What to expect from a mystery visit

What to expect from a mystery visit


Thinking of becoming a mystery diner for us? Wondering exactly what it entails? Well, look no further! We’re here to give you a whistlestop tour of mystery dining, so you can see what we have to offer, and decide if it’s right for you.

Choosing a visit

Our mystery diners have a variety of venues to choose from. From grab-and-go cafes to sit down restaurants, and even the occasional event such as Royal Ascot. However, when you first sign up with us, it’s likely you will pick up one of our quick service restaurants to begin. This is good, as each of our mystery visits have certain requirements with them – specific items that need to be ordered, photos that need to be taken, and things to look out for with regards to service and cleanliness. With quick-service restaurants, there are generally fewer requirements, but enough for you to get a picture of what we look for on these visits.

It's important to read the visit brief before deciding to book it. Every place has different requirements, so it’s good to check that these requirements work for you! Even if it’s a place you often visit yourself, the brief may ask you to state you have an allergy, or to order something you’re not comfortable eating. Please read the brief, and ask us any questions if you’re not sure about anything. We have a handy live chat feature on our website and app, or you can always send us an email and we’ll aim to get back to you within 1 business day.

During your visit

What to expect during your visit will vary depending on the brand. For most visits, especially food-related ones, you will be expected to take a photo of each dish and drink before you start eating and drinking. As well as this, there may be specific order requirements. Some of these are more vague, such as “order a main and a drink”, while others may want to assess specific dishes, and will ask you to order these.

It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the time, as some briefs will ask how long your dishes took to arrive. It is also likely you’d need to visit the toilet to check the cleanliness and stock, and you’ll also need to observe the general cleanliness of the venue.

While on your visit, it’s important not to stand out in any way that could identify you as a mystery diner, as this may invalidate the visit! Use your best judgement, and make sure any questions you ask are natural, and any photos are taken discreetly. It can feel like you’re being very obvious, but we have thousands of mystery diners who complete visits every day, so we promise this is very unlikely to be the case. Even when taking photos, it’s not necessarily making you obvious – people take photos of their food all the time, now! To not draw any attention, make photos and anything else as natural as possible.

After your visit

Once you have done your visit, you’ll need to fill out the visit questionnaire after. These questionnaires are designed to help hospitality businesses find out what they need to focus on in order to improve the customer experience, and are bespoke to each brand. There is an option to preview the questionnaire, which we ask you to look at before your visit, just to make sure you know what to look out for and you’re comfortable with it all.

The length of the questionnaire will vary depending on where you did the visit, but you can save your progress as you go. Briefing notes underneath the questions are there to help prompt you on what to write, so for questions that require a comment, look out for these! Others will be simple ‘yes/no’ questions. It’s important to answer everything truthfully and objectively, so if you’re ever unsure, just get in touch, and we’ll do our best to assist.

Unless stated otherwise, visit questionnaires are due by 12pm the day after your visit. We ask you to be contactable on this day via email, as occasionally, we may have further questions for you. Once we have reviewed your report and sent it off to the place you visited, you will receive an email from us letting you know it’s been processed, and this will have some feedback. These are split into “highlights” and “things to consider” – “highlights” being the key things that went well, and “things to consider” being a record of any detail we had to add in after contacting you, and any other feedback that we think will be helpful for you to take on for future reports.

Each visit is compensated with a reimbursement, which is set by the place you do the visit. You’ll find the reimbursement amount on the brief, so please make sure you are happy with this before taking a mystery visit! You can usually expect the reimbursement within 3 – 4 weeks from the report being processed.

Mystery visit complete!

When you’re a new diner with us, you start in a probational period of 3 visits to ensure you understand the visit process and complete the reports to a good standard. Listening to feedback from us and following the briefs is our best advice (for this period, and for all visits!), and once you’re properly on board, you will start to see more and more visits opening up to you, such as premium restaurant brands, cinemas, and even luxury hotel visits. To get an idea of the different visits, feel free to have a peruse through our blogs, where more specific information on each brand can be found.

If you like the sound of that, click here to sign up with us as a mystery diner! We’d love to have you on board.

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