Mystery Shopping For Restaurants – The Mistakes To Avoid

Mystery Shopping restaurants

Are you someone who loves dining out? Do you fancy yourself a bit of a food critic, with a discerning palate and a keen eye for detail? If so, mystery shopping for restaurants might just be your jam. It’s a gig that allows you to indulge in your passion for food while getting paid for it. But before you dive headfirst into the world of mystery shopping, there are a few blunders you’ll want to steer clear of.

Common Mistakes That You Cannot Make

First and foremost, don’t forget the golden rule of mystery shopping: discretion is key. It can be tempting to whip out your smartphone and start snapping photos of every dish that comes your way, but resist the urge. Remember, you’re there to blend in, not to draw attention to yourself. Taking covert notes is fine, but overtly documenting your experience could blow your cover and compromise the integrity of the assignment.

Another common mistake that a rookie mystery shopping provider makes is failing to read the assignment guidelines thoroughly. Each mystery shopping job comes with its own set of instructions, detailing everything from the specific tasks you need to complete to the types of questions you need to ask. Skipping over these guidelines or skimming through them hastily can result in missed opportunities and subpar evaluations. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the requirements before you hit the restaurant, and you’ll be much better equipped to deliver a comprehensive report.

On a similar note, don’t underestimate the importance of timing. Arriving at the restaurant too early or too late can throw off your entire experience. If the assignment calls for a lunchtime visit, don’t show up at dinnertime expecting the same level of service and atmosphere. Likewise, if the instructions specify a particular day of the week or time of day, make sure you plan your visit accordingly. Being punctual and following the schedule outlined in the assignment guidelines will help ensure that you get an accurate snapshot of the restaurant’s performance.

One of the biggest blunders you can make as a mystery shopper is letting your personal biases cloud your judgment. Just because you prefer Italian cuisine over Mexican doesn’t mean you should skew your evaluation in favor of the former. Your job is to provide an objective assessment based on the criteria outlined in the assignment guidelines, not to impose your own food preferences onto the evaluation. Keep an open mind and approach each assignment with a neutral stance, and you’ll be able to provide valuable feedback that reflects the restaurant’s performance accurately.

Last but not least, don’t forget to follow up after your visit. Once you’ve submitted your report, take the time to review any feedback or clarification requests from the mystery shopping company. Addressing any discrepancies or concerns promptly demonstrates your professionalism and commitment to the job. It also helps ensure that you get paid in a timely manner, which is always a plus.


Mystery shopping for restaurants can be a fun and rewarding way to earn some extra cash while indulging your passion for food. By avoiding these common mistakes and approaching each assignment with diligence and professionalism, you can become a top-notch mystery shopper in no time. So go ahead, grab your fork and knife, and get ready to dine your way to success!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here