Best companies for hotel and restaurant/bar shops?

Hello everyone, this is my first posting on this forum. I am a novice shopper, I may have done a dozen or so shops over the course of a few years. I tend to only enjoy doing hotel and restaurant/bar shops. Who doesn't like to get paid/reimbursed for some of their vacation and entertainment expenses? Anyway, I notice that some MS companies specialize in certain shops, and was wondering if anyone knew the companies that specialize, or have more of these types of shops? I appreciate any responses smiling smiley

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.

Now that you have created the post it has generated a link, "More about Restaurants." You can also use the search function accessible at the top of the page. Don't forget to change the parameters to all dates and you will find pages and pages of discussions, company lists and even some job postings.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
I'm not so sure Coyle is the best place for a new shopper.... pretty demanding reports. And especially since this shopper wants to use shops as a way to offset vacation expenses, you can't relax while doing a Coyle hotel shop.


@moosehoose wrote:

@shelagh46 wrote:

Check out Coyne Hospitality.

Or even Coyle Hospitality!
Regal is a stepping stone for Coyle. Slightly less demanding with detail than Coyle while still having some enjoyable hotel visits. I wouldn't recommend ACL in general, their hotel shops are reimbursement only and most of the time their restaurant shops are as well. But, they are easier than both Coyle and Regal.
I use the ACL hotels to top up rewards points. And, this spring and summer, one of the chains had back-to-back "stay 2 nights get one future night free." (For their rewards club members,) ACL shops permitted me to pick up both of those free nights. Gotta love double dipping, and the reports are quite simple.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
No one really wants to tell you about any restaurant or hotel shops because everyone feels the same way that you do. They are the best shops available and there are also few a in any area that no one wants any competition when applying. I will tell you that coyle does it lot of high end restaurant and hotel shops. The only issue is the report is so time consuming and you can not enjoy your experience because you were so busy documenting every little thing they ask for. It will be great to find a company that paysyou a decent reimbursement amd has a report that takes less than 2 hours but these shops are few and far between. Good luck
I see at least three companies listed on this thread alone. It doesn't look like anyone is that worried about the competition. Personally, I would gladly tell any shopper who does hotels and restaurants. The problem is I often don't recall because I don't find them to be the best shops at all.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
Chiming in on my experience. Bare International offers many restaurant shops but the reports are very time consuming and I would not do it again. For the last one, I needed to make 4 transactions (orders) and document every detail about them, *AND* observe and document the orders of 5 other customers.
I have only done ACL hotels and loved doing them even without a fee but they are few and far between in my area at the moment and none of the current hotels within 400 miles are dog friendly (if they charge $100 a night for a dog I do not consider that dog friendly)...my personal preference to take my dog if possible.
As far as restaurants the high end ones are time consuming like hotsauce says.. A friend signed up for one against my best advice. I went and helped her out. She had never done a report harder than two sentences of narrative. She will never do one again! But it did include observing and reporting on 8 other interactions at the bar + extensive meal related service . It was so busy and noisy we could not hear or see from where we sat what was going on. They were the only seats available at a bar. Luckily we were there during brunch so it was a moot point as every drink order was a refill of a bottomless mimosa so we lucked out. In any case I enjoy the high end restaurants but they are long reports too so be prepared.
@hotsauce1 wrote:

I needed to make 4 transactions (orders) and document every detail about them, *AND* observe and document the orders of 5 other customers.

By four orders, do you mean you had to order an appetizer, entree, drink, and dessert separately?

I can't even imagine how you would document FIVE others' orders.
If you like quick casual restaurants (order and pick up food at the counter), I can't recommend Service Sense highly enough. AFAIK they only work with one resto, and it's a very good burger place, order what you want with no menu restrictions, easy questions, quick payment.

@Shopperguy1981 wrote:

Hello everyone, this is my first posting on this forum. I am a novice shopper, I may have done a dozen or so shops over the course of a few years. I tend to only enjoy doing hotel and restaurant/bar shops. Who doesn't like to get paid/reimbursed for some of their vacation and entertainment expenses? Anyway, I notice that some MS companies specialize in certain shops, and was wondering if anyone knew the companies that specialize, or have more of these types of shops? I appreciate any responses smiling smiley
I did a hotel shop for Bestmark and didn't find it too troublesome. Bestmark also has nice restaurant shops with easy reports.
It's just that most MSCs are so regional. Bestmark hasn't had a restaurant shop in my area in a long time and when they did it only reimbursed $30 and it was required you take a guest. And it wasn't a nice restaurant, it was a national chain with so-so food.. They have never had hotel shops here. Service Sense does a soup chain in my area (no burgers) but the food is mediocre and the place is always dirty with lackluster service so I quit doing them. And Bare doesn't offer restaurants in my area, either. Like I said, most MSCs are regional in the types of shops offered.
I haven't seen any hotel shops for BestMark in my area either. I've seen 2 different restaurant shops. One an upscale Italian food shop and one the chain I think JASFLALMT is talking about. I agree about the food although their pie is pretty good if we're talking about the same place. I went once with my husband and although they met the shop criteria for a good rating, we really didn't enjoy it. But check Bestmark out for their restaurants. You never know what they might have in your area.

What's done is done. An egg cracked cannot be cured.
There are 3 kinds of lies. Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.
I'll keep that in mind. I log in and look every couple of months but all I see are car dealerships for sales or service shops.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I'll keep that in mind. I log in and look every couple of months but all I see are car dealerships for sales or service shops.

That's mostly what I see in my area too. Now and then there's a casino shop, electronics shops, and very rarely a restaurant or 2. Mostly when I see a restaurant it's that chain I mentioned before and that's reimbursement only making it not worthwhile since we didn't really like the food all that much.

What's done is done. An egg cracked cannot be cured.
There are 3 kinds of lies. Lies, Damn lies, and statistics.
In order of my own preference:

Merc Surveys
B Business Solutions
Buckalew
A Closer Look
Coyle
Five Diamond
Regal

YMMV
(didn't include Bestmark because I'm excluded from the one in my area)

“In Chicago not only your vote counts, but all kinds of other votes—kids, dead folks, and so on.” ~Dick Gregory
I heard Five Diamond (I thought they were now called True Guest or something like that?) was awful to do shops for. Buckalew never has anything within 500 miles of me, Merc never has anything within 200 miles of me, Regal has some shops occasionally within 50 miles and Coyle regularly does. And, I like that Coyle will sometimes give me mileage even to go that short distance. I used to do stuff for BBiz but haven't in a long time. ACL won't pay a fee for hotels and I am not fond of that, but I do like a few of their restaurant shops.
I shop bestmark in two different major cities, only one of them had the hotel shop. I've seen it a few times so I think it's quarterly. They have a nice Southern/American cuisine restaurant that I enjoy. In addition to the Italian one.

I also like Rbg and Confidential Consumer for restaurant/bar shops.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/19/2017 12:04AM by eyelove2shop.
I like Customer Impact for restaurant shops but the ones I like usually only come around once a year.
@ShopWhisperer wrote:


By four orders, do you mean you had to order an appetizer, entree, drink, and dessert separately?

I can't even imagine how you would document FIVE others' orders.

It was 3 separate rounds of drinks and an appetizer. And yes, they wanted me to observe 5 other customers - what they ordered, how the drink was prepared, how their check was given, how & when the customer paid.
I did that shop for Bare years ago. It really was not difficult. I took along a friend then made sure they were positioned so I could see most of the bar when facing them. We weren't on a schedule so there was plenty of time to observe other orders.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
@LisaSTL wrote:

I did that shop for Bare years ago. It really was not difficult. I took along a friend then made sure they were positioned so I could see most of the bar when facing them. We weren't on a schedule so there was plenty of time to observe other orders.
Yeah, that's a basic bar integrity shop.
@hotsauce1 wrote:

@ShopWhisperer wrote:


By four orders, do you mean you had to order an appetizer, entree, drink, and dessert separately?

I can't even imagine how you would document FIVE others' orders.

It was 3 separate rounds of drinks and an appetizer. And yes, they wanted me to observe 5 other customers - what they ordered, how the drink was prepared, how their check was given, how & when the customer paid.

And that is what my shop entailed too. But mine required 4 groups of customers per hour. We were there almost 2 hours for an upscale lunch so it would have been 8. This msc frequently has that requirement. They also have a food truck where I have to overhear three or four other orders and also record how and when their orders are picked up. I did that food truck once when it was parked at a busy farmer's market and another time at a First Friday...in both cases the area was mobbed with people and noise. I could barely hear the order taker when I was at the window myself. The other customers would melt into the crowd while waiting for their order to be picked up...so trying to keep track of which person ordered and picked up was impossible esp when the pick up was done by a different member of their group who was not at the window ordering. I will never accept that shop again unless I know the venue for the truck is relatively quiet.
Everyone's got their limit I suppose, and that was mine. I now bypass most restaurant shops unless it's really high end or the pay is above average.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I heard Five Diamond (I thought they were now called True Guest or something like that?) was awful to do shops for. Buckalew never has anything within 500 miles of me, Merc never has anything within 200 miles of me, Regal has some shops occasionally within 50 miles and Coyle regularly does. And, I like that Coyle will sometimes give me mileage even to go that short distance. I used to do stuff for BBiz but haven't in a long time. ACL won't pay a fee for hotels and I am not fond of that, but I do like a few of their restaurant shops.

I have done both Coyle and Five Diamond/True Guest. True Guest was much more detailed than Coyle, at least for the high end hotel. Things like writing in 3rd person throughout.

I'd go on a diet, but that would be an insult to the fine people who make Cheesecake!
Yes, more than one hotel MSC requires writing in the third person and it becomes tedious! More than once I have discovered that I have written a long, very detailed report of a key interaction in first when it needed to be in third person. Grrrr.

Based in MD, near DC
Shopping from the Carolinas to New York
Have video cam; will travel

Poor customer service? Don't get mad; get video.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login