Restaurant Reimbursements

I'm still learning the mystery shopping game so I have a simple question regarding reimbursements. Typically if there is a restaurant shop offering a $50 reimbursement limit and you only spend $30, would you still get the $50 or just the actual spend of $30?


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That depends on the MSC. Some companies, like Goodwin, will offer a total pay that includes your reimbursement. Say they reimburse $70 and you spend $40, you will get $70 and keep the difference from the $40 you spent. Most MSCs don't operate that way, though. Most say "up to" in the guidelines, so if your reimbursement is $70 and you spend $40, you only get reimbursed $40.
One step further, most MSCs specify a tip of 15% or 18%. Most, but not all, MSCs will reimburse the tip if expense + tip still is within the reimbursement amount. As a shopper you need to read and understand each MSC's policy. They are pretty clear about what they will and will not cover so don't assume that what is true for one MSC is true for the next one and in some cases it varies between clients of the same MSC.
Yes, and some MSCs who state they will only tip 18% are not going to bend if you decide the service was great and the server deserved 20%--you can tip it but you might not get the additional 2% tip back. That one bothers me.
Of course there is the annoyance of the flip side of that as well--you get awful service and are required to leave an 18% tip. That absolutely galls me, especially when the tip is not reimbursed or the reimbursement is not enough to cover the tip.
For "Reimbursement" based on your scenario; you only receive $30 reimbursement. If there is also a fee, that is additional. As mentioned already, some shops may offer a flat fee, what you spend determines your profits.

There are several companies that knowingly offer a flat fee or "reimbursement only" (or combination of both) that will not cover the minimum required purchase. A few offer coupons towards future meals with the client.

I recommend looking at your reason for being a mystery shopper as far as determining what works best for you, in each situation.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
yes I love to go to the steak house on week end I love going to resturunt and shopping to store I would love to be invite iam ready now and would like to know how much money I well make and do I but thing and get paid back think larry
I hope Iam given a job for shopping for a nice dell company and phone I need to make money on this to so I can buy it think lrry
.I always order a bit less than reimbursement so it will cover the tip and tax When my bill is say 35.00 reimbursement, iI order about 30.00 worth of food. The companies I work for pay full reimbursement doing it this way. Going over reimbursement leaves you with the tip an tax..

Live consciously....
To figure out what you can spend and fit into the reimbursement :
Add your sales tax rate, + your expected tip rate to the number 100.
Divide the max reimbursement for the job by the number above and hit the percent key.
Example: your max reimbursement is $60. Sales tax in your area is 9% and you will probably leave a 16% tip if all goes well and that is your normal tip for regular service. The tip and tax together come to 25% + 100%=125% (9%+16%+100%). The total you can spend on food and drink to stay under the reimbursement is 60 divided by 125%. In the example you can spend up to $48 and stay under the reimbursement.
60 divided by 125%=48
I always do the math at home and keep this number in mind when doing a restaurant shop.
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