Lunch Actually: Hearts grow fonder amid Covid-19 isolation

BEING unable to socialise during the pandemic only made people thirst more for interpersonal connections. It was this that drove the demand in 2020 for the virtual-dating services offered by Lunch Actually.

Said the dating agency’s chief executive and co-founder Violet Lim: “Our Annual Dating Survey in 2020 revealed that the pandemic caused singles to feel a longing for a real, meaningful connection with someone, so there was a demand to intentionally get connected, for them to seek a potential partner through dating services like ours.”

In 2019, the year before the pandemic hit, the agency had already given itself the goal of focusing on innovation. Covid-19 provided the impetus for it to scale up the digital channels that Lunch Actually was already using. 

The shift to virtual consultations and dates required training the matchmaking team and convincing clients to get on board. Revenue fell by nearly half in April during the adjustment period, but quickly bounced back to pre-Covid numbers the following month. The numbers hit an all-time high in Q4 2020.

In total, Lunch Actually arranged more than 800 virtual dates last year with positive feedback, and Ms Lim believes the company’s digital initiatives could be a breakthrough that will last beyond the pandemic. Although life in Singapore has returned to near-normal, Lunch Actually continues to offer virtual dates, consultations and coaching as well as a webinar series that has proved popular.

Ms Lim credits her team for the company’s performance in a difficult year: “I am amazed at how quickly we managed to transform when our branches had to close down physically one by one. Our team rolled out our virtual capabilities like clockwork. That’s why people continue to be our biggest assets.”

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