Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Restaurant Mystery Shopping

The ONE type of mystery shop that I'm asked about most is the restaurant shop. The allure of a free meal for two at an upscale restaurant appeals to us all. It is where most of us who secret shop have learned the ropes of writing the proper report.

As a shopper you will be checking on various aspects of the restaurant. You will be evaluating the friendliness and customer service skills of the restaurant staff, report on the the ambiance, cleanliness, table layouts and much, much more. Even the exterior of the building from the parking lot to the outside dumpsters will be inspected. A complete shoppers report should take you minute by minute from the time that you pull into the lot to the time the hostess thanks you for coming on your way out the door.

Why do restaurants NEED YOU?
Restaurants need to know that each and every customer is having a great experience at their establishment. It ensures that standards of cleanliness, up selling or add-on sales, ambiance, quality of the food and the servers product knowledge are all as they should be. The customer experience should be as a welcomed guest and not merely a customer. When a diner leaves the restaurant and has a great experience he/she will go back and tell their friends and family, thus increasing business. It may also become one of the "regular" places that he/she enjoys dining. It is this customer loyalty that assures a restaurant will succeed.

As a restaurant mystery shopper, you will be pointing out both the good as well as the bad on your visit. Your report will be turned over to the restaurant's management, and it will be used as a tool to help the retrain employees that need it and reward those that are exceeding expectations.

You will find this a great way to both help the management as well as enjoy a meal with friends or family. In MOST cases your check will be either totally or parially reimbursed. Usually the secret shopping company will give you a guide of what to order as well as a spending limit. In most cases, the tip will not be covered.

It is extremely important that you remain undercover during your visit. Frequent trips to the restroom to jot down notes will help. NEVER take notes or mention that you are a shopper in front of any members of the staff or you will NOT receive reimbursement and you may not be allowed to shop again for the mystery shopper company.

If you'd like to try your hand at mystery shopping for your dinner, here are a few companies that regularly shop restaurants...


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