Bad mistake -restaurant evaluation.

How to make sure you get names and know who the manager is at an establishment if they don't wear nametags, they don't introduce themselves and if wouldn't feel natural to ask for one?

I'm pretty new to MS and definitely need to spend more time reading up here, especially to avoid mistakes that make me feel really bad like the one I made on my 2nd restaurant evaluation since starting MS last month.
I felt unsure about not having been able to identify a manager during the visit which was covered in the evaluation form. I know now I should have clarify with scheduler but I didn't back then.
Anyway my initially near perfect shop ended up being rejected and I feel terrible as I totally am to blame for. Turned out I interacted briefly with two (!) managers during my visit but I thought one was a host (welcomed us at a host stand upon arrival) and one a busser (cleaned up our table).

And hello everyone, I'm new here!

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Welcome to the forum ! You will find a wealth of information here. Keep reading.

Everyone started out as a new mystery shopper at some point and we all make mistakes. I'm sure even some veterans would say they are still learning. You just have to learn from the mistakes.

For me, identifying a manager is easy. It's usually someone who is active in the restaurant, visiting tables, leading employees, someone who dresses differently than the servers. It could be one or any of those things.
For reporting purposes, an assistant mgr and a manager are the same to me.
Some MSC want you to identify and get a manager's name, some may only want you to observe and report on them, some don't need any info.

If you need to get a name, for your situation, you could've said, "You've been very helpful or nice, what do you do here and what is your name ?" If it's a fine restaurant, you could ask the server for the managers name because you are thinking of having an event and want to be able to speak to the manager. Be creative and make sure it fits the scenario/environment you are in.
I had that happen this week myself, and here is how I handled the section. Paraphrasing:

I did not see anyone who looked or acted like a manager. However, there was an employee bussing tables. When she got to my table, she introduced herself to me as (first name) and asked if everything was okay

Then I described her.

The editor took it.

My mother, who is an infinite source of wisdom was probably right -- she was the manager but someone didn't show up to work. Oddly enough, she wasn't dressed or acted differently from any of the other employees.
I'd like to add as I have done many restaurant shops. The manager always wears a long sleeve shirt and slacks.
he/she does not wear a name tag, but you'll see them doing various jobs, coming out of the kitchen, or will ask how everything was at your table. keep eyes wide open, can't be missed. Host's are never dressed up like a Manager, and Manager's are older than the younger host/.hostess, and interacts with employees.

edited to add...i have never (11yrs) needed a Manager's name. i watch them come and go from the kitchen, bar area and interact with employees and customers, there is no mistaking a Manager from a Server or host.

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/25/2017 04:03PM by Irene_L.A..
You run a good risk of misidentifying someone based on your own notion of what a manager "should" look like. Definitely ask the scheduler for hints about a manager's attire and watch carefully to see who is directing staff and checking in on tables. Plenty of young (or young looking) people manage restaurants. Likewise, long sleeves don't necessarily denote a manager. Also, a more "mature" person may just be picking up some extra income, not managing the place. When in doubt, I have asked who could give me information about catering or accomodating a larger party for an event.
Totally, the manager I mistaken for a hostess was late 20s and the busser rurned manager was in short sleeved pretty casual shirt. I guess the relaxed (yet not too casual) feel to the restaurant just made it more complicated. Also I may have not positioned myself well enough to observe the whole restaurant without constanly looking around - again a lesson learned.
Hang in there! How do you think we all got to know so many tricks? Most of it is due to hiccups in previous shops. There is a learning curve, and then you will do most of it by second nature.
Today I filled out and submitted a shop that took about 20 minutes. When I submitted the shop it didn't go through! I didn't SAVE each narrative like I usually do. My fault! SAVE SAVE SAVE I can't say this enough and I know better. Edit; I have been shopping for 10 years.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/21/2017 09:24PM by shopper8.
I uaually ask about a catering order or having a work function at the restaurant so I ask for their name so I can follow up the next day when I am at the office and can check my calendar.
Managers dress differently, and don't wear name tags often. If you have a bad experience, even if you didn't say, I think it's required by the server to tell the mgr.. They'll often come to your table, introduce themselves and apologize. . I've gotten some good freebies of late b/c of bad experiences.. i wish I could ms longhorn, b/c we go a lot and it's $$$$$$$$$
Last time I needed the managers name and he did not come to my table, I asked my server, "What is that man's name? He looks so familiar and I can't place where I know him from!". Worked like a charm.
I second Tigris308's suggestion. You can even ask the person directly, "I'm sorry. I feel like I know you from somewhere. What was your name?" or "What was your name? ... Oh, I'm sorry, I thought we may have gone to school together."

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If are not in the same age demographic, you could also claim they look like a former student. There doesn't have to be a huge age difference for that.
You can also use the ruse by asking for the manager's name and that your son/daughter would like to apply for a job here if that feels more natural to you.
I also would say that I did not observe anyone acting in a supervisory position and it would difficult to determine who the manager was.
I've also been at restaurants where the manager was hands on. The manager would take it upon himself to bus tables if he came upon the tables that needed to be bussed or whatever needed attention.. The manager did not go find someone to bus the tables or address areas that needed attention.
Just report your observations. If someone looks like a manager, get a description. If no one looks (or acts) like a manager, say so. Tell them you did not observe a manager present. Go ahead and ask! Where is your manager please? Do this when talking to a manager is mandatory. If it's not mandatory, simply stating you did not see one should suffice. I'm not perfect and no one is. Everyone makes mistakes from time to time. Most times the mistakes can be fixed with communication. Go ahead and ask your scheduler questions before the shop. And if you make a mistake, email as soon as possible for advice on how to fix it. Good Luck.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 04/26/2017 12:03AM by sbrown44105.
There is a popular BBQ shop near me that ALWAYS asks about the manager, but several times I've gone and there was simply none to be observed. The report has always been accepted.

Kona Kathie
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