The typical American spends about $1,200 on fast food annually according to Credit Donkey.com. That breaks down to $100 a month and roughly $12.50 spent per meal.
The Motley Fool clarifies this,“From 2015 to 2016, for the first time in history, Americans spent more money at bars and restaurants ($54.857 billion) than they did on groceries ($52.503 billion).”
Rather than break my budget, I prefer to supplement it with restaurant mystery shopping. Below are a few examples of mystery shopping companies and what establishments they have previously done (Please sign up with the companies to see what they have available in your area. I am not a scheduler.);
- Reality Based Group (RBG) caters to sit down country-styled restaurants with hearty meals.
- A Closer Look performs shops for yogurt vendors, popular bars, and family style places among others.
- SeeLevel HX has conducted shops for sports bars.
- Bare International has popular pizza delivery companies as a potential client.
- Sinclair Customer Metrics was my stop for mall pretzel shops in the past.
Be prepared to answer a series of objective questions like; “Did you receive your beverage in under two minutes? Y/N”
Most high end restaurant shops require a sequential narrative that explains how your wait staff, bartenders, and management handled your visit in the order it took place.
Narratives customarily are written in present tense, do not have associate names within them, and are not want of your opinion of the event. Sometimes mystery shop companies will ask for your input on the visit. Please place this in the proper area of your questionnaire.
Be sure to review what menu items are required to be ordered or are allowed. Keep in mind individual restaurant menus’ may be different than online versions.
Gift cards, coupons, or app discounts may or may not apply so read the guidelines. Not conducting yourself properly at the location will jeopardize your payment, future work, and overall enjoyment at the establishment.
Don’t be too hungry. You will need a photo of your food before devouring it. If you are going to a restaurant that serves alcohol numerous companies will approve of one beverage. Being drunk at a restaurant means you will not blend in the environment, and can not accurately take notes. So don’t do it. An accurate timing device is usually required as well.
Very few restaurant mystery shops will allow you to bring along small children. Most sit down eateries support accompanying guests. Make any guests aware of your visit before going. They can be helpful especially in regards to ordering.
Verify that you are going to the correct restaurant location before getting there. Chain restaurants can have numerous outlets even on the same street.
Hopefully I have prepared you to eat well, and save money…Enjoy!