The lunch, which will take place in the White House's Private Dining Room, will be the pair's first meeting since the election. There will be no press coverage.
In his election night speech, Mr. Obama expressed a desire to meet with Romney "to talk about where we can work together to move this country forward." Doubling down on that idea in his first press conference following the election, the president said that while "we haven't scheduled something yet" because "I think everybody needs to catch their breath," he hoped to have a chance to sit down with his former rival before the end of the year.
"There are certain aspects of Governor Romney's record and his ideas that I think could be very helpful," Mr. Obama told reporters on November 14. "He presented some ideas during the course of the campaign that I actually agree with. And so it'd be interesting to talk to him about something like that."
Romney has kept a relatively low profile since the election, though he and family members were spotted taking a trip to Disneyland, and he posted a photo on Facebook of himself and wife Ann Romney hanging out in the kitchen on the day after Thanksgiving.
According to Eric Fehrnstrom, a top adviser to Romney during the campaign, Romney was "glad to accept" the invite. He'll also visit with former running mate Paul Ryan while he's in Washington.
"It was a gracious invitation from the president, which Mitt Romney was glad to accept," said Fehrnstrom. "Gov. Romney is also meeting with Paul Ryan while in town Thursday."
No menu or further details about the lunch have been announced.