Thank you for lunch!
Lunch is an awesome opportunity to stay in touch with others, make new friends, take a break with a co-worker, celebrate a birthday, and meet with business contacts.
Example thank-you notes for lunch are included at the end of this post.
Does every lunch situation require a thank you note?
Not always. In the situations below where I recommend not writing a thank-you note, you absolutely can still send a thank-you note if you want to.
These are the guidelines I follow. You should do what you feel is right for you and your situation.
The casual lunch with a friend: NO
My friend Alice and I take turns buying each other lunch almost every week (prior to the pandemic). We are not writing thank you notes to each other for this each week. That would be too many, and they would lose their meaning since we have lunch together weekly.
For the casual lunch with a friend, a thank you note is not needed when one person treats the other. However, if you feel inclined to do so, you can still send a thank you note!
A co-worker buys your lunch: NO, unless the coworker is the boss
What a nice gesture! This could be unexpected or planned. Perhaps, the co-worker is taking you to lunch to thank you for something you helped them with. This type of lunch falls into the casual category and a thank you note is not needed (unless you want to!).
Sometimes, my boss will take my entire team to lunch. The company is picking up the tab. He had to organize it and take time for lunch with the team. So I recommend thanking the boss for the team lunch.
If your boss takes only to lunch then please read: Writing your boss a thank you note for lunch which covers the when, why, and how to thank the boss. And a few tips too!
Lunch with a mentor: YES
The first time you have lunch with a mentor, I recommend writing them a thank you note. This will let the person know you sincerely appreciate the help and advice they are giving you. It will also help emphasize the importance of your relationship with them. They took time out of their day to meet with you!
Dan Miller’s step 47 to have lunch with a millionaire: YES
Dan Miller’s book 48 Days to the Work You Love includes one step do on each of the 48 days. Step 47 is to have lunch with a millionaire. While you are picking up the tab for lunch, you should still thank the person for their time and advice with a follow-up note.
Birthday lunch: Yes
Birthdays are special. Following up with a thank-you note is a wonderful way to recognize the celebration of your birthday. If you feel your relationship with whoever took you out is too casual for a handwritten thank-you note, then I recommend a thank-you email.
Lunch Treat: Yes
Did someone surprise you by taking you out for lunch? Did this treat make your day? Respond by sending the person a thank-you note. It may surprise them!
Related: Thank you for the lunch treat
Thank you for lunch note template
The contents of most thank-you notes are similar. You can use this template and use the example messages below to help with wording for your note. Words in [brackets] will need to be updated for your situation.
Dear [Person’s Name],
Thank you for taking me to lunch at [place]. I love the [favorite dish] and enjoy spending time with you. [sentence or two with a compliment or something else you liked about lunch].
- Include a compliment about the food, place, or person.
- Make your note as specific as possible to make it better.
- If the lunch was for an event, you can add that event before the word birthday, such as birthday lunch.
- Read more info about how to write thank-you notes.
The examples below are the center section of the thank you note only. If you are handwriting or emailing your message, be sure to include the opening (Dear), closing (Thanks again), and sign your name.
Thank you for lunch message examples
Thank you for taking me to lunch at [restaurant name]. I am grateful for our friendship and had fun at lunch. It was a nice treat for me, and it made my day.
I was very surprised that you took me to lunch! I enjoyed helping you at work and didn’t expect this. I appreciate the recognition, and I liked getting to know you a bit better during lunch.
Thank you for agreeing to have lunch with me. I am grateful for the advice you gave me around [mentoring topic]. I was also able to relate to your story about how you get started with [mentoring topic].
I learned a great deal about [mentoring topic] at lunch last week. I appreciate the time you took out of your day to meet with me. I’ve already begun to take action on your advice. I will send you a follow-up in a couple of weeks describing the results I’ve seen.
Thank you for the lunch treat! [Restaurant name] is one of my favorites. I had a nice time catching up with you as well. We should do this more often.
Thanks for lunch! I had a wonderful time chatting. I was excited to learn that we both love [shared interest]. I will treat you to lunch next time, and we can continue our discussion.
Thanks for treating me to lunch. That was a welcome surprise as you know my budget is tight lately, and I love going out to eat. I had a nice time and look forward to seeing you again soon.
Thank you for lunch. I enjoyed hearing about what has been going on in your life lately. We should catch up more often. Let’s plan to have lunch at least once a month from now on.
Lunch was great! Thank you for treating me. That was a nice surprise. I also enjoyed visiting and hearing about your job and family.
Note: If you received a gift at the lunch, you may want to review the thank you for the birthday gift examples too.
I love our birthday lunch tradition! Thank you for taking me to [restaurant name] for my birthday lunch this year.
Thank you for the birthday lunch. I look forward to it each year. I was surprised that you took me to [restaurant name]! It’s so fancy! I loved every minute of it, and the bacon-wrapped scallops were great.
Thank you for taking me out to lunch for my birthday. I had a wonderful time visiting with you and hearing more about [topic]. You are great at finding new places for lunch too. I appreciate the amount of planning you do to make my birthday lunch feel special.
I look forward to my birthday lunch with you every year! Last week’s lunch celebrating this year’s birthday was fantastic. I love getting together with you and others. Thanks for organizing it. The [favorite dish] was the best too!
Thanks for having me over to your house for my birthday. The homemade meal [say what it was in your note] was perfect for me. I am grateful to you for spending so much time to make me a wonderful lunch. You are a great friend.
Thank you for the lunch invitation
Notes: If you are replying to a lunch invite before the lunch, you can use the examples below to help you with wording to accept or decline the lunch invitation. If you are writing your thank you note after having lunch, you could include “thank you for inviting me” into the examples above. Or review the thanks for inviting me templates.
Thank you for inviting me to lunch on Saturday. Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend as I have a previous commitment (up to you if you want to tell them what it is). Can we reschedule for the last Saturday in June?
Thank you for the invitation to lunch. I am sorry to say that we can’t make it as we have a wedding to go to that day. I hope you have a wonderful time with the others that can make it.
I will be able to meet you for lunch on Friday. Thank you for inviting me. I am very much looking forward to going to [restaurant name] and catching up with you.
I am excited for lunch on Wednesday. Thanks so much for inviting. See you then!
Thank you for the lunch invitation. I was surprised and delighted to receive it. I will see you on Friday at [place].