Coyle Shoppers — Is this a typical experience?

This is a very particular MSC and they want their reports written in the same style as their samples. They expect you to know that. Remember, this is an MSC that greatly prefers writers over shoppers.

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

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@bgriffin wrote:

This is a very particular MSC and they want their reports written in the same style as their samples. They expect you to know that. Remember, this is an MSC that greatly prefers writers over shoppers.

True, true and true.

I consider myself a shopper, not a writer. I managed to get in though. I much prefer their NV shops over anything else that they have though.
@szymanc wrote:

You don't agree that the guidelines should tell you everything you need to know though? Isn't that what guidelines are for? I would expect the guidelines to tell you everything you need to know to write the report and the sample report to be for someone who is confused in how to write it. Even if something is written a certain way in a sample report if it doesn't tell you it needs to be done that way in the guidelines then how do I know what is all required exactly and what is just the sample writers writing style?

I do agree. Unfortunately Coyle does not, and they don't really care either. I guess they consider themselves to be special or something.
@weatherman2111 wrote:

I guess they consider themselves to be special or something.

That is a mild understatement

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
I assigned to 4 jobs, one hotel not far from me, 2 restaurant's and a phone...been sitting for over a week. I just took them off the board, and am done...geez, how does one plan ahead? I get emails, then nothing, so, I don't want the hassle of those reports, even if I like the places, the pay isn't enough for the work.

Be Yourself, Everyone Else Is Taken.....
@Irene_L.A. wrote:

I assigned to 4 jobs, one hotel not far from me, 2 restaurant's and a phone...been sitting for over a week. I just took them off the board, and am done...geez, how does one plan ahead? I get emails, then nothing, so, I don't want the hassle of those reports, even if I like the places, the pay isn't enough for the work.

Exactly how I feel. They have great locations, but I can pay for them myself. I do other properties that pay 3-4 times as much and don't make me worry about reimbursement limits and travel costs.
What is sooo annoying about the Coyle reports is that you have to repeat every single checkbox question in your narrative. Like in the OP's example, the survey will make you enter the date and time you arrived. Or a question like: The tables were clean, yes/no. Then you submit the survey and the editor comes back and asks, "What time did you arrive?" and "Were the tables clean?" because you didn't explicit write it in your narrative. What a waste of time.

Washington DC metro area - Need a dining buddy?
Coyle’s restaurants are usually nicer. Maybe they gave you this shop as your first shop because more experienced shoppers didn’t want to do it!? Maybe this is your way into Coyle shoppers pool. Yes, Coyle reports are long. I used to do one restaurant per month for them, now I do one every 5-6 months, when I miss fine dining. In general, Coyle is good, one of my favorite, and I would give them a chance.
Julia2026 & szymanc,

Approximately 2 months ago, I had literally the same experience with a $100 Coyle dining shop, here on the West Coast. The restaurant was upscale, but the food was lousy at best, and I would not ever go back. I spent over 8 hours on their report, and painstakingly followed their sample report, which was from 2011, to include every detail, both good and bad. Needless to say, the editor came back, wanting all the time stamps, none of which were mentioned in the sample, nor on the guidelines. (Obviously, Coyle needs to spend their time and money to update their guidelines and their sample reports.) Thankfully, I had the time stamps, but it took me yet another hour to write an additional narrative that included the time stamps. After that, I de-activated my account with Coyle, and I won’t shop for them again. If I were to divide the number of hours I spent at the restaurant plus the hours doing the report, by the reimbursement amount plus the fee, it ends up being far less then minimum wage!!! Although I never expected Mystery Shopping to be lucrative, I did expect some level of fairness. In my experience, Coyle’s expectation of my time commitment to complete their reporting requirements is simply unrealistic, and I won’t do business with them, in the future.
Holy pate! NINE hours on a report?! There are only 8 hours in a workday! I will stick with my QSRs and sports bars. I will pay for my own fine dining, order what I want, and enjoy it.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
I type less than 25 wpm and can do a report for Coyle (restaurant) in under 2 hours, even with a liquor buzz.

9 hours - you should find something else to do.
I just finished my first Coyle restaurant assignment, and I was penalized for "overordering" food. What? I stayed within the limit, we had appetizers, main course, dessert, and 1 glass of wine each-It's absurd. I doubt if I'll be doing anymore of those.
@lynnl wrote:

I just finished my first Coyle restaurant assignment, and I was penalized for "overordering" food. What? I stayed within the limit, we had appetizers, main course, dessert, and 1 glass of wine each-It's absurd. I doubt if I'll be doing anymore of those.


Did you have one or two desserts? On some assignments you are meant to split the appetizer and / or dessert. Check the small print.
@lynnl wrote:

I just finished my first Coyle restaurant assignment, and I was penalized for "overordering" food. What? I stayed within the limit, we had appetizers, main course, dessert, and 1 glass of wine each-It's absurd. I doubt if I'll be doing anymore of those.

They recently changed their guidelines for most (not sure if it is all) restaurants to reflect having to share the appetizer and dessert course (before it just said you "could" share any course). I also missed the change and got the same penalty for ordering two desserts. Funny because most of the time I order only coffee as a dessert course and have also got penalized in the past for not ordering dessert.
When you guys say "penalized," what do you mean? I sure hope you didn't get stiffed altogether, but maybe just downgraded for your report?

@MickeyB wrote:

@lynnl wrote:

I just finished my first Coyle restaurant assignment, and I was penalized for "overordering" food. What? I stayed within the limit, we had appetizers, main course, dessert, and 1 glass of wine each-It's absurd. I doubt if I'll be doing anymore of those.

They recently changed their guidelines for most (not sure if it is all) restaurants to reflect having to share the appetizer and dessert course (before it just said you "could" share any course). I also missed the change and got the same penalty for ordering two desserts. Funny because most of the time I order only coffee as a dessert course and have also got penalized in the past for not ordering dessert.

As for OP, I'm curious what you ordered that would cost $90 for lunch for two. Must have included wine, I'm guessing?
No wine.

We ordered two appetizers — nothing exotic, one was a bowl of soup.

Two entrees — one was a burger.

One dessert to split.

Two glasses of iced tea.

That’s it.
@MickeyB wrote:

@lynnl wrote:

I just finished my first Coyle restaurant assignment, and I was penalized for "overordering" food. What? I stayed within the limit, we had appetizers, main course, dessert, and 1 glass of wine each-It's absurd. I doubt if I'll be doing anymore of those.

They recently changed their guidelines for most (not sure if it is all) restaurants to reflect having to share the appetizer and dessert course (before it just said you "could" share any course). I also missed the change and got the same penalty for ordering two desserts. Funny because most of the time I order only coffee as a dessert course and have also got penalized in the past for not ordering dessert.

You can fight back on coffee as a dessert order. That's actually allowed...even if the editors don't know it. The idea is to evaluate 3 courses and coffee counts as a 3rd course.

The upscale hotel brand that only reviews the restaurants still allows the option for 2 appetizers, but many instructions have been limiting it to a shared appetizer. I think it's partly related to an added standard for share plates being provided.

You have to read the guidelines carefully for small changes. I recently got burned by a hotel that added the requirement to cancel the dummy reservation and report on that experience (Luckily I had saved the original instructions that didn't require reporting the cancellation).

Always keep a copy of the PDF instructions you download for the report! They can upload and change the instructions at any time and if you don't keep the original, you will have no defense if they change guidelines on you!
Waiting to be assigned is tedious!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/17/2018 05:13AM by Nikkik.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

@MickeyB wrote:

@lynnl wrote:


They recently changed their guidelines for most (not sure if it is all) restaurants to reflect having to share the appetizer and dessert course (before it just said you "could" share any course). I also missed the change and got the same penalty for ordering two desserts. Funny because most of the time I order only coffee as a dessert course and have also got penalized in the past for not ordering dessert.

You can fight back on coffee as a dessert order. That's actually allowed...even if the editors don't know it. The idea is to evaluate 3 courses and coffee counts as a 3rd course.

Yes, I have always pushed back on the coffee thing. I do it all the time and only gets mentioned maybe one-third of the time.

By penalized I meant just scolded and grade dropped, though they probably will take it off my reimbursement too now that I think about it. No biggie - the dessert was very good and inexpensive, a small price to pay.
Coyle has a thorough and distinctive style, but I've learned many of the "requirements" that aren't in the client objectives or the samples (like time stamps). As other have said, it's not for everyone.

I recently got editor feedback from another MSC that my report for a fast food restaurant was too thorough. Hmm, perhaps it's the Coyle influence. The revised fast food report deletes the dirt in the corners of the bathroom floor, eliminates the fact that cups were handled by the rims, and doesn't mention that all of the tables/chairs had scuffed legs. Still learning!
@MickeyB wrote:

They recently changed their guidelines for most (not sure if it is all) restaurants to reflect having to share the appetizer and dessert course (before it just said you "could" share any course).

They have a lot of clients - and these requirements still vary depending on the client. You are not required to share dessert or appetizer at certain establishments.
I appreciate this kind of feedback, thank you. Sounds like this may have occurred in a city I know well, one known for museums and monuments, lol....good to know.
The post above yours wanted a clarification for "penalized." This was the first thing I saw below it.

@Julia2026 wrote:

No wine.

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
Uggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the editor gremlins are attacking the QSR shops now. They're quite literally asking for things I already detailed in the assignment form, because I guess they can't read or something, or are bots that only look for very very specific words. >_<
weatherman which MSC?

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
The title of this thread is "Coyle Shoppers...."

There are reasons that a body stays in motion
At the moment only demons come to mind
Threads go sideways, bgriff. You know that. Unless Coyle does QSRs???

The internet doesn't make you smart. It makes you good at regurgitation.
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