Love made easier so that this time it truly is just a click away. Lunch Actually is Asia’s first ever lunch dating company founded by real-life couple Violet Lim and Jamie Lee. With 14 years of matchmaking experience in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand; it is the real deal when it comes to finding true love in a city full of heartbreaks.
In an age of fast paces careers, finding potential relationship partners is challenging. We sat down with Violet Lim for coffee to discover why Lunch Actually stands out from the sea of shiny apps and services.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you launch this dating concept?
I love working with people and I have a Masters Degree in Human Resources. I was at Citibank then as a Management Associate and I met a lot of colleagues who were single and not dating. And to me, that was quite strange because bankers being bankers are usually perceived to be eligible and attractive. And, suddenly I realized why they were single. It was because they simply had no time to date. And that’s just true with the modern men and women of today.
I came across the Lunch Actually concept because it was popular in the UK, USA, and Australia but not so much in Asia. So, what attracted me to the idea was that people can easily fit it into their monthly, weekly or daily schedule. Instead of a lunch break with someone you already know why not have lunch with someone you don’t know. There were infinite possibilities of what may come out of it.
The most meaningful part of Lunch Actually for me is working with people and not just about business and money. It’s truly helping people find their lifelong partner. That’s the reason, we started this business with my then boyfriend now husband 14 years ago.
How was the initial response?
I would say our timing was just right. It was at a point where people needed it. And, when we started in Singapore, people were a bit skeptical but as time passed by, people were more open to it. We definitely had revenue from day one. Although there was still stigma attached to, there were many people joining it.
As Asia’s first lunch date company, what is the key to its success?
I honestly feel we are not there yet. However, looking back how far we have come, I’d say we have never stood still. We started with the lunch concept and evolved as we went along. We started as an offline service over the years and we’ve gone online and now moved to an app. We also have an educational platform called Lunch Actually Academy. We always strive to be better and remember our initial mission which is for us to be the most effective dating app for single men and women. It includes understanding them behaviorally and combining the latest technologies and help them achieve their objective.
What is the general breakdown of male and female members and participants?
I think the numbers are not just specific to us as a company. I would say across the globe for offline companies they tend to have more females, in a ratio of 60:40 but for online there are more male participants in an approximate ratio of 70:30.
What kind of services are offered by Lunch Actually?
I would say Lunch actually is more personalized and discreet in terms of services. But, we offer different kinds of services to cater every kind of personality. We have dating events and compatibility checks along with other assistance.
What is your presence in Macau?
We don’t have a presence yet but we’ve had inquiries. We do have a small community in Macau who use our services and we’ve had success stories as well.
How did come up with the name Lunch actually?
When we started out 14 years ago, we simply made a list on a spreadsheet and wrote down everything we could think of. We sent around 20 possible business names to our friends and it turned out that everyone loved Lunch Actually. It had a nice connotation although to be honest, it wasn’t our first choice then so we’re glad we listened to our friends.