My first mission with Bestmark is a 170$ in an expensive restaurant...any advice? Has anybody done that?

Hi everybody! I'm new on this forum, pretty glad to meet you all. So here is the thing, as a first mission on Bestmark I picked a 170$ mission in a big hotel. That was the only one available. I'm really nervous about this because I don't know this company and it is my first mission. The assignment sheet won't be available until 8 days before my mission. Do any of you guys know how much work this will be? Any advice? I read in some forums that if you have an issue, it can be pretty hard to resolve sometimes. And If there's any problem, I can't be stuck to pay the expenses from my pocket without being reimbursed. Should I even do this assignment? Any advices from pros? Thanks for your feedback!

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I don't know about this assignment in particular, but I think Bestmark is a pretty good MSC to work for. Everyone I have ever had to deal with there has been super-nice. I will say that with Bestmark the deadline is the deadline is the deadline, so you want to be sure to get your report(s) in on time.

If it was me, I would call the scheduler and ask about the details for the assignment. Just look at the left-hand column when you sign in for the link that says "Contact Us" and choose either the 800 number or the local number. They should be able to direct you to the proper person to talk to.
I'm fairly new too but I've done 3 shops for Bestmark, none of them were dining but their instructions were very clear and I had no trouble figuring out what they wanted in the report. Good luck!
If this is indeed your very first shop for any company, I would not make it a $170 hotel. First shops are always a bit scary and it is better to have no more than $3-$5 at stake in case you screw up, forget to get the receipt, forget to get names, forget to check the restroom, etc. etc. There is something about getting into the swing of things before putting a big chunk 'o change on the line. Bestmark is a good company. Their instructions are very clear. Shop rejection for missing an observation is also very clear. I would beg off of this one. If it is not your first shop, but rather your first for Bestmark, however, you should be okay.
Hey, thank you for your answers! I'm starting to feel a bit better now. It is in fact my first shop for Bestmark but I have done a couple small shops for other companies. These did not implied more than 5$ boughts, so screwing up was not too scary! Still, I'm considering your advice, maybe I should let this one go. I was so excited because I've heard that you have to be pretty lucky to pick that kind of shop, so maybe I went for it a bit too fast.
Do you guys know how much time does it take to fill the reports for that kind of assignment? Since it is so expensive, will I have like 500 questions to comment in many details?
I've never seen a hotel for them in my area and frankly haven't worked with them much in a few years. As I recall, their restaurant shops were a little tedious but reasonably clear in what they wanted. I tend to write a lot and it seems to me that a mid range restaurant report took about an hour to an hour and a half to write up. Some specific questions, quite a bit of narrative boxes.
That seems pretty fair to me Flash, I have already heard that they liked narrative a lot...But if it takes about 3 hours to fill the report, it's reasonable.
I have done hotel, restaurant, and casino shops for Bestmark. If this is your first time doing a big shop like this, expect 2-3 hours on the report. It might be shorter, but it took me a bit of time to get the rhythm of the report and how much info they're looking for. Feel free to PM me if you have any questions.
I've done lots of shops for Bestmark. Very easy to work with, very quick payment (especially on the holiday season, although they send checks), but they don't pay that great. Be ready to put some money from your own pocket for the restaurant because the reimbursement typically doesn't cover the full bill for what you are required to eat per the guidelines. It's the kind of shops you take because you really want to try the restaurant but don't want to pay full price for it. At least is better than a Groupon smiling smiley
I'm so grateful for all your comments. I realized that this assignment was too risky and stressful for a beginner MS like me. Jnoyolapicazzo's comment about having to put money from my pocket was very helpful, I didn't expect this and I can't take the risk of not being paid if I make a mistake in my report. Plus I have to drive 2 hours to go there... I decided to cancel this assignment and I feel much better!! Reading all your comments was very helpful, thanks! Have fun shoppingsmiling smiley I wrote an email to Bestmark, no answers yet. Thegov2k2, nice of you, I'll keep that in mind!
@mysterygirl888 wrote:

That seems pretty fair to me Flash, I have already heard that they liked narrative a lot...But if it takes about 3 hours to fill the report, it's reasonable.

It has been my experience that Bestmark always gives you a sample narrative for their shops and their guidelines are pretty thorough imo.


Motivation increases when we assume large responsibilities with a short deadline.
In all likelihood, you will have to provide a comprehensive chronological narrative. The first time I did one I spent at least two hours working on it. Then there is the survey. If it requires comments, you can pull them from your narrative. If the shop gives you permission to record the shop, then audio record it. If not, but they do not say you can't, if your state laws allow it, do it.

You will be providing details on each area you go through, host, server, management, others, maybe a bar visit as well. You will have to report wait and service timings. Most like objective food evaluations. They may allow subjective comments, make sure which they allow and where.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
If you have only done a few small shops in general, then work on more shops and try to do easy hotels, without a lot of narrative and interactions. ACL has some like that. Unless you have done a lot of restaurant and hotel reports to know what you have to look, do not go for that now. Bestmark has some basic hotels and restaurants but they still require a lot of narrative and it definitely will take you more than 2-3 hours. They want you to comment on every question and then repeat it again in the narrative on each page. I will do it for their $300 restaurants, but the format is the same and almost the same narrative requirements as the $50 ones. However, compared to a $300 Coyle restaurant, Bestmark's narrative is a breeze. If you are near a major city you are going to see hotels and restaurants frequently.
Nice! I should probably wait because they would only reimburse me 110$ for the meal, so I have to pay the rest! I am near Montreal which is one of the biggest cities here in Quebec, so I will probably see more hotels and restaurant shops over there. I don't know if ACL has assignments there though.
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