August 5, 2020

Seven Reasons Every Restaurant Needs a Mystery Shopping Program

As restaurants begin to rebuild their businesses, the advantage great face-to-face customer service gives a business over its competitors has never been more important. How can social distancing, difficult parking, and service delays compare with Netflix, Uber Eats, and saving money? Every time a customer chooses to spend their time with you it’s a win and their experience needs to be better than the alternatives.  

Here are just seven reasons you need a Mystery Shopping Program for your restaurant:

1 – Quality Control 

Let’s face it, sometimes things go wrong and the food isn’t great or may not be to one person’s taste, that’s understandable. Our trained Mystery Shoppers will provide objective feedback about their visit and a consistent program will identify if a lapse in quality is a pattern that needs addressing. 


2 – Solutions

Before Karen from Caringbah leaves your restaurant a negative Yelp review, implement a good Mystery Shopping program to identify any current or possible problems and provide feedback on how to improve your customer service. As you would measure and maintain a piece of machinery, Mystery Shopping can work as preventative maintenance on customer service. Possible service issues can be uncovered before they damage your reputation. 


3 – Fly on the Wall  

Be a fly on the wall (but not in the soup) in your restaurants. While it’s great to have regional representatives checking your standards and core values are being properly reflected on the frontline, employees change their habits around peers and superiors. A Regional Manager won’t discover that a store employee isn’t greeting customers or confidently answering questions about the menu, without feedback from customers and Mystery Shoppers.  


A Mystery Shopper can interact with staff anonymously, ask set questions, and receive genuine service. The authentic interaction between the Mystery Shopper and staff can then be objectively evaluated and compared against other locations with the same criteria. A Mystery Shopping program eliminates variables that skew results.


4 – Consistency

Ideally, if a customer receives excellent service in one of your restaurants, they should receive the same level of service in your other restaurants. That is not the reality of the service industry; experience differs and quality fluctuates. You provide the benchmark, a Mystery Shopping program ensures that benchmark is being met and monitors consistency across locations. Consistency is key.


5 – Training and Franchising 

A consistent Mystery Shopping program will help you hire, train, and keep in touch with your employees. It will also allow you to grow the business, if you wish to do so. It provides case studies on what to do and what not to do and tangible data. The program will both communicate the company’s expectations and assess based on that criteria, making expectations clear and consistently reinforced. 


6 – Rewards 

Who wouldn’t want a chance to recognise and reward their best team members? Everyone loves to be told they’re doing a great job. A company might initiate rewards and incentives for top performing employees. It could be an awards night, bonuses for top scoring locations, even a KPI for salaries and commission. These help team morale and further promote the idea of employees being brand ambassadors. Measuring and monitoring service is the first step to improving service, which leads to increased sales. 


7 – Clarity 

Many business owners believe they can get the same results with an in-house representative. Sending in someone with ties to the company may skew results and not afford you the same multi-layered feedback that a trained Mystery Shopper can provide. With an unbiased, anonymous assessor comes clarity. 


There will always be ups and downs, new competitors, changes in technology, etc., the focus should always be on customer service because that is what leads to growth. It’s common sense to make sure your business is doing everything in its power to assess, improve, and benefit from that customer service.


Take action

Here at Above Benchmark, we make Mystery Shopping simple. We help our clients design their ideal customer service experience. Then we have our professional Mystery Shoppers evaluate their customer service so we can compare it to their benchmark.

We live and breathe customer service and have been designing unique Mystery Shopping programs for almost 2 decades.

If you want to grow your business through better service and experiences, contact us today.

Simply call 1300 400 716 and let us help you achieve above your benchmark.

Latest news