Mystery Shopping First Experiences
When I heard the advertisements on the radio and saw them on the internet, I laughed. I thought, “No way can I get paid for shopping!!” But curiosity got the best of me and I signed up for one that didn’t ask for any money. Those are the ones where you go to certain fast food restaurants and basically get paid to eat. No extra money. But I was just trying it out – for now.
I got my first assignment. I was going to be shopping Raising Cane’s restaurants. Boy did I love Raising Cane’s!! I was so excited. My assignment sheet gave me a date and a certain time to go, like lunch hours, dinner hours, late hours, etc. I was also given a way to dine: either drive thru, eat in or carry out.
Then I was given a sheet of things to pay attention to. If I was dining in, I had to pay attention to the dining area, cleanliness, service, quality of food, did I get everything with my meal, the server who took my order, how quick my order was taken and how quick I received it, the number of people in there. Stuff like that. I also had to evaluate the restrooms and the cleanliness of those. It was fun sitting there enjoying my meal and evaluating the store. I felt almost like a spy.
If I was doing drive thru, I had to pay attention to signs being lit, how long I waited in drive thru, what the server said over the intercom, how many cars were in line, trash in the parking lot, if I got everything with my order including the little things like straws and napkins.
My first time in there I didn’t really know what I was supposed to do, so I was winging it. When I got home to fill out my paperwork, I realized I hadn’t paid enough attention to certain things. The next time I had a shop I studied the questions before I went in or before I got there to know what exactly I was to be looking for. When I was eating in or in drive thru, I was paying close attention to everything. I found myself noticing more and more small details each time I went.
I wouldn’t look for things to be wrong. I would actually look for things to be right. I didn’t want to give a bad score, just like teachers don’t like giving bad grades. But if things were wrong, I couldn’t lie. I told everything unbiased and truthfully.
The toughest thing was not being able to tell anyone. I would tell them I was a mystery shopper but you could never tell for where. If you told someone, they could tell someone else who would tell someone else and then the next time you go into to shop, you would be recognized. So you have to be secretive about where you shop and if you shop at all. I loved the mystery of it all. And I was getting paid to do things I enjoyed doing!
Mystery shopping at this fast food restaurant was my first experience and I loved it.