Jeb Stewart

These seven companies pay you to eat out at restaurants…

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.);   

  • A Closer Look performs shops for yogurt vendors, popular bars, and family style places among others.

Finally although not among my favorite companies, Confero and Intelli-shop do fast food drive-thru, menu visual shops, and industry leaders.

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!   

Your Comments:

  1. Rick Cummings says:

    Sounds good, hopefully you have given me a good lead! Thanks!

  2. Monfrey Zigholder says:

    THESE ARE FUN VISITS BUT ARE VERY SPECIFIC AS FAR AS TIMES AND SEQUENCES ARE NEEDED TO BE RECORDED, AS WELL AS MENU ITEMS WHICH NEED TO BE ACCURATE. AS IN ALL MYSTERY SHOPS YOU MUST PAY COSTS FIRST OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKETS AND IF ANYTHING IS UNACCEPTABLE YOU WILL NOT BE REIMBURSED.

  3. Michelle DeWitt says:

    I did this many years ago and enjoyed it. Would like to have more info on this please

  4. Robert says:

    I am available in Limpopo to do mystery shopping for you, I have previously worked for Ipsos doing similar mystery shopping for fast food restaurants.

  5. Rebecca T Richardson says:

    Please send info.

  6. Paula says:

    I have done several of these restaurant shops and my favorite company is RBG. I get to eat at an upscale restaurant and get reimbursed for my meal. The main drawback is that I have to wait 60 to 90 days to be in reimbursed. However, if you have other income and our patient then this is a good way to eat out!

  7. Rhonda says:

    I got started in mystery shopping because I found out about A Closer Look and although, they usually don’t pay a flat rate for shopping for them, you can get a nice meal as a family or fine dining restaurant and get reimbursed. They have a few very high end restaurants that pay more than $100.00 in reimbursement for food and drink.

  8. Stanley Nelson Moore sr says:

    How soon can i start

  9. Addie Woodliff says:

    I am looking for information on iSecretShop. Anyone know anything about this company?

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