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. 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 are having 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
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 the time for lunch with the team. I usually do not write a thank you note for this as its not his money he is spending on us. This is a rare case where a thank you email is recommended to thank the boss for the lunch.
If your boss takes only to lunch than 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 the 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!
Thank you for lunch thank-you note 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 enjoy 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.
I love our birthday lunch tradition! Thank you for taking me to [restaurant name] for my birthday lunch this year.
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 the 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 going forward.
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.
What do you typically write thank-you notes for lunch?