The restaurant industry is one of the most competitive in the country, and that’s why restauranteurs need to stay ahead of the game in order to run a successful establishment. There are only so many areas that can be looked at in order to minimise costs, retain customers and ensure that every customer is happy with their meal and service, until you think you’ve reached your full potential. However, a fantastic way of understanding what your customers think after they’ve had a meal in your restaurant is to use mystery diners.

As far as the restaurant managers and owners are concerned, using mystery diners is a great way to see why other sites are losing money, if their employees need retrained or need to receive a pat on the back for outstanding customer service, and if the meals are up to standard. With the truthful report given by the diner to the owner, the results can be analysed and acted upon quickly. This method of testing and action on those results make a huge impact on the profitability of the restaurant and solve problems quickly that would be unknown in any other circumstances. Using secret diners is a great way for both them to earn a part time income and get a free meal, and for the restaurant to stay ahead of the competition and possibly reduce costs.

Receiving unbiased opinions about how the service was, how long the wait was for the meal, how friendly the waiters and waitresses were, and how clean the restaurant was shows the restaurateurs exactly what happens on a day-to-day basis. This method of appraisal is so much more truthful than a site visit as employees might change their usual habits to impress the owners. With mystery shoppers, no one knows they are there and are watching everything that goes on.

For the mystery diners, it means they get a free meal at the restaurant and money too for taking part. As many people love to dine at different places, eat different meals and sample new cuisine, it’s an ideal part time job for any foodie. In most cases, the assignments that are offered to the secret shopper that has registered in the database would be close to their homes (e.g. within 10 miles). This makes it very appealing to undercover diners and is, in many cases, no different to what they would normally do anyway.

The undercover diner would be required to observe everything that happens within the restaurant, from the condition of the toilets to the quality of the food and overall hygiene of the building. As there would be very little chance to take down notes, the diner would have to remember every detail of activity that occurs and make a report afterwards. Some restaurants might need the diner to order the same meal twice at different times of the week or different dishes that might be more challenging for the chef to get right at all times. They might be part of a chain of restaurants and need to compare one against another to maintain consistency.

Examples of Restaurant Chains

There are a wide variety of popular restaurant chains with branches across the UK featuring cuisines from around the world:

Ask Italian Bella Italia Cafe Rouge YO! Sushi
La Tasca Loch Fyne Zizzi Prezzo
Nando’s Pizza Express Pizza Hut GBK
McDonald’s Burger King Wagamama Frankie & Benny’s

Please note we are not partnered with, sponsored or endorsed by any of the brands above.