One of the many things mystery shoppers love so much about their job is the fact that they get to pick and choose which assignments they complete. This complete flexibility allows you to choose the assignments that not only make financial sense from a time and money standpoint but it also allows you to choose assignments that you will enjoy doing, too.
Many who haven’t yet tried out a restaurant mystery shopping assignment may think getting paid to sit at a restaurant table and eat food is a cushy job indeed. Others may have already tried one restaurant assignment and were completely turned off by the experience, vowing never to do another one again. Either way, there are some things you may want to know about these assignments before you head to the job boards again.
A Menu of Choices. The fact is that restaurant assignments can all be lumped together in the fact that you generally have to order food on the job, and in most cases you have to sample the food and comment on its quality, temperature, taste, and so forth, too. Yet that’s pretty much where the similarities in these various assignments end. Just consider the wide range of restaurant choices that you as a consumer have to choose from. You can choose to grab a snack at a coffee shop to go, drive thru a fast food line and pick up food at the window, enjoy casual sit-down dining, or even get cocktails at a bar or sit down to a fine dining experience, too. Each assignment you complete will be completely different because of the wide range of venues. The differences include not only the physical location and environment where you will be working but also the assignment requirements.
Ordering Food and Drinks. Most restaurant assignments are very specific about what you need to order during your site visit. Some will ask you to order a specific meal, and some will have you order one dessert, one entree, and so forth. Some may ask you to drive thru the drive thru line and order from inside the restaurant in one visit while others may ask you to bring a buddy so you can order two meals at a sit down restaurant. If there is a bar on-site, many will also ask you to order a drink from the bar, too.
Paying Attention. Restaurant assignments in some cases can be a true sensory overload. These assignments may ask you to comment on the cleanliness of the dining room and bathrooms, the service and cleanliness of the staff, the timing you experience for sitting down and getting your food after you order, and so much more. Many will ask you to comment on the food you receive, too. These assignments are generally loaded with requirements of very specific details that you will have to pay attention to. The good news is that for the most part you can take advantage of some of those mystery shopping “cheats” such as typing in notes into your smart phone throughout the visit. The waitstaff and servers often don’t pay attention to you when they aren’t immediately in front of you, and this is a discrete way to jot down a few notes with nobody being any wiser to what you are doing.
Despite the often copious amounts of details that you are required to pay attention to with these assignments, many mystery shoppers do find that restaurant assignments are an enjoyable way to earn some money. Plus, you have to eat anyway, so why not get reimbursed for having someone else prepare your food for you? Yet some mystery shoppers find these assignments to be difficult and not worth the money. Because they are all different, though, before you throw in the towel on these assignments as a group, you may want to try a few different restaurant assignments out to get the full experience.