Fine dining

I need a to describe my last casual or fine dining restaurant experience, yet I’ve very rarely had fine dining experiences any help would be greatly appreciated.

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If this is for an application, do what I do. I write that I cannot share information from reports I submitted to other companies, but if they have any questions they are free to ask. I have never had follow up questions, and my application was never refused. I have done this dozens of times.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
@oteixeira

That's a good tip, but it appears the MSC was looking for dining experience in general. Not a shop.
@nslinhar Good point. Again, whenever I am asked for a writing sample, be it from a shop our not, I make it clear that I will not share information from a shop I did for another company. No company has ever blocked my application, or questioned me on it. I make it clear that I would be happy to discuss it with them if they have an issue, but no company ever has.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
I have not had to provide a writing sample for a dining msc in years but when I did I just made it up. It did not take me long to do that. I wrote a few paragraphs. I think they just want to check your writing style, clarity, spelling and grammar. Throw in mention of things they always want for dining like restroom, the interaction with the host/hostess, some timings etc. and you will probably be okay.
You aren't receiving productive advice here. They want to see that you know how to write a mystery shop report. They aren't asking you to provide work you gave another company. Refusing to give a sample won't get you very far.

Think about the last time you ate out. Write a few paragraphs about it in the style you would describe the experience in a shop report. Keep this file on your computer for the next time an application wants a writing sample. (This is an incredibly common question on applications.)

Certainly some companies just auto-approve applications through SASSIE or Prophet. However, many manually screen and only approve people that they think can do the work. Just because the poster above has never come across that doesn't mean those companies don't exist. They won't be impressed at someone that refuses to provide a sample (especially when they never asked for work that was given to another company - that would show that you don't know how to read questions.)
@elynbeth wrote:

You aren't receiving productive advice here. They want to see that you know how to write a mystery shop report. They aren't asking you to provide work you gave another company. Refusing to give a sample won't get you very far.

Think about the last time you ate out. Write a few paragraphs about it in the style you would describe the experience in a shop report. Keep this file on your computer for the next time an application wants a writing sample. (This is an incredibly common question on applications.)

Certainly some companies just auto-approve applications through SASSIE or Prophet. However, many manually screen and only approve people that they think can do the work. Just because the poster above has never come across that doesn't mean those companies don't exist. They won't be impressed at someone that refuses to provide a sample (especially when they never asked for work that was given to another company - that would show that you don't know how to read questions.)

Over the past 15 years I have signed up for and been accepted by over 200 companies (I have the list). I have never been questioned or denied. I also do restaurant shops for a few of the main dining companies out there today, as these are the shops I tend to go for. I would love for you to show me an example of a company that would not accept what I do, because they don't seem to exist.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
Sandy's advice is good. They want to know that you have a proper grasp of English. It can be short - describe how an employee handled payment the last time you went through fast food, or write about asking a question at a grocery store. Then SAVE it so you can reuse it for each Sassie application.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
@iShop123 if all they want is to know I have a proper grasp of English I would guess my explanation as to why I won't provide them a sample from a previous job still accomplishes that goal. That would make sense if that is the case.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
As others said, I wrote a fictional account of a meal. I made sure to include direct quotes to show I can punctuate them. I used the server's name and describe a visit with objective observations, both positive and negative. You can order "zucchini," "fettuccine," "espresso" and "dessert" at the "restaurant." (All commonly misspelled.) I saved it for reuse whenever I need to submit a writing sample.
The above advice about submitting a brief narrative on the last time you ate out - say at Chili's, Friday's, somewhere like that. They don't actually care if it was a shop or who you did the shop for, or if it's something you make up. They want to see if you have a minimal amount of writing skills.
@nslinhar wrote:

The "or" in your statement indicates you need not describe a fine dining experience.

@elynbeth i still don't get how my advice was not productive. And you liked my other post? What am I missing?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2019 01:22AM by nslinhar.
I work for three companies that required a portfolio of work before I was accepted for the next phase of the application process. In all three I was required to submit a sample narrative of a shop. I was told I could redact the name of the client if I wanted to. There was nothing prohibiting me from completely making it up on a totally fictional experience (e.g. writing about a hotel or restaurant visit that never happened), using a non-shop experience and writing about it, or taking an actual shop narrative and removing details that would disclose the client's name or other proprietary information that would have me violating the ICA.

I know without a doubt that if I had not included the sample narratives, I would not have been considered for the work.

Also - in addition to editing, I used to have the job of approving shoppers for a pretty well known dining centric MSC. The entire decision was based on the sample narratives. The potential applicant was asked to write about a recent fine dining experience (no where did it say it had to be a "shop" - it could be any experience). If a shopper wrote that they were unable to provide this as it was in violation of their ICA, or for any other reason, then it would not matter how strong their English, grammar, or writing skills were in that statement - they would be deleted and not accepted because they did not follow the instructions.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/08/2019 03:40AM by MickeyB.
@MickeyB by deleted do you mean their login/username would be removed? If so please PM me the MSC name, I am curious who this is, as I am signed up for basically everyone, and my logins all seem to work with no issues.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
@oteixeira wrote:

@MickeyB by deleted do you mean their login/username would be removed? If so please PM me the MSC name, I am curious who this is, as I am signed up for basically everyone, and my logins all seem to work with no issues.

No - they were never given a login and password because they were not approved to shop for them in the first place. Once they had a login and password then they were approved to shop and any deactivation or promotion (e.g. being able to see better shops) was based on actual shop reports, not sample narratives.
I’ve been flown to Caribbean islands to evaluate resorts. I promise that would not have happened if I’d refused to give a writing sample.
@MickeyB wrote:

@oteixeira wrote:

@MickeyB by deleted do you mean their login/username would be removed? If so please PM me the MSC name, I am curious who this is, as I am signed up for basically everyone, and my logins all seem to work with no issues.

No - they were never given a login and password because they were not approved to shop for them in the first place. Once they had a login and password then they were approved to shop and any deactivation or promotion (e.g. being able to see better shops) was based on actual shop reports, not sample narratives.

@MickeyB, thank you for the explanation. I understand what you are saying but ask you to please PM or tell me the company that you are speaking of. The one you approve people for. I ask because I have never had an application to shop denied, or been turned away from a company, and I am curious which one this is. You can keep it private (in PM) if you like, so that you don't name who you work for. Thanks,

Orlando

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
I've given dozens of writing samples before being accepted by a company, this is on your application...just make up a short dining experience you've had and tell about it. Many applications also want a good experience as well as a bad experience. Not understanding the complexity of this.

Live consciously....
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I've given dozens of writing samples before being accepted by a company, this is on your application...just make up a short dining experience you've had and tell about it. Many applications also want a good experience as well as a bad experience. Not understanding the complexity of this.

The OP stated that they have had few fine dining experiences. They have little to draw on when writing about fine dining. The OP did not state how many casual dining experiences they have had. We do not know how much experience they can utilize when creating a writing sample about a casual dining experience. For the OP, creating a writing sample about dining experiences might be more difficult than it is for people who have had more dining-out experiences of those types. Why chide?

Bove's Theorem: The remaining work to finish in order to reach your goal increases as the deadline approaches.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/09/2019 05:02PM by Shop-et-al.
When an MSC asks for us to give a writing sample with a specific prompt, it behooves us to stick to the prompt. While it may be that they are primarily verifying that we have the capability of writing coherently, they may also be wondering if we have any concept of what a visit to a restaurant (whether fine or casual) might be like. If we write about an experience at a fast food drive through, the MSC might think we are not a fit for fine dining shops, for instance.

I would also suggest that it is *never* okay to fabricate. If we cannot actually describe a restaurant experience, we might not be what the MSC wants as a shopper for such assignments. If we do not have such experience and simply make up a story, a savvy person within the MSC will spot this and we can expect to be rejected. It is far better to say simply that you have not been to such a restaurant in recent memory, but that you have a different experience to share - that (hopefully) has enough similarity to the prompt to suffice.

I would also agree that not all MSC's read the submissions - the speed with which we are often approved by the MSC is far too fast.

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

@MickeyB wrote:

@oteixeira wrote:

@MickeyB by deleted do you mean their login/username would be removed? If so please PM me the MSC name, I am curious who this is, as I am signed up for basically everyone, and my logins all seem to work with no issues.

No - they were never given a login and password because they were not approved to shop for them in the first place. Once they had a login and password then they were approved to shop and any deactivation or promotion (e.g. being able to see better shops) was based on actual shop reports, not sample narratives.

@MickeyB, thank you for the explanation. I understand what you are saying but ask you to please PM or tell me the company that you are speaking of. The one you approve people for. I ask because I have never had an application to shop denied, or been turned away from a company, and I am curious which one this is. You can keep it private (in PM) if you like, so that you don't name who you work for. Thanks,

Orlando

I don't work for any company in this capacity anymore. But the company I refer to is ACL. In 2005-2007 they approved about 50% of the people that applied through a test algorithm. The remaining 50% were hand approved based on their sample shop narrative. I don't know how it works there anymore.

Other companies that approve people to shop (or not) based only on sample narratives include Guest Check, Travessa Hospitality, and Unifocus.
@MickeyB wrote:

@oteixeira wrote:

@MickeyB wrote:

@oteixeira wrote:

@MickeyB by deleted do you mean their login/username would be removed? If so please PM me the MSC name, I am curious who this is, as I am signed up for basically everyone, and my logins all seem to work with no issues.

No - they were never given a login and password because they were not approved to shop for them in the first place. Once they had a login and password then they were approved to shop and any deactivation or promotion (e.g. being able to see better shops) was based on actual shop reports, not sample narratives.

@MickeyB, thank you for the explanation. I understand what you are saying but ask you to please PM or tell me the company that you are speaking of. The one you approve people for. I ask because I have never had an application to shop denied, or been turned away from a company, and I am curious which one this is. You can keep it private (in PM) if you like, so that you don't name who you work for. Thanks,

Orlando

I don't work for any company in this capacity anymore. But the company I refer to is ACL. In 2005-2007 they approved about 50% of the people that applied through a test algorithm. The remaining 50% were hand approved based on their sample shop narrative. I don't know how it works there anymore.

Other companies that approve people to shop (or not) based only on sample narratives include Guest Check, Travessa Hospitality, and Unifocus.

Interesting, that is actually the company I do the most restaurant shops for out of all of mine. I never gave them an example writing sample other then what I wrote at the start of this thread. I guess maybe they changed their requirements? I signed up for them back in the mid-2000s as well.

I guess I should also mention that I am MSPA certified and have been for many many years, and I do include that in my applications as well. Again, this is very eye opening to me, as I have never had what I do block me from shopping, and I have never had an application denied or been told I did not qualify to work for a company (with over 200 applied to over the years). I appreciate your insight.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
She's not chiding. She is probably pointing out that this doesn't need to be overly complicated. Some may be overthinking this by saying they won't provide a shopping experience because it would violate an ICA. It doesn't need to be based on an actual shop that would violate an ICA. The point is to provide a writing sample.

@Shop-et-al wrote:

@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I've given dozens of writing samples before being accepted by a company, this is on your application...just make up a short dining experience you've had and tell about it. Many applications also want a good experience as well as a bad experience. Not understanding the complexity of this.

The OP stated that they have had few fine dining experiences. They have little to draw on when writing about fine dining. The OP did not state how many casual dining experiences they have had. We do not know how much experience they can utilize when creating a writing sample about a casual dining experience. For the OP, creating a writing sample about dining experiences might be more difficult than it is for people who have had more dining-out experiences of those types. Why chide?

Kim
From a schedulers perspective. . . if you are new and trying to get your first assignment, your writing sample is imparative. It is one way I know you can write and if you have any mystery shopping experience. Writing a noncohent sentence or paragraph makes me skip over you. Not using basic punctuation and capitalization makes me skip over you. Writing 2 lines makes me skip over you. Writing in short hand makes me skip over you. Writing in vague, non specific, cover anything in generalized terms, makes me skip over you. Decide not to include one at all, I may be nice and ask you for one, but that is rare and unlikely. Your sample doesnt have to perfect but let it be a reflection of your skills. You can copy and paste a sample you have done and just change the name or leave out the name of the place.
@breathingdeep1 wrote:

From a schedulers perspective. . . if you are new and trying to get your first assignment, your writing sample is imparative. It is one way I know you can write and if you have any mystery shopping experience. Writing a noncohent sentence or paragraph makes me skip over you. Not using basic punctuation and capitalization makes me skip over you. Writing 2 lines makes me skip over you. Writing in short hand makes me skip over you. Writing in vague, non specific, cover anything in generalized terms, makes me skip over you. Decide not to include one at all, I may be nice and ask you for one, but that is rare and unlikely. Your sample doesnt have to perfect but let it be a reflection of your skills. You can copy and paste a sample you have done and just change the name or leave out the name of the place.

What happens if I spell 'imperative', 'imparative' or 'noncoherent', 'noncohent' or make the other mistakes in the above?
@Whatfun14LF wrote:

@breathingdeep1 wrote:

From a schedulers perspective. . . if you are new and trying to get your first assignment, your writing sample is imparative. It is one way I know you can write and if you have any mystery shopping experience. Writing a noncohent sentence or paragraph makes me skip over you. Not using basic punctuation and capitalization makes me skip over you. Writing 2 lines makes me skip over you. Writing in short hand makes me skip over you. Writing in vague, non specific, cover anything in generalized terms, makes me skip over you. Decide not to include one at all, I may be nice and ask you for one, but that is rare and unlikely. Your sample doesnt have to perfect but let it be a reflection of your skills. You can copy and paste a sample you have done and just change the name or leave out the name of the place.

What happens if I spell 'imperative', 'imparative' or 'noncoherent', 'noncohent' or make the other mistakes in the above?

I was going to ask who they were an editor for myself, but this response basically sums up my thoughts. If you going to come here and try to explain why you would exclude people, you have to double check your post for errors.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
How about the fact that noncoherent isn't a word, either...it's incoherent. Also, it's incorrect to write "2" and not "two" as numbers one through ten should be written out. And don't get me started about leaving out apostrophes, LOL.

This is an informal forum and for the most part people can write in shorthand here as long as they can make themselves understood, and no one should nitpick about it...unless he/she is the one nitpicking someone else's writing.

@Whatfun14LF wrote:

@breathingdeep1 wrote:

From a schedulers perspective. . . if you are new and trying to get your first assignment, your writing sample is imparative. It is one way I know you can write and if you have any mystery shopping experience. Writing a noncohent sentence or paragraph makes me skip over you. Not using basic punctuation and capitalization makes me skip over you. Writing 2 lines makes me skip over you. Writing in short hand makes me skip over you. Writing in vague, non specific, cover anything in generalized terms, makes me skip over you. Decide not to include one at all, I may be nice and ask you for one, but that is rare and unlikely. Your sample doesnt have to perfect but let it be a reflection of your skills. You can copy and paste a sample you have done and just change the name or leave out the name of the place.

What happens if I spell 'imperative', 'imparative' or 'noncoherent', 'noncohent' or make the other mistakes in the above?
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