Are Hotel Shops worth it?

Hi guys! So I applied to do a hotel shop and was emailed by the scheduler offering me to do it. She asked me about the type of shops I've done, how many, etc. I've never done a hotel shop before. I typically do fast food, fine dining, movie theatres, retail, etc. I really want to start upping my game and doing more advanced shops. I just got through reading about 15 pages of guidelines, it doesn't seem ridiculously hard just VERY detailed with lots of pictures and objections I have to make. It's at a VERY nice hotel, but there is no shopper pay. It's just straight reimbursement of up to $515. I'm really nervous about doing this, I don't want to mess up and not be reimbursed. (I also live near where I would be staying so it's not for travel, just wanted to try a different type of shop and get the experience. She's giving me until Monday to decide.

Would you guys say it's worth it to do as my first hotel shop being that it's without pay? Or should I try to do one that is at least offering pay?

Thanks in advance smiling smiley

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I've never done one either, but I definitely wouldn't do one that's near me just for reimbursement. The value of the reimbursement is completely lost if you don't travel. You'd be doing all that work for what, a free meal and a drink? Not worth it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/22/2019 07:16PM by quovatis.
Well I live with my parents so there would be a small benefit for me -- a night away from home lol. But I see what you mean.
Whoa, 15 pages of guidelines, tons of pic, and no fee? I don't think that is worth it. I've taken some low fee hotel shops, but they had 3-6 interactions, a short form, and scored me reward points. Buuuutttt, if it's the only hotel assignment near you, and you want some experience with them, and it gets you in better with the MSC, then maybe?
Yeah, I always get paid to do them. I would never do a reimbursement only hotel shop. For what you describe, you should get $75-$125. I like to do hotel shops to get rewards points on my credit cards, and it's nice to take my husband with me and get room service and do the bar visits. We generally enjoy getting away for a night, even if it is only 50 miles away from home smiling smiley
Yea I'm thinking I might pass. I would like to have received some pay.. even if it was only $50. I'm already in good with this MSC anyways. I'm always doing dining shops with them. Just wanted a step up. But I think I'll wait till they have some that pay me something. It's also a weekday shop so I would have to take off the following day from work to do the morning portion of the shop, so yea starting to think this doesn't make sense. No real benefit except a night away from home. Lol. Thanks guys
I wish I could find more hotel shops in my area. I applied for one yesterday but was not chosen. I’ve completed many different kinds but hotel ones are far and few between in my area.
Oh yeah, I have seen Mercantile's hotel shops. Decent hotels but reimbursement only, which sucks. I always passed on those as well.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

I haven't ever done any of ACL's hotel shops, but I have heard they are easy.
I have. I do them when I travel (alone) to save on costs. I’ve never seen one over $300 a night.
That depends on who you ask. Some people like the ACL reimbursement only shops because they aren't hard to do, and if they are traveling doing a route it's a free place to sleep as a stopping point--and they also can rack up reward points on credit cards. Coyle has some nice hotel shops, but they typically want shoppers to jump through hoops doing multiple phone and restaurant shops before they will consider giving you a hotel shop, and then the shops are very detail demanding so you really can't relax while doing them. Regal Hospitality shops are okay, except that they ask you to write in the third person, which is awkward (you can't say "I" or "we", you have to write about yourself as "the guest" and perhaps refer to your husband/wife/partner as "companion"winking smiley. But, those two companies pay fees plus reimbursement or folio reversal for the shops, so IMO, it's worth it. True Guest and Buckalew also offer paying hotel shops, but I haven't done shops for either of those companies. Buckalew never has anything in my area and True Guest has a habit of using shoppers that they have worked with frequently in the past, so I never have gotten an opportunity to do shops with them. I have read on this forum hat they are a PITA, though. Not the shops, but the owner or manager, I think? Then there is LRA, and I have done a few shops for them a long time ago but they don't pay much. Reimbursement plus $25 or something like that I think. It's been a long time.
The hotel shops i've done have had a payment attached. They have all reversed the charges. I'd rather a refund so I can keep the rewards from using my credit card.

Since it would be your first hotel assignment, I would recommend doing it without a fee. Since it's your home town, your out of pocket expenses should be none barring transportation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2019 03:52AM by eyelove2shop.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

That depends on who you ask. Some people like the ACL reimbursement only shops because they aren't hard to do, and if they are traveling doing a route it's a free place to sleep as a stopping point--and they also can rack up reward points on credit cards. Coyle has some nice hotel shops, but they typically want shoppers to jump through hoops doing multiple phone and restaurant shops before they will consider giving you a hotel shop, and then the shops are very detail demanding so you really can't relax while doing them. Regal Hospitality shops are okay, except that they ask you to write in the third person, which is awkward (you can't say "I" or "we", you have to write about yourself as "the guest" and perhaps refer to your husband/wife/partner as "companion"winking smiley. But, those two companies pay fees plus reimbursement or folio reversal for the shops, so IMO, it's worth it. True Guest and Buckalew also offer paying hotel shops, but I haven't done shops for either of those companies. Buckalew never has anything in my area and True Guest has a habit of using shoppers that they have worked with frequently in the past, so I never have gotten an opportunity to do shops with them. I have read on this forum hat they are a PITA, though. Not the shops, but the owner or manager, I think? Then there is LRA, and I have done a few shops for them a long time ago but they don't pay much. Reimbursement plus $25 or something like that I think. It's been a long time.

HSBrands and SQM have hotel shops too.

I'm not familiar with LRA, what does it stand for?

Wanna hear something weird? I've never been assigned a phone shop by Coyle but I have completed 4 hotel shops. I applied last week for a few but wasn't chosen. Yet I got approved for another hotel this week.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/23/2019 03:59AM by eyelove2shop.
I never did any phone shops for Coyle either. I did 1 restaurant (100% score) before getting my first hotel shop with them. But, it was last minute and they were desperate I think. They gave me a 97% on that, so i have had no problem getting hotel shops ever since. I have read posts from others who had to do a ton of phone and restaurant shops first. I guess it's timing and geography.
Hotel shops are very detailed and a lot of work. They are tough until you have experience with a few of them. I do them regularly, but I get paid well plus get well fed on the client's dime.
@SouthernOhio wrote:

What are some good companies that offer hotel shops?
Buckalew beginner shops are good ones to start with.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
Yea I think I would consider it if I didn't have to take off work the next day. It's a weekday shop, and they have a part of the shop that has to be completed in the morning. I'd have to miss work for it or go into work late and I'm not even getting paid so I don't think this particular one is worth it. Maybe if they do a weekend shop, that would workout better for me.
I completed my first hotel with True Guest a few weeks ago at a luxury hotel in Boston for $100 + reimbursement. There was so much work involved that I wasn't able to enjoy myself at all, except for dinner. And that was with my husband helping me by taking a lot of the photos! We checked in at 3:30 and I wrote about bell service, valet, check in and housekeeping until after 7pm. We then went to dinner. I came back and worked on the reports for dinner, concierge, having something sent up from guest services and the hotel's housekeeping until 12:30am. Got up at 7:30am and continued working. Ordered room service and wrote about that and the wake up call, room service, and breakfast. Checked out. Went home and finished writing fora couple more hours about check out, valet, and bell service. The MSC had waived the bar/lounge requirements or there would have been more!

To be fair, this was my first hotel so I was probably a bit slow. However, it didn't seem worth it to me. I don't understand why people would do this. I worked the entire time and couldn't enjoy myself at all. Maybe I did more than expected? I'd love to hear how people that do this all the time are able to enjoy themselves...

For what it's worth, I had also heard negative things about Roldan at True Guest, but my experience with him was great. He answered all my questions and thanked me at the end for a good review. I didn't have any questions or need to do any rewrites. I would work for him again if the job made sense to me.
jewel,
You first hotel report is guaranteed to take 2 to 3 times as long as your third one.

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.
@walesmaven wrote:

jewel,
You first hotel report is guaranteed to take 2 to 3 times as long as your third one.

For every new (to you) msc. Coyle reports used to take several hours but are much faster for me now that i've done other hotel shops with different msc.
@jewelbeth wrote:

For what it's worth, I had also heard negative things about Roldan at True Guest, but my experience with him was great.

Well to be fair...you also said above that you worked so much you were not able to enjoy yourself. That's basically what Roldan asks of evaluators, so if that constitutes a "great" experience then you are a good fit for this MSC.

If you make an attempt to enjoy yourself at the hotel and write/submit the report within the stated guidelines after leaving, you will get a lot of pushback, and that is the basis of the majority of complaints with Roldan.
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