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AMA

I'm a Mystery Diner

17 replies

PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 30/07/2018 08:18

I basically get paid to go undercover and evaluate pubs and restaurants.

Ask away

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cablewable · 30/07/2018 08:25

I'd love that job! Do you enjoy it? How did you get into it?

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PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 30/07/2018 08:33

*cablewable8

There are various feedback companies that you can sign up to. They let you know what venues in your area need reviewing and you can 'book' a visit. Once confirmed you are sent a brief of what that particular company are looking to review about their front of house service. Generally it is more a case of checking the facilities and staff performance rather then the food. You then complete a questionnaire and submit your findings. When I say you get 'paid' you essentially get a free meal for two.

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user1471451866 · 30/07/2018 18:48

Hi OP. When you go for a meal with family or friends do you find yourself reviewing the restaurant in your head?

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ApolloandDaphne · 30/07/2018 18:51

How often do you get an assignment?

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LockedOutOfMN · 30/07/2018 18:54

Do you have to order specific drinks or dishes?

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ScreamingValenta · 30/07/2018 18:59

Hi OP. How rigid are you in your assessments of specific customer interactions? E.g. some companies have very scripted 'greetings' and rules such as you must ask diners if they are enjoying their meals. If something happens to disrupt that, such as the waiting staff getting intercepted by another diner for what turns out to be a lengthy conversation, do you 'mark them down'?

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rollingonariver · 30/07/2018 19:18

Do you feel bad for the people you review? We used to get screamed at by our manager if we didn't get 100% and some people even got fired, it was never anything bad just like ' food could have been quicker' 'the waiter didn't give us a feedback card' or the cardinal of all sins 'we didn't get a check back in 8-10 Mins, it was at 5 mins!'

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LockedOutOfMN · 30/07/2018 21:58

rollingonariver That's so unreasonable! (Of your manager, I mean). As a customer I also think I'd much prefer a check back after 5 minutes!

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LockedOutOfMN · 30/07/2018 21:59

OP, do you name specific restaurant staff in your feedback?

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FloraHiggins · 30/07/2018 22:01

I am one too!

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rollingonariver · 30/07/2018 22:32

LockedOutOfMN no one worked there for much longer than two months, she was a nasty piece of work!

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PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 31/07/2018 06:04

Hi OP. When you go for a meal with family or friends do you find yourself reviewing the restaurant in your head?

Lol sometimes but I am usually more relaxed and try and switch off.

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PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 31/07/2018 06:06

How often do you get an assignment?

As many as you want. You log onto the website and see what’s in your area. I live in London so there was always something around the corner most days of the week.

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PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 31/07/2018 06:07

Do you have to order specific drinks or dishes?

No, you are usually required to order two courses though.

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PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 31/07/2018 06:11

ScreamingValenta

Prior to visiting a venue you have to read some briefing notes that specify what you have to look out for or ask. They tend to follow the same script though insofar noting cleanliness of the dining room / bar / toilets as well as being greeted as you walk through the door, being offered specials or promotions, check backs and general attitude of the people you interacting with.

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PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 31/07/2018 06:19

Do you feel bad for the people you review?
Depends, some places had truly awful staff who really did not give a shit so you did not feel too bad if they were scored poorly. In other venues who had friendly, switched on staff you went out of your way to praise them or even turn a blind eye to any minor oversights.

Sadly it is the low end restaurant chains with small margins that seem to a demand the most from their staff in terms of constant up selling of drinks, specials and side dishes. The whole experience is just a sales pitch and actually just puts you off returning. You do feel sorry for them.

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PanGalaticGargleBlaster · 31/07/2018 06:22

OP, do you name specific restaurant staff in your feedback

No, the company I reviewed for kept everything non personal although i guess it would not be difficult to work out who you had interacted with.

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