Five Guys

Regarding reimbursements, last week I did a 5G for the first time in about 7-8 mos. Ordered a little hamburger, little fries, regular soda. The total was $12.84, so 9 cents more than the reimbursement. I had not known that the prices had gone up. In this case, I was "out" less than a dime, so didn't get miffed. But I did send the MSC an email to let them know that the prices had changed in my area. I wasn't complaining, just informing. Got an email back saying they will let management know and suggesting that next time I order a grilled cheese or hot dog. I will do that if they don't change the reimbursement or if the bonus isn't good, but I did write back (nicely) saying that since 5G is all about the burgers, I'd imagine that the company wants to hear about that.

I've always liked 5G burgers (even without mystery shops) and never had a bad one until this visit. The patty was dry as a bone and the grilled onions and grilled mushrooms were hardly there. It looked like they were rationing those items. Interestingly, the entire crew I saw during this last shop was new since my last visit there. I'd been seeing the same crew and managers for several years. No idea what happened to any of them.....

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Why are people taking these shops at $6? Like with ACL, always ask for a bonus.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
I do a lot of FG but one shop figured out who I was and I am banned from doing that location for a year. How did they know? Who knows? Writing style, a phrase you used in the store and was reflected in the report? Order the same item too much? A particular way you like your burgers? No big deal I can do all the other FGS - just not this particular one.

I look at it this way:

If you were a FG manager and knew who the shoppers were, would you out the nice ones who give overly varnished complementary reports? -- OR would you out the shopper who is fair and professional but "calls 'em as he sees 'em"? and has given you a few low marks at times......... I figure I must have complained about something they did not like and thus the manager was able to oust me. Actually, I am pretty fair and never mark anything as an issue unless I can be sure I saw the problems fully.
@HonnyBrown wrote:

Why are people taking these shops at $6? Like with ACL, always ask for a bonus.
Alas, ACL bonuses are almost non-existent now and the fee has been cut to $5 for the pizza place that takes me about an hour to report (lots of narrative.) I told the scheduler who nicely replied that there is nothing that can be done. Bonuses are rarely available - even on the "I am desperate, can you do it tonight" shops. As for 5G, that's good advice to wait for a bonus. I know some forum members are unaware of the bonuses. Perhaps it is an offer made to the more experienced (reliable) shoppers?

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
Pua, I rarely do food shops for ACL. My other shops are always bonused. For FG, call the schedulers and tell them you want x location for $y. They'll haggle, but don't back down.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
I was banned from a 5 Guys too for a year or so. Don't know why, but it was only one location that I never saw. Might have been the greasy floor I remember reporting on. Then one day, voila, they reappeared. I sometimes think they might know I'm their shopper when the manager asks, "How was everything, ok?" Maybe they ask all customers that question, but I don't know, I just think they know and keep quiet about it. There are a lot of 5 Guys in my area...too many for my waistline, but I do love the bonuses I can get.

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A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.

Zen Shin Talks
Judi, I limit myself to one shop per month as a treat. This month, I did two. I took a nibble of the burger and ate a fry. The rest got trashed outside.

That was hard. I had to remind myself that it was for the bonus, not the meal.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
@HonnyBrown wrote:

Judi, I limit myself to one shop per month as a treat. This month, I did two. I took a nibble of the burger and ate a fry. l.
I know the burger bowl can be a flag that you are a shopper, but I always get that with a bunch of grilled veggies. Five fries is my limit. I see other customers eating the burger bowl. (It is the basic patty in a foil tray with any toppings you want. I go for double tomato, double lettuce, grilled mushrooms and grilled onions plus mustard. Sometimes I add green peppers and A1 sauce.) Just an idea for those who don't want the full meal.

Someone else commented that the MSC suggested getting a cheese sandwich or a hot dog. I received that suggestion, too. I think both are about 50 cents less than the burger which, in my area, still would be over the reimbursement. I know I live in a beach area where prices are always higher.

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
The one thing I always do is go to the 5G site and go to "Order Online" - this way I can see how much my order will cost for the location I am visiting. Now I know when I arrive what I will get and how much it will cost me
I have done sooo many of these shops that the MSC has deactivated me for inactivity.... Twice.

Hard work builds character and homework is good for your soul.
@SoCalDude wrote:

The one thing I always do is go to the 5G site and go to "Order Online" - this way I can see how much my order will cost for the location I am visiting. Now I know when I arrive what I will get and how much it will cost me
Good tip for lots of the fast-food shops. As others have commented, it isn't one-price-fits-all. It depends on the location.

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
When I don't want carbs and meat, I order the veggie sandwich - no bun - in a bowl. It's about $2 less than a burger. I order grilled green peppers, onions, mushrooms, sometimes jalapenos. I order extra of each, for no additional charge. I also order tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles, which are placed in the bowl, alongside the grilled vegs.
That actually sounds pretty tasty @Mert, I might try that sometime. Get a little mayo and mustard on the side, mix up with some ketchup and malt vinegar, sounds like a winning salad! I'd probably add some bacon to the mix though. Too bad they don't offer garlic spread as a topping option, then I'd add the toasted roll on the side with garlic spread and have a righteous lunch!

proudly shopping in the D.
Sometimes, I splurge on calories, and add bacon (ordering extra at no additional charge for a real splurge)smiling smiley Also, I ask for cajun seasoning on the side, and add it where needed.
YUM! Will remember this one for my next shop.
@Mert wrote:

When I don't want carbs and meat, I order the veggie sandwich - no bun - in a bowl. It's about $2 less than a burger. I order grilled green peppers, onions, mushrooms, sometimes jalapenos. I order extra of each, for no additional charge. I also order tomatoes, lettuce, and pickles, which are placed in the bowl, alongside the grilled vegs.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
I say so many times that I am going to have a veggie sandwich. I change my mind each time. It's like going to a Vegas cathouse and getting a handshake.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
I agree, they need to up the reimbursement for real!!! We should get the exact amount to buy the required items! I only do the ones that they call me and give me at least $14 dollars for. I go in and do my shop, then my husband comes in and orders himself a burger and fries and we share the drink. I normally only clear a buck or two or break even. My FG doesn't burn the bacon. But the manager left and went to Mexico, and idk who the new folks are but service has went to the dogs. Have to wait 10 minutes for my food and one cook put my "hot sauce on the side" (for my fries) on my burger!!
Shopped a 5G earlier today. Heard the staff discussing the person in line ahead of me. They had him pegged as the mystery shopper "for sure". I definitely didn't let on and had a good laugh when I got back to my car. Report will discuss their speculation within earshot of another customer (me).
I dont know if I would report that as they dont ask in the report. May make it easier for them to peg you as the real shopper. Its a tough call.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/05/2019 09:41PM by jgoodwin.
Thanks, jgoodwin! I always appreciate knowing other points of view and yours has given me pause for thought. Thank you for sharing it!
Early in my MSing career, I was told by several editors not to discuss anything in the report that the client is not looking for. Some reports specifically ask whether anything unusual happened which impacted the shop. In this case, what you overheard did not seem to impact your shop. My advice is to report nothing. Save these stories for "us".
@bestofbothworlds wrote:

Shopped a 5G earlier today. Heard the staff discussing the person in line ahead of me. They had him pegged as the mystery shopper "for sure". I definitely didn't let on and had a good laugh when I got back to my car. Report will discuss their speculation within earshot of another customer (me).

Shopping Southeast Pennsylvania, Delaware above the canal, and southwestern NJ since 2008
5 Guys is so expensive in the SF Bay Area. The $12.75 reimbursement barely covers everything if I order the grilled cheese, small fries, regular drink. Anything else on the menu goes over the reimbursement. I only ever take them when the MSC offers a submit offer and accepts my offer for $25-30 shopper pay.
I like their fries, but wish they wouldn't waste so many. I can't finish the actual order, let alone the extra scoop that makes the whole bag greasy. But wow, I do like their burgers! I don't feel like they think I'm a shopper because I allow a good long time between shops at any one location, well beyond the required rotation requirement. I'm just more comfortable that way.
@azncollege wrote:

5 Guys is so expensive in the SF Bay Area. The $12.75 reimbursement barely covers everything if I order the grilled cheese, small fries, regular drink. Anything else on the menu goes over the reimbursement. .
I wrote to the MSC to tell it that even the milkshake reimbursement doesn't cover the basic purchase. I explained that a little burger, little fries and regular drink puts me almost $2 over the reimbursement. I was advised to order a veggie sandwich or a hot dog. (No suggestion was made about the 50 cents I lose on the shake reimbursement.) Interesting that the burger client would accept a report on a veggie-only sandwich.

If others facing similar reimbursement issues would write to the MSC it would realize that the price issue is not exclusive to suburban Southern California. (I wish I could get those big bonuses. I get an extra $6-$8 maximum.)

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
I NEVER accept a shop for the regular $6 fee. I wait until they call me and "beg" me to do it. They always try and get me to do it for the same $6 fee. I won't got for less than $10 since I end up losing a few bucks getting a burger. If they want me to get a shake that is another $1 out of pocket. So I ain't going for less than $10 and probably $12
@SoCalDude wrote:

I NEVER accept a shop for the regular $6 fee. I wait until they call me and "beg" me to do it. They always try and get me to do it for the same $6 fee. I won't got for less than $10 since I end up losing a few bucks getting a burger. If they want me to get a shake that is another $1 out of pocket. So I ain't going for less than $10 and probably $12
Good on you! Also, I never take one for this client unless it is a "bid" or they call. I never volunteer for this eval.

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
Hope you all get the reimbursement increase. Did a shop yesterday, little bacon cheese, little fry, regular pop, $12.48. Still pretty pricy IMO. But the restaurant was packed to the brim at lunch, so people are obviously willing to pay.

proudly shopping in the D.
I have switched to ordering a hot dog. It's the cheapest thing I found on the menu to still satisfy the entree requirement. This way most locations will put me just under $12.75. There are still a couple that I do, where even with a hot dog, the price puts me over $13. They definitely need to raise the reimbursement limit.

Having said that, I only do these shops when they are heavily bonused, so I don't mind overpaying $1 in this particular case.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2019 03:25PM by shop-a-holic.
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