Thursday, January 8, 2009

Yummy little lunch shop

Hey y'all (said in a Paula Deen Drawl)! I just recently did a yummy little lunch mystery shop. The restaurant was one of those barbeque places that smokes a lot of things. I actually like the place a lot but the only way I can get my husband to eat there is if it is free. My husband and I were able to both eat lunch, get a drink, and leave a 15 percent tip for the waitress. I was going to enlist him to help me with the mystery shop, but then I realized that I wanted to do it on my own so I could blog about how it turned out. I figured that most of my readers will not have a mystery shopper partner. I'm sure that anyone can find someone to treat to a free lunch, but most will have to do all the work alone.

I started off by going to the website of the restaurant that I was shopping to figure out what I wanted to eat. I had my husband pick out what he wanted as well. I do that so when it's time to go into the restaurant I'm not trying to keep track of timing as well as think about what I want to eat. Plus, I wanted us to get a free lunch by coming in under budget.

Well, being a teacher complicates things sometimes. I worry about being spotted by students and getting distracted at an inappropriate time. I've actually run into someone that I knew doing a fast-food shop when I was at the timing portion and so I had to try and politely tell them a quick hello without getting into a conversation. I had my eye on my watch pretty discreetly too though so in the end it turned out to be okay.

Where was I? Oh yes, we had already picked out what we wanted so our mind was free to focus on some of the other things that required attention: cleanliness, comfort, friendliness, timing. The usual suspects for a mystery shop. This shop had an interesting recommendation for keeping track of all of the requirements. One of the requirements was that I visit the restroom and check the cleanliness there. The suggestion was that I go into the bathroom and write down notes. I thought that was a good idea for most people. For me, however, I hate the thought of staying in a bathroom longer than I have to. They are unpleasant...just a personal issue of mine I guess. That is an interesting idea for shoppers starting out.

I went and evaluated the bathroom quickly and returned to the table. The food came and was great as usual. We both cleaned our plates and left. It was a pleasant lunch. It was one that I'd never done before because it had never been an option to. I don't know if the company had just started posting that kind of shop or if they had another shopper who just didn't come through for them. Anyway the way I usually judge things are whether I'd do them again. I would definitely do it again. The fee was enough to cover the food and tip. I would have liked a fee instead of just a reimbursement, but for a first time shopping the place it was acceptable. I guess on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the best shop ever and one being the worst, this one falls somewhere around a 31/2 .

You can't really go wrong with free lunch in my book. Here is the link for you to check this company out for yourself. One thing I will tell you from my experience, they don't seem to have a lot of shops. They do, however, have surveys and other offers from time to time. They pay for their shops super quickly too. I got my shops money in less than a week. They did take a long time to pay for the survey though but I figure that was because they had to get paid before they paid me. Here is the link once again. Try it out!

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