I won't even take fee + reimbursement shops if the reimbursement doesn't cover the total cost (including tax) of the required meal (5 Guys, Cali Tort). If the client doesn't feel their food is worth paying for, then why would I want to eat there?
Another way to look at it is whether it has paid you to discover a restaurant you now like. There are two that Goodwin has that we go to whether I get paid or not. When it is my rotation and I get the meal paid for, that's nice. Good thing is that the reports and photos are simple, about 15 minutes to write. I call these my "keep the change" shops. They pay a flat fee, no reimbursement. I "made" 39 cents on one but it paid for dinner out and it was an easy report. Sometimes, it is a trade-off. But a reimbursement would sure be nice, Goodwin!
I agree, I discovered a few terrific restaurants (above) and a Japanese BBQ I adore... small presents arrive when you lest expect it....., but $$ always works.
Chris, you can't get Five Guys for the reimbursement amount? When I go by myself, I'm always just under the reimbursement, but even if I go over a little bit (like when I get a regular-sized fries so I can bring most of them home to my family), the bonuses I get for doing those shops more than covers the extra I might spend!
I won't do Five Guys at the base fees anymore, but when they call offering a nice bonus, I feel the shops are well worth it. Not at base fee, though.