure to meet contract of agreed-upon number of dates within certain timeframe

It’s Just Lunch FAQs

Does It’s Just Lunch do background checks?

It’s Just Lunch screens clients by first doing a one-on-one interview via phone. Once someone committed to being a client, they sign an agreement stating their interview questions are true. After that, the service meets face-to-face with the client and does a photo ID check to verify who they are, and related details — including age — are true.

Does It’s Just Lunch serve the LGBTQ community?

It’s Just Lunch serves the gay and trans community in some of their offices, and is expanding service to this community. Ask your dating specialist what is available in your area.

Does It’s Just Lunch serve people with disabilities?

Yes. Before It’s Just lunch agrees to work with any client, they ensure they can provide matches, and set proper expectations.

What is It’s Just Lunch success rate?

Says IJL dating specialist Sandra Hatton: “Success is measured differently by each client. It is always personal. But we do guarantee fun first dates, and we measure our success by metrics including great feedback from clients, when clients go on “hold” for one another, and having a great time. We have documented thousands of relationships and marriages, but we always make sure we measure success one-on-one for each person. Being proactive and going out on fun first dates is always a success.

It’s Just Lunch alternatives

It's Just Lunch is one of the oldest modern matchmaking services with a model that promises quality dates, with a price tag commensurate with services guaranteed. The company seems to be going through a rough time and suffers from a lousy online reputation, though some of the state affiliates maintain high Better Business Bureau scores.

Online dating apps of course are a much less expensive option, and can be worth a look — especially the free versions:

Plenty of FishZooskTinder
Christian MingleAdult Friend FinderMatch.com
BumbleOKCupidElite Singles
Christian dating appsSingleParentMeet
Does It’s Just Lunch do background checks?

It’s Just Lunch screens clients by first doing a one-on-one interview via phone. Once someone committed to being a client, they sign an agreement stating their interview questions are true. After that, the service meets face-to-face with the client and does a photo ID check to verify who they are.

How much does It's Just Lunch cost?

It’s Just Lunch guarantee dating packages are customized for each client, and range from about $1,000 to $5,000.

Who can join It's Just Lunch?

Any adult who can pay the fee is welcome to join It’s Just Lunch. However, one of the benefits of IJL is that report that they will not take your money unless the service is confident they can arrange a minimum number of quality dates that meet your dating criteria.

Is It's Just Lunch legit?

IJL was established, in 1991 and reports more than 3 million first dates set up! It’s Just Lunch was started in 1991 by Andrea McGinty who had just been dumped by a fiance. Today It's Just Lunch is owned by private equity firm Riverside.

Wealthysinglemommy.com founder Emma Johnson is an award-winning business journalist, activist, author and expert. A former Associated Press reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has appeared on CNBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, TIME, The Doctors, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine. Winner of Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web” and a New York Observer “Most Eligible New Yorker," her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was a New York Post Must Read. As an expert on divorce and gender, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality and multiple state legislature hearings. More about Emma's credentials.

4 Comments

I fell for it and signed up because I moved to a new city and thought it was a good idea. Truly the worst dates I have ever been on. The men are the most socially awkward, broken, emotional wrecks. The most recent one I went on, the waiter was even shocked at how badly behaved my date was. The first date IJL set up the guy stood me up. Horrible experience straight through. They should change their name to It Just keeps getting worse. I complained many times but they take offense and don’t do anything about it. The dates are also few and far between. Not what the contract claims. They will not do better nor refund.

Hi Emma – curious if you ended up using It’s Just Lunch matchmaking services. If so, how was the process once a match was selected?

Are you telling me that people actually spend $2,000 for a match making service? That’s way too much money for what they do,and I would rather stay single than giving away 2k just to meet somebody.

Well, for matchmaking services, that is a bargain, as most charge $15,000+. Also, consider the cost of dating for even one year: Dinners, drinks, child care, new clothes, personal grooming, etc. Time is money!

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