Rookie Restaurant Shopping Mistake! Please help

So, I just did a restaurant mystery shopping, everything went well and normal until the end JUST before I received my check. My server started chatting with me as I was finishing the beer I was required to order as part of my assignment (not drinking on the job unnecessarily).

And by the end of our relatively short conversation, as he was starting to cash me out, he told me he would buy my drink for me. I thanked him, assuming that would be fine since I'd order two 8ozers, assuming at least one would still be on my bill.

But then, as he continued punching away on the register, he said that actually, he would just COVER MY WHOLE MEAL!

I asked him if he was sure... I tried to politely insist I pay myself a couple of times, and he cashed me out quickly, saying he would just give me his shift meal for that day.
I didn't know what to do without being suspiciously and rudely insistent that he reverse the process, and so I thanked him and left.

But now I have no receipt!

I'm going to write up my report, and explain, but I'm not sure what more to do! I also feel incredibly bad that my report could potentially get him in trouble for his kind gesture, even though he essentially paid for the meal himself.

Any advice would be appreciated! What I can do now, to hopefully still get paid for this assignment. AND if you think I SHOULD have done something differently given the circumstances.

Hoping to shop and learn! Thanks so much!

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A shift meal does not include alcohol. He was fishing for a tip. He is also a thief. Contact your scheduler.

MSPA Gold Certified 2003


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2017 05:20PM by eyespy.
He was either fishing for a tip or a date. I would definitely contact your scheduler but you may have to eat this one (no pun intended.) You ask what you could have done differently: firmly rejected the initial offer for him to pay for your drink. That most likely set the whole thing in motion.
When i do my bar audits, I always put my (old) wedding rings on, and that helps. Woman sitting at the bar alone are subject to flirts, pick ups, etc. i would have said, thanks, but I'm fine and not excepted the first drink, but if your interested, well, maybe another time. You really shouldn't get paid, time wise he interrupted your job...you had to know better, I missed who he was, a customer or working for the restaurant which could get him fired...why should you get two reimbursements....just sayin.

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/30/2017 06:25PM by Irene_L.A..
I'm still not sure why you accepted his drink offer. I mean, a) you're working and only supposed to have one drink, b) you're working and you're evaluating this person's service, and c) you're working, and know you're being reimbursed by your MSC. Was he that cute or maybe one 8 oz beer affects you more than you think? As a final reminder, "No thank you." is a complete sentence and can be used several times with various facial expressions to maintain a polite, but firm refusal.
im always on biz trip w/expense acct so that stops them in 1st place. easy peasy. i also think waiter was stealing from his employer.
Geoverify and get all the proof you can. Did a Bar Check and the bartenders were so awful instead of charging me, they kept giving me free drinks (because they felt bad about the wait). I explained, sent a geoverify code, snapped a store pic and just told the truth. They even paid me out and asked if I wanted to do it again.
Do you have time to just do another visit? Call this one a practice run? That is how I solved some of my early mistakes.

Keeps you in the good books of the MSC.
Yes! Just reschedule! I also have done that. Hopefully you will get different server. The server might have actually paid for the liquor and comped the meal. He perhaps was not stealing. But sure he wanted a tip :-)

TinaMarie
I would reschedule. It happens to me a lot actually. It's usually other customers that buy my meal / drinks though. I don't think that I'd write up a report for a comped meal. It is reimbursement only?

Oh, I have tried to be firm and refuse before, but most of the time, they pay anyway.

Irene - I get hit on a lot more with my rings on, so I quit wearing them years ago. Vegas is the worst for that. Married guys wanting to hook up with married gals.
@SCM...I haven't done Vegas in a few years and brought a friend so don't remember ever being bothered with all the "other" types at the bars in Vegas, what would anyone want with me...smiling smiley I only do a couple bar audits in my town, and it's pretty tame....was giving advice on what works for me. Never ever has a Bartender offered to pay for drinks, dinner, etc.....my humble opinion, you'd have to lead him on a bit....I've been in quite a few bars in my
long life. They want to keep their jobs and unless they thought they'd get something out of it, well, you know what I mean.....

Live consciously....


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2017 03:41PM by Irene_L.A..
Call the restaurant and have them email you a copy of the receipt.

A shopper posted about a similar situation recently. Her shop was not accepted.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2017 05:48PM by HonnyBrown.
Don't redo the shop!! This is exactly the type of thing that the client is trying to find out. You did nothing wrong. The server basically stole from his employer. Don't cover up for him by redoing it and don't feel bad reporting him. This is why companies mystery shop their employees.
Actually we don't know if the bartender stole anything or violated any policy at this point. The client will determine that if they get the report, and they should get the report.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
My bar audits say definitely do not ask Manager for duplicate receipt....big no no. I have spoken to the Administration after a problem I had with a receipt...she said no, the client does not want you to do that.
They will find receipt on their own.

Live consciously....
Everyone also assumes a bartender comping a drink is automatically stealing. Bartenders are often supposed to use their own judgement and comp drinks on occasion. Obviously it should never be the first drink nor should one person be receiving half their drinks for nothing. In the case of the OP, if he paid for her drinks out of his own pocket that is also not a problem.

@JASFLALMT wrote:

Right, giving up a shift meal is not stealing, if in fact, that is what he really did.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2017 07:53PM by LisaSTL.
Should OP be reimbursed since she didn't pay. I have on same subject taken a date to a dinner and he paid, then I got reimbursed, so.....not really different.

Live consciously....
When I was a bartender we were allowed to comp drinks from time to time, as long as we recorded it when we did so.
In this case I really don't think the OP should be reimbursed for the meal and it didn't read like she wanted or expected to be reimbursed. I got the impression she was concerned about the receipt strictly because it is one of the required POVs.

My feelings were the opposite when a business acquaintance of a shopper's husband bought their meals. My thought process for that one was the shop being reimbursement only meant the restaurant got a report for absolutely nothing, not even their own cost for the food. In this case the restaurant pays for all or a large part of the employee meal so reimbursing the OP would be paying twice.

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/01/2017 08:25PM by LisaSTL.
Not reimbursed since the bartender comped her dinner, but if there is a shop fee and she wrote a report, why shouldn't she be paid?
I chose the wrong word and meant reimbursed for the food. Of course if there is a fee for the report she should be paid in full. Thanks for pointing it out JAS!

Equal rights for others does not mean fewer rights for you. It's not pie.
"I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag." -Molly Ivins
Never try to teach a pig to sing. It's a waste of your time and it really annoys the pig.
This is a tough spot but also an interesting point. A lot of the bar & dinner audits I've had are at hotel bars. You can use your imagine as to what it might be like as a 30F alone at a hotel bar. When a bartender has comped something during a mystery shop, I just reported the shop exactly as it happened. I felt guilty about reporting a bartender but I don't know if they violated policy or not - maybe they have a certain number of drinks per night they are allowed to give out? Or maybe the bartender knows he's not supposed to do it but did it anyway. In any case, that's not my problem. If they asked me to re-shop, I would decline. I did my job, the rest is on them. The client should be aware of different types of scenarios and customers. What if multiple shops reveal that this person keeps giving away too much alcohol to pretty ladies at the bar? There's only one way to find out.

In my case, I had receipts because I had to pay for some of the stuff, so I was paid the reimbursement and shop fee. If you got the entire thing comped and no receipt at all, I would e-mail the MSC and tell them what happened before writing any report. If the MSC says they won't pay you the fee because there's no "proof", unfortunately that's all you can really do. I would be annoyed that I spent time to observe a shop and not get paid but would just have to look on the positive side of a free dinner and no report to write.
First of all, I don't think you made a Rookie Mistake at all! In the years I have been shopped, I have been comped for a variety of reasons from they know they really screwed something up to "Hey you guys are nice people; let me buy you a drink." Whenever I had said, '"Oh thanks, but that's okay," it did not deter the server/bartender/or manager. So what I do is ask for the print-out of our bill because I certainly want to tip them. That has always worked just fine! Then I have the receipt to prove I was there: I have always been reimbursed for the tip and been paid any shop fees. Of course, in the report I explained why I was comped, And no, I don't expect to be reimbursed for something I didn't pay for! As long as I ultimately don't pay for the meal, I got the reimbursement, in effect.
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