There is little doubt that emerging and existing brands (restaurants, bars and similar establishments) struggle to accurately measure their customers’ experiences so that they can make appropriate changes toward securing concrete brand loyalty. The challenge often is, does an internal evaluation or audit provide your organization an accurate objective and contextual view of your operation’s service as seen organically? Most agree internal audits don’t work. Enter the mystery shopping company. Their services come in all sizes and prices, performed by either laypersons or industry professionals, providing deep analytics, or just bare-bones responses. Some offer individualized, specialized bar theft audits, some will just check boxes when sitting at your bar. Just like anything else, you get what you pay for.
Some even argue that their mystery shoppers would be better represented by any person (perhaps purposefully not from the hospitality industry), so that the experience can be truly equated to an everyday customer. Here’s the rub: That’s exactly what Yelp™ is. You are paying for unpublished Yelp reviews when they are already free. Ouch. Stop paying for unpublished Yelp reviews.
Next consider for a moment the motivation and expectations of the mystery shopper being compensated. Most companies offer the standard mystery shopper roughly $15 to $25 dollars to complete an evaluation, along with some expenses to cover any purchased items. While this serves to keep the costs down for the mystery shopping company and lowers your monthly bottom-line, bottom-line cost decisions often throw return on investment out the window. A discounted mystery shopping program which fulfills a management requirement but only checks off boxes on a sheet of paper, does little to provide actionable feedback needed to make corrections within your organization. That’s a bit like Yelp, isn’t it? Furthermore, when considering what can be gleaned by using industry trained hospitality persons as mystery shoppers, it quickly becomes apparent the ROI is non-existent in the cheapo versions of these services.
In contrast, Hospitality Checkpoint compensates its agents nearly four times as much as the average mystery shopper companies out there. Why is this important? Because they are trained in the nuanced and detailed operations of food & beverage service. This also affords our agents a living wage, which we believe to be the cornerstone principle of responsible business practices. We have plans to fit all budgets, all with rich and actionable feedback. Value and ROI are clear winners over cheap checklists, every single time.
About us and this blog
We are hospitality consultants to a wide range of businesses.