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Franchise at First Sight

Entrepreneur meets his match in a dating service franchise

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This story appears in the April 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Mark Manlin is single, successful and looking for love--the ideal client for dating service It's Just Lunch. That's why, after hearing about it on the radio, he decided to give it a try. What he didn't yet know was that one perfect match would come only a few months later, when he decided to purchase and open his own It's Just Lunch franchise in Detroit.

Manlin, 37, also owner of a real estate development company in St. Louis, was never intrigued by the dating services he had seen before, but appreciated It's Just Lunch's mission to provide quality lunch dates for busy professionals in a discreet, no-pressure atmosphere. "I knew how difficult it was as a single person to meet quality single people," Manlin confides. "I like the efficiency and that it caters to an upscale clientele."

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