New Mystery Shopper - Getting restaurant employee names

Hi! I did my first restaurant shop a few days ago, and it was accepted, yay! I was taken aback by all the detail they want! But I was able to do most of it real time on the app (I am a normal millennial serial texter so its normal for me to be on my phone constantly) and answered all of the questions just fine. I have another restaurant shop coming up, and it's a pricey one. I glanced at the questions, and I see it asking for names of hosts, managers, servers, and bussers. In most cases, is a description of the assisting service sufficient? I worry that inquiring about everyone's name will out me as an evaluator!

Any other tips are appreciated. I will be primarily focusing on nicer restaurants and hotels, as my background is in those industries and I enjoy it. I am just a little nervous about all the detail, and missing something.

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It depends on the shop instructions. You should send an email to the scheduler to clarify whether you need everyone's names or not. If you need all the busers, that's tough but doable but it could out you.
Be sure and get correct descriptions, i've never been outed for not getting a name if I get a good description.
Managers do not wear name tags, but are dressed professionally in a nice long sleeve shirt usually speaking with the help and may or may not acknowledge you. Many nicer upscale restaurants, the Servers do not wear name tags, and you shouldn't ask. I text myself their description, so I won't get mixed up. Hope this helps!!

Live consciously....
Some times I try to get a picture of the people waiting on me. Even if it is a far away picture. I just sort of make it look like I am texting.
I pretty much read all of the supplied requirements, guidelines, and the survey. That tends to clarify what is expected.

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MOST nice restaurants have the host/hostess mention your server's name, and in SOME, they also wear a name tag of some sort. I haven't ever seen a requirement for ALL the bussers names, and like someone else mentioned, asking for each name could out you...
Also, the server's name is usually on the receipt, as well as the manager's name..not ALWAYS, but sometimes...I would read those directions real well too...
The directions are pretty basic, it's the questions that call for names. For instance, it says Busser: include name and brief description.

Just seems odd, asking for a busser's name, so I wasn't sure if it is just standard to go with description. The host section is similar wording.
The only assignments that I've ever reported in real time were revealed audits. I would be concerned about whether or not you will be paid if you're reporting in real time on a covert assignment, millennial or not.
If the restaurant has name tags, getting the names is easy. Definitely get the name of the server. If the server doesn't give me a name, I usually ask. A description is usually okay for the hostess, UNLESS the directions specifically say you need the name. If the manager has a name tag, get his or her name. The server's name is usually on the receipt. Although a couple of MSC's instructions tell you to ask the name of the manager on duty, most are fine with a description if there is no name tag. Description is fine for the busperson unless he is wearing a name tag.

I do a lot of restaurants. When I first started, I used a 3X5 index card with fill-in-the blanks for necessary info to be sure I didn't miss anything. Now I just notice and remember. It won't be long before it becomes second nature to you. Your eye automatically jumps to a name tag. If there's no tag, you think "female, long blonde, bun, 5'7", 30, large hoop earrings" or "male, 6'2", 35, long black, ponytail, mustache, beard, glasses." It gets easier.
I'd strongly suggest getting clarification from the scheduler. I've done that in the past with the same 'shop requirements' as you and the scheduler responded with what I needed to do.
Based on my experience, the majority of these only require knowing the servers name. Some do require getting the managers name, they provide direction in this area. Otherwise, most require a description of the other associates and do not require asking for names. If a name tag is required, then the survey allows you to indicate the lack of a name tag. When providing descriptions, learn the MSC/clients preferences. A few do not want race or weight for example, others want anything and everything you can provide.

Job listing sites; [www.msjobboard.com] - Shopmetrics; [www.mystshopsol.com]; [www.jobslinger.com] - Sassie; [www.volition.com] - Various links; [www.mspa-na.org] -MSPA Members; link at bottom of forum page to their extensive list of companies
Thanks everyone for the tips! I'm definitely a little nervous on recording exact times and getting great descriptions. I actually did email my scheduler. I got an auto-reply that they'd be out of the office and to email another person, so I did that too. Funny enough, I got two different answers back! My main person said it's fine to just get a description. The other person was more formal and said I must request the name of the busser. I think that's a bit silly! Honestly, I think I could do it just fine because I've been in the service industry long enough to be able to banter with everyone. But how strange asking for certain staff's names, especially asking for everyone's name! That's not a giveaway, at all haha.

I appreciate all the tips, and reassurances. I can't wait until some of it comes easier. Is there any place to view some good examples of narratives? I've only found one so far, on one of the MSC websites. I would really love to see more, to help me get the hang of it.
It's hard to direct you to specific writing styles because a lot of the MSCs want different things. Some give you examples of what they want. Some want you to be very detailed, and, others, like Superior Customer Solutions and ICCDS, limit the number of characters so you can't really write a lot. Others, like Market Force, don't really require any narrative to speak of. One of my favorites is Customer Impact. They have narrative examples in all their guidelines for each shop, showing you exactly what kind of narrative they want.
I did my first one using the ISS app, which also asks for some narrative and description if you do it through the app, but limits character quite a bit. I kind of did the first one on a fluke, and then looked into it more to discover this MS world. I have since signed up with a few companies that do the shops I'm interested in, such as Coyle, GW, ACL, and a couple of others for now.

Are the shops via the app usually much simpler, has anyone noticed? I'm considering doing my next two bigger shops using my Chromebook and email. I'm worried the simplicity of the app might cause a denial of the shop but this could be nerves. The first one went just fine.
Does anyone have any tips for my upcoming shops with GW? Are there specific ways they want their reports done? I have found a ton of advice on Coyle haha.

Thanks.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/13/2017 07:35PM by lonnieS.
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