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Coyle Hospitality Group

Would you climb Mount Everest? If you were a mountaineer you would. Maybe. You would realize the road to the top of the world’s highest mountain is a long and arduous journey that requires extensive preparation and is for the seasoned mountaineer. Mystery shopping also has its apex.  You have seen the inducements: Meals at outstanding restaurants, luxury hotel stays, and even cruises. Just sign up to mystery shop and you can have these things free of charge! Who wouldn’t want to do those shops? If you want to do so, Coyle specializes in these high-end, luxury shops and more. However, like climbing Everest, it can be very rewarding.  But it is not easily done.

Company Overview: Coyle Hospitality Group is a company founded in 1996 that serves five-star restaurants, exclusive hotels, cruises and other luxury brands. Sporting venues are currently being added to their lineup. Headquartered in New York City, this company offers shops in many cities in the United States and around the world in locations that include London, Marrakesh, and Bora Bora. Shops include a fee on top of required expenses. Travel expenses may be available. Many of the international assignments may be completed in English, but some require a native speaker of the local language. Payment is made by Paypal in the last week of the month following the shop. Shoppers may apply at the main website at www.coylehospitality.com. A second website with the Shopmetrics platform is at [coyle.shopmetrics.com].

Their reports are very lengthy and instructions are notably detailed. Restaurant shops will often include a visit to the bar before or after the meal in the dining room. Hotel shops are often two day stays that require numerous interactions with the hotel staff. In addition, shoppers are required to write in conformity with their style guidelines. These include many instructions that include use of verb tense (use past tense), how to write telephone numbers (give area code without parenthesis) and how to report numbers (use words for numbers under 10). Reports are graded on a 1-20 scale. According to the main website, “While 20 is not an impossible score, it is very difficult to achieve on your first try. Getting a 17 or 18 on your first report is an excellent start.” The company candidly acknowledges the length and specificity required and provides significant resources to assist the shopper. These include a guide for first time evaluators, sample reports and examples of proper and improper style. Shoppers are encouraged to start with lesser demanding shops such as telephone or restaurant shops to build a track record of success for the more demanding and rewarding hotel and cruise shops.

Personal Experience: I have performed three restaurant shops for Coyle and can testify that a score of 20 is possible, but requires rigid adherence to exacting standards of observation and reporting. I found the shopper resources both comprehensive and helpful. Feedback is both constructive and instructive.

I have found the schedulers to be responsive and professional. The Shopmetrics site has some less demanding bar and airport shops in my area.

What others have to say: Coyle is regularly cited as a company with hotel shops and there is much discussion about their lengthy reports. In fact, they have become something of a standard with regard to the length with many comparing the length of a particular company’s report to that of Coyle. Many posters list Coyle among their favorite companies for the opportunity to visit the best restaurants and hotels. I found no payment issues reported on the forum. Complaints cite the time and details required. There is recent discussion about fees going down.

Overall: Like many of their clients, first-class is a word that describes this company. They are forthright about the length and complexity of their reports. The website is inviting and geared to assist shoppers toward creating reports in the desired style. However, shoppers are strongly encouraged to gain experience before attempting to work for this company.

Footnote: Yes, I violated a Coyle style guideline here and at least two others in the writing of this report.

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