scroll top

It’s Just Lunch reviews 2024: Is this dating service worth the cost?

We earn commissions for transactions made through links in this post. Here's more on how we make money.

If you're a busy professional who doesn't have time to swipe through matches — or you're just fed up with online dating — matchmaking services like It's Just Lunch aim to do some of the heavy lifting for you.

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

It’s Just Lunch: What it is and who it’s for

Many people want to know: Is It’s Just Lunch a dating site? It’s Just Lunch is a matchmaking service, and it's 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. 

Too pricey for you now? Here are two alternatives:

eharmony (our review)Tawkify (our review)
A- Better Business Bureau rating
Free basic plan
6-month membership: $45.90/mo
12-month membership: $29.90/mo << MOST POPULAR
24-month membership: $19.90/mo

Features:
– Extensive questionnaire
– Unlimited messaging
– Ability to view unlimited photos
– See who has visited your profile

Try eharmony online dating for free, and get 25% off >>
A+ BBB rating
Rolodex (the pool of people paying members match with): Free
Matchable Member: $99/year
– No set number of matches guaranteed; you'll only be called if you match with a Matchmaker Client: starting at $4,000
– Plans customized to your needs

Features:
– Dates curated based on you and your date’s interests
– Rate your dates when you’re finished

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

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.
  • B Better Business Bureau rating — individual city affiliate offices have their own (often higher) BBB scores
  • Trustpilot rating of 3.4/5 stars
  • Over 6,000 It’s Just Lunch reviews on Consumer Affairs, with an average rating of 4.2/5 stars

More on professional matchmaking.

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 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

Before joining It's Just Lunch, you can do an introductory call with a member of their team to get a quote and discuss your dating goals.

1. Call 800-489-7897, or enter your contact info on the site 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!

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. The cost depends on what city you live in and how many dates you sign up to go on.

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.

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 about 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 B. 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

It's Just Lunch reviews are a mixed bag. Some praise the matchmaking service for:

  • Presenting more compatible matches than similar services
  • Making an effort to get to know their clients
  • Taking on the heavy lifting of dating

However, lots of members complain about:

  • Clearly incompatible matches
  • Poor communication between matchmaker and client
  • Failure to meet contract of agreed-upon number of dates within certain timeframe
  • No action from IJL if a date doesn't show
  • High-pressure tactics to get you to date people you don't want to date (wrong age, religion, desire to have children, people who live far away, other dealbreakers)

BBB It's Just Lunch reviews

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

It's Just Lunch review from the Better Business Bureau.

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 has a 3.4/5 star review from Trustpilot, based on more than 300 reviews. Many are positive, some are BRUTAL:

It's Just Lunch reviews on Trustpilot.

Search for local It’s Just Lunch reviews

From the IJL homepage, click “Select your city” in the upper right corner to pull up a drop-down menu of locations. IJL offers services in dozens of major cities across the United States and Canada, as well as limited locations in Europe and Australia. 

You can also search to see if there are any local It's Just Lunch reviews, for example: 

  • “It's Just Lunch DC reviews”
  • “It's Just Lunch Philadelphia reviews”
  • “It's Just Lunch Chicago reviews” 
  • “It's Just Lunch Baltimore reviews”

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.

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.

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.

11 Comments

IJL is a scam… I have written many reviews about it. I’m in the chicago area. It’s very disappointing and upsetting once you realize that you are not being listened to. You join thinking you have this whole team behind you. Only to realize they are a factory with only few staff to take on the chicagoland area. They will take NO responsibility and likely spend many calls hearing members complain about the dates they were set up on. There is NO way that they actually used their “unique” and “expert” knowledge setting me up with the people they did. Furthermore, the distance was a giant factor for me. I asked in emails and on the initial call about distance. I indicated that I simply do not see myself driving distances and that driving is something that I do a lot during the week. I asked them for people close by. Every single match I had was matched with me where our half way point was 40 min away. I repeatedly asked about this and even after speaking with the matchmaker, she set me up with someone else 40 min away.

This company will lie to you just to get your money, They won’t set you up with ppl you might like. I like slender women, they have matched me with fat women and ugly ones.
They send you to terrible overpriced restaurants. You can’t SEE pics of your matches, they’ll just hook you up with ppl you are not physically attracted to,
why would I want to date an ugly person? They don’t give a rat’s ass as long as they have your money, NO REFUNDS. Stay far away from these scam artist unless you don’t
mind throwing your hard earned thousands of dollars away. I wish I would have done more research, Poor service, all about money, not your happiness…..

I met my husband using IJL in DC in 2012. Just swipe your credit card and live with no regrets of missed opportunity!

Not worth the money. Read the fine print. Honestly they don’t even respond to you and only call when they have time. Not centered on client service.

This is the worst dating site ever! Nothing but a rip off . Pay $3 k up front then $90. A monthe every month after that ? WTH. . ALSO THEY don’t even get u another date til the end of the month when they Have to . Because you paid . Don’t get back to you when you contact them , don’t take your requests for the Type of date you want, just give you any one. Want to talk on phone , not e mail , where you can actually hold them accountable for their actions .. I will be contacting the BBB as well as my attorney about this Bogus , con artists, Rip off site . You suck.

It’s Just lunch – – RIP OFF – I paid my &$$ for zip – you can’t even talk w the people u meet for lunch before u actually meet them – it’s a scam – it’s all about the bucks , matching you up w the possible man of your dreams is a joke !! BEWARE Do not fall for their come on ..
a waste of my $$ & most def a waste of my time

Hello, IJL is a big scam. I signed up December 27th, 2021, and all the representatives both male and female communicated they are the best dating site around. I am busy so, I thought why not. To day all the male dates were men on the rebound, looking for someone to take care of them. I did an extensive profile with my likes and dislike. However each time the men profile was absolutely atrocious. One guy wife just died and wondering what he was going to d with his dead wife horse riding books, the next one was a retired lawyer, short and depressed, the third one was lovely but almost 300 plus pounds, many health conditions, and although a diabetic eats for three people, one date did not show-up, and the last one not bad, but at his age still believe he will be famous or get great recognition. This site takes your money but does not have the caliber of men that a woman is looking for. I had three IJL reps at one point and all three did not provided me with the type of men I was looking for. I would give this dating site a big fact zero.

It is awful, the reps are liars and very deceptive. I regret signing on to the site. I lost over four thousand dollars and got nothing in return.
A warning: DO not use this dating site

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *