Restaurant shops - call *after* your shop

Does anyone think it's odd to require you to make a phone call to the restaurant after your shop? During the call, you are supposed to ask a general knowledge question such as "When does brunch end?" or "What are your hours on Saturdays?" etc.

Why not have us make the call *before* we go in for our shop? That makes more sense to me. Am I missing something?

One time I couldn't figure out who the manager was, so I asked to speak to a manager and made up a story about wanting to see a catering menu for a private party. The woman was very friendly and we chatted for a while. When I made my call a few hours later, she was the one who answered the phone. I heard some hesitation in her voice and wonder if she recognized my voice. I would imagine I'd be recognized easily if I did a restaurant shop out of my tri-state area...according to some, I've got a very strong accent.

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

Calling prior to visiting might tip off the establishment that a mystery shopper is arrivng. I like callimg immediately after . Shop is over, so i dont care if they recognize me.
@litjourney wrote:

Calling prior to visiting might tip off the establishment that a mystery shopper is arrivng. I like callimg immediately after . Shop is over, so i dont care if they recognize me.

Really?! I call places often before going there (not when mystery shopping), to ask if they have vegetarian options, their hours, and/or if they typically have long waits/should I make a reservation. If I like what they have to say, I go there to eat. No??

I recently spoke with a general manager of a fro-yo place (not on a mystery shop, just went there for a sugar fix) and he told me I could call before coming in to find out if they have my favorite flavor that day. He told me people do it all the time.
I'm fairly certain I've never called a restaurant before a personal visit unless I was placing a to go order.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Ask a question posing as someone who is thinking about coming in to eat. 99% of the time, the hostess (or whomever answers) will not be able to pick you out from another potential customer calling prior to a normal visit. After all, out of the dozens of calls they received that particular day, they do not know that you just ate at the location unless you slip up during the call.

I often wait until the next morning (late) and ask something relating to lunch. Generally, this will be a different crew staffing the place and there is little risk of talking to someone who may recognize your voice.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
You aren't calling as a customer; you are calling as a shopper. Why question it. The client wants what they want.

@mlzg wrote:

Really?! I call places often before going there (not when mystery shopping), to ask if they have vegetarian options, their hours, and/or if they typically have long waits/should I make a reservation. If I like what they have to say, I go there to eat. No??

I recently spoke with a general manager of a fro-yo place (not on a mystery shop, just went there for a sugar fix) and he told me I could call before coming in to find out if they have my favorite flavor that day. He told me people do it all the time.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I've called restaurants before visiting to determine how busy they are or verify how late they seat (how late the kitchen stays open). Of course it would be better to be allowed to ask about reservations, which some of our shops actually allow.

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
The reasoning my schedulers give me is usually something like, "If you call before, then they recognize you when you come in, it could affect performance and invalidate the shop. If you get recognized when you call afterward then the shop is already done, so at worst you wouldn't be able to go back."
@msimon-2000------->.................."risk of talking to someone who may recognize your voice."

How much talking are you doing during your meal and eating? Are you talking to the employees? Are they eating a meal with you?
@sojo917 wrote:

@msimon-2000------->.................."risk of talking to someone who may recognize your voice."

How much talking are you doing during your meal and eating? Are you talking to the employees? Are they eating a meal with you?

Why don't you add the word "little" in front of my quote that is now completely taken out of context. My response was to the OP who stated they felt there was a risk of being recognized. I gave them several options to minimize THEIR perceived risk if THEY felt the risk warranted such an action(s).

I, personally could care less if I call before or after the visit. I do what the MSC asks of me, I have a good time, and I get paid...period.

To answer your questions: #1 I talk as much or as little as I dam well please during my meal as I see fit. #2 Yes, I talk to some of the employees, as warranted, depending on my shop flow. #3 To date, no employees have joined me for a meal (not sure what this has to do with the price of tea in China OR the OPs original question)???

Finally, next time you quote me, please get the context correct or simply quote my whole post.

"We're just two lost souls swimming in a fish bowl -- year after year..."
I did a hardware shop where I had to call and ask an exceedingly stupid question AFTER I completed the shop.

I wouldn't have been bothered with "how late are you open tomorrow", or something like that; but I was required to ask some inane question like "are the mailboxes you sell compliant with whatever USPS guidelines there are?" Of course the hapless clerk didn't have a clue.

OMG, I do so HATE stupid, irrelevant questions.

I'm left boggled at what in the world the purpose is of the "after shop" phone call.
@stormraven73 wrote:

The reasoning my schedulers give me is usually something like, "If you call before, then they recognize you when you come in, it could affect performance and invalidate the shop. If you get recognized when you call afterward then the shop is already done, so at worst you wouldn't be able to go back."

That is exactly what a scheduler told me as well. It makes sense, I guess. However, if you disguise your phone voice, there's very little chance they'll know it's you, unless you say something to give yourself away.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login