Can someone pm me CA restaurant shops!

I have done my research and have signed up for tons of companies but am rarely finding restaurant shops. Can anyone throw me a bone pretty please?

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How many MSCs are you signed up with? I would advise you to sign up with at least 100-150 companies. Many companies have restaurant shops so if you are signed up with at least 100 I would be surprised if you are not seeing very many. There is a lot of competition in California, and restaurant shops are pretty popular, so the shops may be taken before you even see them. Many companies with fine dining shops tend to assign them to longer-term shoppers with a track record.

I would say sign up with more companies. How many is tons of companies? Take some lower-level assignments and prove yourself. After building your reputation a little, you may find you are able to see more dining assignments.
How long have you been mystery shopping? Do you have any certifications? How many companies are you registered with?

You may be registered already with companies who shop restaurants. The best restaurant shops are in great demand and are usually assigned to shoppers the schedulers know they can count on.

Yes, there is a lot of competition. It takes time and hard work to prove you are the best so you can get the best assignments.
I am signed up with about 30. I have about 40 shops under my belt. I have done several restaurant shops but none lately.
I wouldn't sign up for 100 anything. The job boards here and at volition give you an idea of what is in your locale.

If they don't avail you of that knowledge, then they're failing at their job.
What part of California? There are numerous restaurant shops in the SF and LA area but far fewer if you are not in those metropolitan areas.
30 is not a ton of MSCs. You will need to get to about 3 times that many, and then establish your cred with the ones that will eventually lead to even seeing their fine dining shops in many cases.

Edited to add: Coyle restaurant reports are NOT for someone who has not yet done a lot of lesser fine dining reports.

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.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/11/2015 01:07PM by walesmaven.
The area in CA...AND the types of restaurants you are interested in would both be helpful things to list if you need assistance.
I am in Southern Cal and I am signed up with less companies than you are and see many restaurant shops. As Steve says it depends on your area and which restaurants. I personally do not find the job boards helpful as there seem to be very few companies that have the need to advertise jobs in California. So, let us know where you are and what restaurants you like and maybe we can help. If you are looking for Indian food or Thai food at a nice mid scale place...let me know if you find any. I'd love to do a few of those.
The best company for restaurants is A Closer Look - they have TONS of them! You might need to do a couple of pizza shops first to get access to the rest of the shops available, but they're great to work with AND offer at least very decent reimbursement. It's very possible to stay within the spending limit and get a very good meal with them!
That is strange. As much as I like working for ACL, I hardly ever find that their reimbursement covers the entire bill once all the food and drink requirements are met along with tip, taxes and valet parking. My high-end lunch from about two weeks ago went over the max reimbursement by about $20.00. My guest paid me the $20.00 so I still ended up with no OOP expenses.
I do many shops for ACL and have never had a problem staying within the reimbursed amount. I guess it depends on the shops available in your area.
@kenasch wrote:

I do many shops for ACL and have never had a problem staying within the reimbursed amount. I guess it depends on the shops available in your area.

It actually depends on the shop itself. Many of their fine dining are very generous and I have no difficulty staying within the reimbursed amount.

Some of their more casual restaurants are less generous. I do a Tex-Mex restaurant bar that I like but I almost always go out of pocket. Many of the locations sit on the board all month because of the cheap reimbursement. And over the years, menu prices have risen and the reimbursed amount has not. ACL lost a taco fast casual last year and I was so glad! Ordering requirements: 4 tacos, 2 beverages, appetizer and dessert. Reimbursement $25. No fee. Always out of pocket $7-8 except at breakfast. The new MSC allows you to order anything, reimburses $10 and pays $5. Much better for the shopper. I like ACL but I think they need to carefully look at their ordering requirements and the menu prices.
I live in Lake Elsinore but am willing to travel all over southern ca. I am registered with acl and have completed shops with them but all I see now are the pizza shops. I am also looking for mid level restaurants. Thank you everyone for the feedback!!
Christinap75, your location is probably the biggest problem. You probably need to sign up with a lot more companies to find everything available in your area. The good news is that you're inland and many of the restaurants there are corporate establishments, so they are shopped. The bad news is that your dining options are more limited since it's a lot fo the same restaurants. It's also a lot of FF...

I would suggest Goodwin and possibly Bestmark for mid-level stuff in your area. Coyle and Customer Impact for more upscale establishments, though those will require some driving. Keep signing up and you may find those 2 or 3 outlet restaurants with smaller companies.

The only way I will eveer take an ACL shop in L.A. is if it's bonused. I think they have pretty unreasonable expectations for their base level shoppers with no fee or limited fee asignments that require an enourmous amount of work. Pictures, manager interactions, low reimbursement, bartender bribes...all of those things are really unappealing to me. Remove the possibility of a fee and ACL goes to the bottom of my list for dining shops in my area. I can eat out 3-4 nights per week for shop fees that are a minimum of $15 using other MSCs, with better reimbursement and less requirements.

...and for sandyf; Good luck on finding the Thai and Indian shops. I had to go to Thailand and India to get paid for eating that cuisine!
@cristinap75 wrote:

I am registered with acl and have completed shops with them but all I see now are the pizza shops.

It sounds like perhaps your rating with ACL has been lowered then if you used to see better shops and now can only see the pizza shops.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Eye spy.
Strictly restaurants
Some are pre paid with gift cards
Reimbursement shops take about 90-120 days so they are slow.
They have some vey high end restaurants
Even with a lowered rating, you should still see emails come through with offers of other shops. I had a tiff with an editor that lowered my rating to where I could no longer see certail shops, but I syill received email offers for them and could request them.

Add that to my list of issues with ACL....
I personally think their whole super secret rating system is a horrible way of doing business. I no longer do shops for them because of it. I refuse to be held hostage by a rating system and I find it HILARIOUS that people don't understand how they work. Yes, I know they were so nice that they paid the shop you missed a requirement on. They were super friendly about it. They also lowered your rating and didn't tell you. Yes, they are always happy with your reports. Don't see new shops with them? They've decided you have hit your plateau and while they are perfectly happy letting you do reports at the level they think you're good enough for you are not going to get any better shops. Don't understand why you see some brands of a certain big casual dining company but not the ones that are really popular? It's not that they're not shopped. It's that ACL doesn't think you're good enough for them. Try asking them what you can do to see better shops. You won't get an answer. Sorry but their business model is great for them but it's a crappy way to do business in my opinion.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Thanks steve I appreciate your feedback! Yes I have done some dining shops for customer impact. I really like their company. If you have any more advice I would soooo appreciate it!!

I don't think they lowered my score but who knows! They said my reports were really good. Uggg it is just frustrating. I am not going to drive an hour to get reimbursed for a pizza!! I guess I am not good enough for them. sad smiley
They don't tell you they lower your score. They always tell you your reports are good. They just lower it and suddenly poof the better shops are gone.

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
@SteveSoCal wrote:

.and for sandyf; Good luck on finding the Thai and Indian shops. I had to go to Thailand and India to get paid for eating that cuisine!
So tonight I am making a boil in the bag Indian dinner. I find those to be almost as good as at the Indian restaurants. Unfortunately my favorite Indian food store has decided to double the price on the buy one get one free offer that is written on the box. I like the brand but do not buy them out of protest for the pricing at this store. And I can get a great Thai dinner for $8 around my house where there are multiple Thai restaurants on many blocks if I have time and interest on days between other dinner shops. I would love though to replace some of the meat and fish and potato shop places with foreign food.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/12/2015 08:37PM by sandyf.
It is too bad we cannot compare shops we each see in our particular area on ACL. I have no idea which shops I do not see anymore or if it because they no longer have that client. Perhaps I see them all. Perhaps they have a ton I am not seeing. But I must say they do have a huge number of pizza shops and the restaurant that serves a very healthy dinner as long as you only eat the small entree and nothing else is always going begging.
How far do you drive from Lake Elsinore? I cannot imagine it worth it to drive all the way up where I live in Los Angeles west and then to spend two hours on a report and paying the gas charges to get there and back for any quality restaurant.
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