Overview: If you’d like to have a drink out on the town at someone else’s expense, you might want to try out a bar integrity assignment.
These are somewhat similar in nature to retail integrity assignments but are different from most mystery shops that you might be used to completing that focus on customer service. Integrity evaluations are concentrating on observing cash handling practices and the honesty of employees. Your role will be more of an internal investigator than as a traditional mystery shopper.
Project Variations: The client will usually provide you with several scenarios in which you will engage with an employee, usually a bartender. These interactions are set up to test the integrity and/or capability of the employee to adhere to company guidelines and policies.
Visit & Reporting Requirements: Typical time on-site is 35 to 45 minutes. Reporting time is dependent upon how the evaluation went. If there were policy infractions, count on at least 30 minutes to document these issues properly. Otherwise, the reporting time will be half that or less.
Strategies: Note how many customers are in the bar when you first enter. Judge if the business volume is heavy or light. Check to see how many bartenders on duty. Casually glance around to see how clean and organized the premises are maintained as you make your way to a seat at the bar.
Once seated, time how long it takes to be greeted. Did the bartender smile and make eye contact? Was his appearance neat and professional? Was his attitude positive, and was his energy and enthusiasm high? Were you made to feel welcome?
Did the bartender seem well trained and familiar with his duties? Was he able to answer questions capably about the drink menu? Did he make any drink recommendations? Did he try to upsell you to a higher quality liquor or a more upscale offering? Did the bartender make you aware of any specials?
When making the drinks, did the bartender use sanitary handling procedures for ice and other ingredients? Did the bartender accurately use a jigger to measure all drinks? Was jigger cleaned after each pour, or were separate jiggers used for different liquors? Did the bartender free pour drinks to consistent counts?
Did the bartender serve your drink with a coaster or napkin? Did it have an appropriate garnish? Did the bartender avoid touching the rim of the glass? Did the bartender check back after you had your initial sip to ensure your satisfaction? Did he interact with you during your visit? How long did it take for the bartender to offer you a refill once you finished your drink?
Cash handling procedures must be carefully observed. Note if the bartender gave away free drinks, didn’t use the register to promptly ring in sales, or didn’t count change back for cash sales. The bartender shouldn’t be making a lot of unnecessary or unexplainable movements while handling tips, change, or payments.
What Others Have to Say: Some shoppers on www.mysteryshopforum.com very much enjoy these types of assignments. Others feel that there is too much timing involved, and it can be awkward during the visit if there are only a few customers in the bar.
Estimated Pay: Pay can vary from $15 to $35 per visit, but can go higher when bonused, in addition to reimbursements for the drinks purchased.
MSCs: One of the mystery shopping companies that conducts bar integrity evaluations is Service Sleuth.