ARDENT Training Sessions

I signed up with this MSC awhile back and have received several emails inviting me to reply in order to confirm a spot at one of their Mexican food restaurant mystery shopping training seminars. I replied to confirm for an upcoming training, but I have not heard back from the contact person. I would really like to become certified to conduct these shops, but the training is a 4 hour drive from me, and I need confirmation back from them in order to arrange my schedule and travel plans. Any ideas? I've already written a follow-up email.

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

I don't know how their system works, but I did get a confirmation email that told me who the day of contact person is, also to print out some paperwork etc. I also got an email saying please confirm that you got this email. But a couple weeks ago, I got another email that said application complete can you attend a training session? I've already been trained also assigned my first shop, so not sure if someone is not doing their job clearing out the database...
I would not drive 4 hours until you get a confirmation!
I would try to call the office perhaps? 720-215-6965 This is the number listed to Bryant, he assigned my training.
Is it 4 hours one way, or round trip? I personally wouldn't drive that far for the training. They originally offered me training 2 hours away, and I declined. A year later they had training that was 20 minutes away.
Gosh I would not go the four hours. What if you get it all planned and that morning they delay or cancel the training? Since mileage and as are not paid ask to be included at a closer training.
No way would I drive 4 hours for a training session. There will be one closer, just wait it out. What if you spend all that time and gas to drive there and back, and then only get assigned one location per month or even less? I don't think it's worth it.
Be aware, the shop that Ardent advertises as Mexican isn't. At best it is a very bad attempt at American food influenced by some gringo understandings of what is Mexican food.
I find it interesting that all the meat on that menu board is not in English.

@Rousseau wrote:

Be aware, the shop that Ardent advertises as Mexican isn't. At best it is a very bad attempt at American food influenced by some gringo understandings of what is Mexican food.
Yes, I've eaten there before, and I do love authentic Mexican food, but gringo food attempts are okay also. smiling smiley Four hours is a lot, but I'm out in the boonies, and it's the closest I've seen. I've got family who live in the city, so I can route other shops along the way and go visit them. The city where I would shop this restaurant most is 150 miles away, and I drive there several times a month. This shop would increase my free lunch options while there. Only problem is, out of 3 training time periods I've seen, that city has never had one listed. I just need to know if this training is in fact happening, and if so, whether I'm approved to attend it! I think 1 week out is cutting the notice a bit close. sad smiley
Another thing, there are typically a LOT of mystery shops which would be along the way and/or also located in this city, some of which seem to offer bonuses pretty often. If I'm lucky, there will be enough of those end of June shops with bonuses to make the trip profitable. However, without knowing my plans, I can't schedule those yet!
If I remember correctly I didn't receive a final confirmation of training until just a couple of days before the event.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. Eleanor Roosevelt
@Rousseau wrote:

Be aware, the shop that Ardent advertises as Mexican isn't. At best it is a very bad attempt at American food influenced by some gringo understandings of what is Mexican food.

It's still good food though.

Shopping the Greater Denver Area, Colorado Springs and in-between in Colorado. 29 year old male and willing to travel! Badged for Denver International Airport.
There isn't exactly one authentic version of Mexican food. As someone who has traveled and lived in various parts of Mexico, I can vouch that cuisine there can be very regionally distinctive from one area to another, and I've been around plenty of Mexicans engaged in lively debates about which region prepares a food the "real" way. Mexican food in Mexico varies tremendously, depending upon where you go, what ingredients are readily available, climate, etc. It's the same in the US. Think of how something like barbecue differs from Missouri to Texas to California to North Carolina. And then there is Tex-Mex, which is another whole delicious category unto itself. Not exactly authentic Mexican, but definitely superior to the feeble attempts of lesser states. winking smiley
They already gave out 10 Million Burrito Coupons and Moes South Western has taken over as Number One in the United States. Sales were horrible last Q and management gave another bleak outlook, they usually do that to prep Wall Street so if earnings are not terrible-terrible and only terrible, the stock goes up. If you ate their of your own volition paying out of pocket and stopped like me, what would help you gain your confidence back? I went from eating there eight times a month to zero, have not eaten there since March 2016 so what is the plan to win their regulars back?


When you were trained by the company did you see any program that will win back regulars like me who left? The stock hit a 3 Year low not touched since July of 2013. I thought by signing up to become one of the shoppers I could see the ideas first hand, the training sessions are a three hour drive for me. I would like to get excited about them again, like to see their programs because I gave them several chances as a loyal customer.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/19/2016 06:55AM by GuyFawkes.
I just saw the job assignment for Mexican Franchise and it's required to have 2.5 hour training with pay. One of my mystery shopping friends told me that I need to be very observative for every item they have while I am ordering, such as in a minute or two. Has anybody done this job for this company?
You do have to be very observant about things. It can be worth it if you don't mind that their reports are maybe a bit more detailed than some other company's and they change some pretty big portions of them every month. Also, some of their feedback is good, some is not very useful. All depends on the editor.
You do have to be observant about different food items while you are getting your food. However, it is really a matter of knowing what the standard is for that item and noting if it falls short. That is one reason for the excellent training sessions. Also, your first report will take three times as long as your third report for them. So, don't be discouraged! They are really nice people to work with!

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.
@GuyFawkes wrote:

They already gave out 10 Million Burrito Coupons and Moes South Western has taken over as Number One in the United States. Sales were horrible last Q and management gave another bleak outlook, they usually do that to prep Wall Street so if earnings are not terrible-terrible and only terrible, the stock goes up. If you ate their of your own volition paying out of pocket and stopped like me, what would help you gain your confidence back? I went from eating there eight times a month to zero, have not eaten there since March 2016 so what is the plan to win their regulars back?


When you were trained by the company did you see any program that will win back regulars like me who left? The stock hit a 3 Year low not touched since July of 2013. I thought by signing up to become one of the shoppers I could see the ideas first hand, the training sessions are a three hour drive for me. I would like to get excited about them again, like to see their programs because I gave them several chances as a loyal customer.
Didn't get this in the training, but read today that the company in question is starting a customer-loyalty card program.

Shopping SoCal and Maui.
Yes and no. I covertly video tape the entire thing on my iPhone to make it easier, and so that I can be as detailed as possible and quote exactly. (I live in a one-party consent state, check your state for laws before using my methods.) It is a survey where you can skip describing things if there's nothing wrong.

#burntoutinthebigapple
It may sound overwhelming, but it's really not. The first few assignments stressed me out, but then I got the hang of it and now I find myself observing everything even when I'm NOT on a shop. Ardent is a great company to work with.
Why so much negative about this restaurant? Jeez, I get that they are not "authentic" Mexican food, but I still think the food is pretty good and fresher than most fast food/casual places. The report is fairly easy and the pay is good. I think this chain will bounce back in the future. But hey, with all the negative opinions I guess that leaves more shops for me smiling smiley
@DareWright wrote:

Why so much negative about this restaurant? Jeez, I get that they are not "authentic" Mexican food, but I still think the food is pretty good and fresher than most fast food/casual places. The report is fairly easy and the pay is good. I think this chain will bounce back in the future. But hey, with all the negative opinions I guess that leaves more shops for me smiling smiley

I also love the MSC and find the report easy and the pay reasonable. I hope the chain does bounce back in the future, although I have doubts. I used to love this restaurant. Now I have doubts. I was never concerned about the health problems. But, when the company started their bounce-back from the health issues, instead of a positive upswing, I'm seeing a negative decline. Things that were never problems are now problems.

In the past, the dining rooms were clean and a staff member regularly visited and wiped tables and cleaned the floor and checked the beverage station. A manager or some other employee periodically walked around the dining area to visit with customers. The staff members on the line were friendly and engaging. That has all changed and these things are no longer happening. Along with the push to have a cleaner serving area, I'm seeing the employees wearing gloves and extra sanitary measures, but friendliness and giving extra info on the line is almost non-existent. No one cleans the dining area. There are many locations in my area, and the dining rooms are all dirty. No one speaks to you once you pay for your food.

It seems like the problems have eroded the pride the employees had in the company and in their jobs and they are no longer making an effort. The employees, and I'm including the managers, are doing the bare minimum.
It's become a poor experience. I had never had to write a bad report before March. Since March, I have not been able to write a good report. I'm not sure it's worth eating there even if I get paid to eat there. I'm wondering how long people who are not getting paid to eat there will still eat there.
I have tried to attend two of the training shops (tacos and burgers) that were in my exact city and received e-mail invitations, but then the company fails to follow up. I called and left voicemail and e-mail messages with two people, but never heard back. If the training spaces are all full, they could at least e-mail and say as much. instead they just ignore me. really pathetic.
I got confirmation of the training weeks ahead of time from what I remember. If you do get in touch with someone, ask about mileage because I was paid for mine.
It isn't too hard especially if you are familiar with their food. They provide guidelines as to what is acceptable and what is not. The majority of my shops only had 1-3 items that were not acceptable. It is easy to look at the items as you go down the line and just remember what was wrong. I believe these shops are worth it and the reports don't take a long time after the first few.
@samuraigirl wrote:

I just saw the job assignment for Mexican Franchise and it's required to have 2.5 hour training with pay. One of my mystery shopping friends told me that I need to be very observative for every item they have while I am ordering, such as in a minute or two. Has anybody done this job for this company?

This is a company that is very amazing to work with. You do have to pay attention to detail, and give them details about what you see. There are certain standards they look for, and they give you a great cheat sheet as to what they are and how they need to be evaluated.

At first the reports may be somewhat long, but after doing a few correctly they get easier and shorter to do. With the old reports the first couple of times I did them they took me 3-4 hours to do. I ended up getting them down to 1.5 hours. Now with the new reports they take me 30-45 minutes to do. Once you get a hang of the shops, you start seeing other things that may not necessarily be on the report as a question, but need to be reported (health/sanitary related issues, personnel issues, etc). But they are some of the most fun shops I have ever performed, and Ardent is one of the best companies I've worked for as a shopper.
@Rousseau wrote:

Be aware, the shop that Ardent advertises as Mexican isn't. At best it is a very bad attempt at American food influenced by some gringo understandings of what is Mexican food.

Rousseau - As a "Gringo" who is married to a "Mexican American" and who also does these "Mexican Food" shops for Ardent, I find your comment offensive on so many levels. It seems you have a chip on your shoulder about something related to, what?, the food this restaurant chain produces? Caucasian people who cook food that has a Mexican flair to it? The Mexican culture in general? I don't know what provoked you to write such a response but it shows your ingorance and, frankly, inability to be an un-biased shopper. IMHO
@PuaM wrote:

@GuyFawkes wrote:

They already gave out 10 Million Burrito Coupons and Moes South Western has taken over as Number One in the United States. Sales were horrible last Q and management gave another bleak outlook, they usually do that to prep Wall Street so if earnings are not terrible-terrible and only terrible, the stock goes up. If you ate their of your own volition paying out of pocket and stopped like me, what would help you gain your confidence back? I went from eating there eight times a month to zero, have not eaten there since March 2016 so what is the plan to win their regulars back?


When you were trained by the company did you see any program that will win back regulars like me who left? The stock hit a 3 Year low not touched since July of 2013. I thought by signing up to become one of the shoppers I could see the ideas first hand, the training sessions are a three hour drive for me. I would like to get excited about them again, like to see their programs because I gave them several chances as a loyal customer.
Didn't get this in the training, but read today that the company in question is starting a customer-loyalty card program.


Big Cocaine Scandal hit the news today with senior level management, not good!

Wall Street Journal plug in the name of the Company and you will see this new Scandal. They really are losing their marbles, at this rate the stock will be at $250 like MCD that fell from $60 to $12 at the turn of the Century. Ardent can only do so much, shoppers have only so much power if their not getting help from the top level leaders, looks like more sales heading to Qdoba and Moes Tex-Mex is Number 1 getting more powerful as they steal sales. Panera has benefited to as consumer confidence is totally lost, the burrito certificate was a failure because people's tastes are hard to win back after being duped.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/02/2016 06:59AM by GuyFawkes.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login