Tipping

Once, the staff handed me the electronic pad to fill in the tip and sign. The tip page was on, and it was set to 20%. That really turned me off. He expects 20% for a curbside delivery? I clicked the custom tip and fill in the $1-2 that CI reimburses.

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.

And then I'm one of those people that consistently tip the carhops $1. And I get the feeling that most people don't tip them at all. I ask them if they make minimum wage and honestly, some of them don't even know what minimum wage is. (Just like some of them can't make change -- I even had a young girl tell me that "they don't teach us that in school".)

And that $1 is out of my own pocket -- the MSC does not reimburse it.

I once did a dine in where they were very specific about having an itemized receipt and the receipt NOT being over the allowed amount. I put enough tip in to bring it to the maximum, and left cash on the table, which I would not be reimbursed for.

Got reamed by the MSC for undertipping. I wrote back and explained that I had also left cash, that I would never short a server, and had left an amount greater than the MSC allowed. They said for me to never do that again!

But when I was a server, it was extremely common for people to put some tip on the CC, and also leave a few bucks on the table, too. I also assumed it was for the great service they got, they left extra. I really didn't think it outed me as a shopper at all.

I had an assignment at a deli, and really, really enjoyed it. Great food, pleasant surroundings, attentive service -- but every time a server came to the table, it was a different server! One took my drinks order, a different one delivered a drink, a third one offered and brought refills. One took my food order, a different one delivered the food, a third one cleared the table. So I pulled one aside and asked about tipping -- I mean, it was a $25 meal, and didn't justify leaving a tip for 7 or 8 different runners/servers. They all did well, with smiles and upbeat energy.

The server told me I didn't need to tip at all, that their employer took pride in paying a "living wage" even to people the law said he could pay less (which may have had a great deal to do with the upbeat attitude); and that all tips were collected and donated to a local woman's shelter.

I was so impressed by that, I went back to my table and left $25 tip.

As I was leaving, the manager came out and shook my hand, several servers came up and hugged me.
For once, I felt they genuinely meant it when they said to come back!

All I put in my report was the upbeat atmosphere and positive energy and how much I enjoyed the meal, the surroundings, the service, and would happily eat there again on my own dime.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/14/2018 11:49PM by ceasesmith.
@ceasesmith wrote:

The server told me I didn't need to tip at all, that their employer took pride in paying a "living wage" even to people the law said he could pay less (which may have had a great deal to do with the upbeat attitude); and that all tips were collected and donated to a local woman's shelter.

I was so impressed by that, I went back to my table and left $25 tip.

As I was leaving, the manager came out and shook my hand, several servers came up and hugged me.
For once, I felt they genuinely meant it when they said to come back!

Where's that heart icon? For you and for that business owner who pays his employees decently Hooray for you both, and for the staff for donating to a women's shelter. What a wonderful thing.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I tip whatever the balance is up to the reimbursement. I do the same for the steakhouse with all the peanuts.

"Been stuck in the middle of a vendetta between me and myself" -Citizen Cope
I just did one of these curbsides that just started this month, and was told by the scheduler that I had to tip 18%, which seems very high to me, considering whenever I ask what I should tip of the people doing curbside, I am usually told $1-$2 is appreciated. But hey ... that's what they demand, then that's what they demand. Super easy shop, super-easy report, if I can get a $31.00 meal for about a buck and a quarter with that little work, it's worth it to me. Probably the easiest shops I've ever done.
@Tarantado wrote:

Maybe this thread could convince me to tip the laborers outside working all day in a blazing heat painting my house too while they’re still here.

I generally give them all coffee in the morning and cold beer in the afternoon. If they don't drink, then Gatorade.
@SoCalMama wrote:

I generally give them all coffee in the morning and cold beer in the afternoon. If they don't drink, then Gatorade.

That's a great idea, except for the alcohol especially if they're working through the afternoon and evening....

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 28 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
I would say that as a shopper MSC's don't want you to stand out. You are supposed to be like a regular shopper, sans "the shop." Therefore, they give guidelines to try to direct shoppers' behaviors.

If the MSC doesn't specify a tip, I would venture to guess that most "regular" people don't tip. They want you to seem like a "regular" person.

Not that I think it's right. I just did the pizza shop yesterday (blast me...but I do have 3 teens, so....) and it was carryout. I tipped a buck. Just because those kids looked like hungry college students.... winking smiley
I think you are talking about the Mercantile shop. They won't reimburse a tip, which is annoying. I tip anyway, but if the bill is $33 and I tip $2, Merc won't reimburse the tip even though the reimbursement is up to $35. It's only for the amount spent on food.

@Insight wrote:

I did the shop and the bill for the Curbside was $31.15 and gave the food runner the difference between the bill and the $35 ( just about 18%)
The house painters I know can drink 5-6 beers without even catching a buzz.

@Tarantado wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

I generally give them all coffee in the morning and cold beer in the afternoon. If they don't drink, then Gatorade.

That's a great idea, except for the alcohol especially if they're working through the afternoon and evening....
@SoCalMama wrote:

@Tarantado wrote:

Maybe this thread could convince me to tip the laborers outside working all day in a blazing heat painting my house too while they’re still here.

I generally give them all coffee in the morning and cold beer in the afternoon. If they don't drink, then Gatorade.

We had a house that was being built. Early in the morning, when the air was crisp, we would drive by and look at the progress. From time to time, we would stop by the donut shop and the coffee shop and hand the goodies out.

We ended up with an "accidental" hardwood floor in a room where we wanted one, but felt it was too expensive. I still wonder if the early morning donuts/coffee had anything to do with that.....
@JASFLALMT wrote:

The house painters I know can drink 5-6 beers without even catching a buzz.
.... So what? You're working a labor job when there are some risks such as ladder safety, etc.... They shouldn't be working with ANY alcohol in their system. Are you okay with those same guys driving behind the wheel? Probably not. The same should go for house painters especially...

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 28 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
@Tarantado wrote:

@JASFLALMT wrote:

The house painters I know can drink 5-6 beers without even catching a buzz.
.... So what? You're working a labor job when there are some risks such as ladder safety, etc.... They shouldn't be working with ANY alcohol in their system. Are you okay with those same guys driving behind the wheel? Probably not. The same should go for house painters especially...

The house painters that just did my kids' place in college were definitely tweekers. Alcohol is the least of my worries with them.

Where I am from, you give service people a beer when they are done. They usually enjoy it with you in your living room. This includes plumbers, electricians, painters, etc (Europe).

Here, I usually hand over a case of Modelo beer. Cox Communications guys get Gatorade. Same with utilities workers. They'd probably get fired for drinking.
I AM not working a labor job, so no, I don't have to worry about ladder safety.

I never said that these painters were still on the job. It's also none of my business whether they drive after they have had a beer or 2, and I also never said any of these painters were working on my house, and I never said that I gave them 5-6 beers. What I wrote was that I know some house painters who can drink 5-6 beers without getting buzzed. Additionally, the house painters I know are not as worldly as they are in So Cal Mama's area, as the beer of choice is generally Budweiser, which isn't exactly a high test beer.

And if I had a problem with someone leaving my house after drinking 1 or 2 beers I would be a big hypocrite, given that when doing a fine dining shop with my husband I have had 1 or 2 glasses of wine and driven afterwards (ordering a bottle of wine was required).

@Tarantado wrote:

@JASFLALMT wrote:

The house painters I know can drink 5-6 beers without even catching a buzz.
You're working a labor job when there are some risks such as ladder safety, etc.... They shouldn't be working with ANY alcohol in their system. Are you okay with those same guys driving behind the wheel? Probably not. The same should go for house painters especially...
Our company policy on tipping is NO MORE THEN 20% of the actual restaurant bill. Any amount above that you will not be reimbursed to you even if you didn't spend the your entire allowance. We don't want to bring any attention to you by leaving a $25.00 tip for a $75.00 meal just because you were allocated a $100.00.

Jim
Mystery Shopper Pros

www.mysteryshopperpros.com
While we did go off topic about giving house painters beer, the tipping part of this thread was mostly about curbside and carryout service. Does your company do curbside service restaurant shops, Jim? I would LOVE to do some $100 curbside shops!! I am going to have to look more closely at your company to see what you have in my area.

I am reasonably sure that all of us would never consider tipping 33% on a restaurant shop, and that amount on a curbside shop would be ridiculous.
Curbside is totally optional. You don't have to tip them at all. No more than a buck or two. We specialize in high end restaurants so our mystery shoppers may be required to pay out like $250.00 or more. We generally don't publicize most of our shops so you may see very little if any listed if one was to login. We generally only use established mystery shoppers with outstanding writing skills who we invite to do a mystery shop. We are not a Market Force.

Happy Shopping.

www.mysteryshopperpros.com
@Jash1057 I always find comments like that interesting. How would you have any idea how experienced we are or how well we write if we have never done a shop for your company? Not picking on you, just find this type of comment to be a catch 22 for most folks (never shopped with you, so no way to ever shop for you).

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
I've done shops for them, but not for a few years. But, I have been really busy with other MSCs so it would have to be a really juicy shop to entice me. I do plenty of high-end hotel and restaurant shops. I don't have any problem putting out $250 or more for a shop. I do find the fact that curbside is optional interesting, as I have never seen high end restaurant shops where that was an option. Usually it's a bar visit before or after and then a dining room visit, often with a bottle of wine.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/17/2018 05:20PM by JASFLALMT.
@JASFLALMT I was kind of giving a hypothetical. I have shopped for them in the past, all be it over 10 years ago (An auto shop completed in 2008). I am just curious how you would get a job with them if you can't see the jobs at all, and aren't on the scheduler's "go to" list of shoppers. I have always wondered how many companies I belong to that are like this. I have been doing this well over 10 years, and I have many companies I have never done a shop for.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
Right, my post wasn't a reply to your post, it was just a generalized post directed to the forum (that's why I didn't quote you or use your username in my post). I get where you are coming from and agree.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

Oteixeira--Albeit, LOL. Sorry, the ex-editor in me...

LOL, glad it happened here and not on my latest report...If it was not for spell checker I would look like I didn't even graduate grammar school (and I still miss some).

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
Oteixeira, having read your posts throughout the forum, I don't believe that.

I have a few slips here and there. I like to use "alot" instead of "a lot", and I know it's wrong but do it anyway.

Where did you get the name oteixeira? I was thinking of some sort of rock or stone but not sure...
Well @JASFLALMT, it's my real name. Actually, my first initial and then last name. I have been using it as my standard login since I started in the computer industry (my full time job) in the early 1990s. So, no hidden meaning at all, but no one ever puts two and two together either, since it is a unique name outside of Portuguese/Brazilian circles.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
@Jash1057 wrote:

Our company policy on tipping is NO MORE THEN 20% of the actual restaurant bill. Any amount above that you will not be reimbursed to you even if you didn't spend the your entire allowance. We don't want to bring any attention to you by leaving a $25.00 tip for a $75.00 meal just because you were allocated a $100.00.

Jim
Mystery Shopper Pros

I understand, and I'm pretty sure most of the folks on board do as well, that one doesn't tip more THAN a certain amount so that we don't stand out to the staff. On the other hand, tipping the curbside server a buck or two not only seems reasonable, but is customary in some areas and should be reimbursed, in my opinion, if the total falls within the shop limit.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Yeah, which is one thing that irritates me about Mercantile curbside shops. They won't budge on that. I love them, otherwise.
We accumulate our shopper over time. If we need new shopper in an area then we set up simpler mystery shops and grade them from there. We want to see how well a shopper does on regular basis without being told so. You should always do your best in life you never know who’s watching you. In our case it's like belonging to a country club, you're invited. In the areas we have high profile mystery shops we can fill them in no time at all as they are in demand. That doesn't mean you can't fill out an application on our website. We tend to look at MSPA shoppers first as it shows commitment. Again, we are not like Market Force where we have 1000"s of shops and in every state. Right now we tend to cover the East Coast more than the West Coast but in this business it always changing.

The biggest disqualifier we find is shoppers not reading and following the instructions and just because you did the shop once doesn't mean it will have the same requirements again. There is a big difference in mystery shopping at let’s say a McDonalds verses doing one at the Ritz Carlton. Anybody can give criticism but giving it professional takes a talent.

I recommend buying "The Mystery Shopper's Manual by Cathy Stucker". You can get it on Amazon.

If you want the higher paying mystery shops, it’s no different than starting a new job you have to work your way up and prove yourself. It is our reputation that's the one on the line.

Good Luck

www.mysteryshopperpros.com
@Jash1057, you assume I don't already get high paying mystery shops. That would be a bad assumption. I personally find your post to have a tone that is talking down to shoppers who take shops from a certain company. I am not sure that is the best way to attract good people to your company. Good Luck.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login