Mystery Shopping or Secret Shopping evaluations are a great way to get free or discounted services – and all you have to do is provide your feedback. (Image: Pablo Merchán Montes via Unsplash


Want to eat out for free? Ready to get Take Out? How about a romantic dinner for two – except you don’t have to pay the tab? How about getting your tires changed and all you have to pay for is the old tire disposal fee?


If these types of experiences interest you, you may want to consider becoming a mystery shopper.


Mystery shoppers are just that, anonymous shoppers that complete a report about their service experience – whatever that service is. And there are A LOT of services being offered in this day and age, so let’s take a look at the types of mystery shopping evaluations:


Mystery Shopping Restaurant Evaluations

  • Dine-In

Dine-in reports are very detailed reports that usually take a reasonable amount of time to complete. Since these reports are focused on the complete guest experience – from the time you enter the restaurant, to the time you leave – you’ll need to provide and clear and comprehensive picture of the dining experience, in its entirety.


Evaluation forms for these mystery shops are customized to suit each client and/or type of restaurant. Things you’ll need to look out for might include an establishments ambience, checking in with the host, the sequence of service, time-to-table, server product knowledge & up-selling, specials presentations, management interactions, and any specific focus.


Many clients use these types of reports to help train their employees in steps of service, and in a lot of cases, the reports can also be used to determine if an employee is eligible for a bonus or has met a sales incentive. 


  • Delivery or Take-Out 

Because of the shorter experience, Delivery or Take Out Mystery Shopping evaluations are easier and take less time to complete than dine-in evaluations.


For Delivery or Take-Out evaluations, you’ll either be calling into the restaurant to place an order for take-out, or placing an order in person – to take home. Things to look out on these assignments include, did the cashier make food recommendations and up-sell? Did the person taking your order have menu knowledge, repeat your order for accuracy, and did the person on the phone (or in person) seem happy to have your business?


When you pick-up your order, the cashier should go through the items with you to ensure they have not forgotten anything and making sure you have everything you need before you leave the restaurant.


While these types of evaluations are easier and take less time, it is still important to provide details of your entire experience from start to finish, along with any constructive feedback that could have made your experience better.


Mystery Shopping Bar Evaluations

Bar evaluations maintain a different focus than restaurants and mainly focus on observing the bartender in as many different situations as possible, not just when they are serving you.


As a mystery shopping bar evaluator, you will need to focus on observing proper pouring procedures, how cash is handled by the bartender (did he pocket that $20 or place it in the register?), beverage presentation, favoritism to other guests, menu and liquor knowledge, as well as the overall customer experience and cleanliness of the bar itself.


Mystery Shopping Hotel Evaluations

Customer experience is very important to our hotel clients. Operators not only want to know how the property impressed you but how each employee enhanced and personalized your guest experience.


Mystery Shopping Hotel evaluations measure the overall guest experience. What things made your visit feel special or could have made it even better. From checking in at the front desk to being escorted to your room and everything in-between, like experiences at the pool, lobby, or room service – these encounters provide detailed insight on your overall experience.


Along with suggestions for enhancing the guests’ stay, you will also need to provide feedback on the room appearance, property amenities, and the service of each employee. The goal is to ensure that professionalism, hospitality, and a restorative mind-set is delivered – after all, these elements are at the heart of each hotel visit.


Catering Call

Similar to a Take Out or Delivery Evaluations, these evaluations require you phone the restaurant to place an order and have relatively short and simple evaluation forms.


And like those same Delivery and Take Out calls, for a catering business, up-selling is very important, as well as menu knowledge. So asking questions is almost always a must.


For a catering business, the ordering process is one of the most important parts of the evaluation, so rushing through it is not allowed and making an attempt to engage with the cashier to see how knowledgeable they are, is, mandatory. The great thing about these types of evaluations is that you get food for more than 2 people, and you will either have the order delivered to you or you’ll pick up from the location. 


If you’re looking flexible options for your side hustle, EyeSpy’s Mystery shopping might be it. When you become an EyeSpy Mystery Shopper, you can choose what types of shops you want to accept, including when and what location. And there are plenty of types of mystery shopping assignments ready for you at EyeSpy.

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