Overview: Surprisingly, one of the assignment types that most would think would be the easiest also happens to be one of the most problematic to complete successfully. A majority of shoppers have at one time or another had a report rejected and/or payment declined due to noncompliance issues with one of these. If you’re an experienced shopper, you know what we’re talking about here – yep, fast food assignments. If you’re a new shopper, check this out to avoid the lessons others have learned the hard way.
Project Variations: The assignment scenarios are fairly standard. Many times the shopper is required to visit both the drive-thru and inside. What varies is the order in which these are to be completed. Most times there is a specific list of food items that the shopper must order from, usually without making any substitutions or other special requests. On the flip side, there are some scenarios that require the shopper to customize their order.
Visit & Reporting Requirements: Time on site is usually 30 to 45 minutes for assignments requiring visits to both the drive-thru and inside. Reporting time is usually quick and easy with very little narrative.
Strategies: The two most typical pitfalls that cause reports to be rejected involve timing issues and ordering incorrectly. These are critical elements for fast food assignments, and most MSCs will not grant much, if any, leeway on this. It’s very easy to forget things, because there’s a lot to do in an extremely brief period of time.
Timings are required, many times down to the second. At the minimum, you must have a digital watch. Ideally, you will have a smartphone with an app that will note lap times. Usually the shopper first notes time of arrival. Upon reaching the pay window, the shopper will mark that time. After receiving the completed order, the shopper will mark that time. Some assignments have more or less timings. Practice and practice some more so you are not fumbling with your timing device while you are engaged in other activities.
Be sure to order only what is specified in the guidelines. This also sounds elementary, but time and time again, shoppers have accidentally ordered the wrong item or the wrong size of an item or added something to the order that wasn’t allowed. Go to the location knowing what you are going to order beforehand.
And always get a receipt before leaving the location!
What Others Have to Say: Forum members on www.mysteryshopforum.com have varying opinions about fast food assignments. Many object to the low pay and the stringent guidelines that can be cause for report rejection or shopper deactivation. Others use these assignments to fill holes in their schedule.
Estimated Pay: Pay is usually nominal, averaging around $7 to $9 with reiumbursements. However, these can be bonused quite nicely in out-of-the-way areas or at the end of the month when schedulers are scrambling to get assignments filled.
However, the real payoff is when you take into consideration the indirect savings you are gaining. The average American spends between $2.50 and $3.50 per meal per person prepared at home. So if you are doing an assignment involving purchasing a reiumbursed meal at both a drive-thru and inside, you could possibly be saving $5 to $7 on your grocery budget. That can add up to big savings when added up over a month or even a year, depending upon the number of fast food assignments you complete.
MSCs: Among the mystery shopping companies have fast food clients are Market Force, Intellishop, Jancyn, and Confero.