Coyle high dollar dining

Has anyone taken one of the fine dining restaurants where you need to lay out $200+ for dinner?

I have never spent that much for food and am nervous about messing up a report and not getting reimbursed. I get high scores on reports and have done lots of dining shops, but nothing so expensive where it would be frustrating not getting the money back.

Coyle reports are supposedly involved. I have done their "easy" restaurant shop, but nothing else. I got a 100% on that, but it really was "easy."

Thanks.

(I didn't mean to like my own post!)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/06/2018 10:52AM by Niner.

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You'll be OK @Niner. It's a lot of cash, and the report is detailed. Just relax, pay attention, and try to enjoy yourself. It sounds like you have experience, so it is really no different than any other shop. Know your requirements and I hope you have a great experience.

proudly shopping in the D.
Thanks. I have signed up for a burger shop and a fitness shop with Coyle this week, and we will be going to Philly for a shop that may run over $100. There's a high end Greek restaurant near our house with a $300 limit. I would not dream of going somewhere like that. For $300, I am paying utility bills, not eating out. I can see how these other shops go first.
I have done $100-250 meal shops with other MSC's and believe me it is very easy to get tot he reimbursement allotment. In most cases you have a bar tab, then they may want you to order a round or even a bottle at the table. That right there could be $100 already. Enjoy your meal.
I have done bar integrity audits with $100 reimbursements and upscale dining with reimbursements up to $200 and have never been denied pay. Just make sure you follow the instructions perfectly and you'll be fine.
I have done many high end restaurant shops for Coyle. I enjoy the shops and have no problem spending the money, but the write ups take about twice as long as the "easy" shop. My best advice is to follow the format of the sample and take lots of notes. I usually take screenshots under the table to mark timing and text myself with the direct opening and closing quotes. The editors will send a list of clarifications if they have questions.
Is it a restaurant you've wanted to visit? One that's a favorite? If so, go for it. These aren't money makers, though. TONS of work for basically the food.

Seriously, nobody cares that you're offended.

(Yes, I stole Hoju's tagline.)
It's been a couple of years since I last did one. Here's some things that I can recall. My guest and I were able to catch up on a lot of stuff during our meal and I was still able to complete the necessary steps for the shop.

Make sure you get a name and or description of the host/hostess, the person who seats you, the waiter/waitress, the managers (plural), bartender, and bus boy.

Make sure you order EVERYTHING necessary, usually appetizer, entrees and dessert plus drinks/wine.

I believe you will have a bar portion. Make sure you check the pour count or if they use a measuring device. Also make sure they put the money in the register.

I recall a LOT of timing points required. I just snap pictures (for the time stamp) or text myself - time arrived, time you were seated, time the wait staff first approached, time order is placed, time the appetizer came, time the entree came, time the wait staff checked back with you, time they cleared the dishes, time ordering dessert.

Also, I believe you need to notice what side they serve and remove plates and glasses from the table.

Also, check the restroom, music level, lighting and cleanliness.

I think there might be more, but most of it is timing and judging the professionalism of the staff.

It did take a long time to fill out the report.
OP: Will you be doing this dinner with a companion? That person can be a great asset to you, helping you remember things! smiling smiley
We just did the burger shop. It took me over two hours to write the report. I did a shop for ACL that was nearly $100, and that took 2.5 hours, but I got a great response from the editor. I hope Coyle is as happy as ACL was.
@SunnyDays2 wrote:

OP: Will you be doing this dinner with a companion? That person can be a great asset to you, helping you remember things! smiling smiley

My husband typically remembers nothing when I ask him questions. He does go with me though.
@iShop123 wrote:

Is it a restaurant you've wanted to visit? One that's a favorite? If so, go for it. These aren't money makers, though. TONS of work for basically the food.

I typically don't want to spend more than $25 on dinner, so $100 is extravagant. It's worth writing the report. I don't mind.
@Niner wrote:

My husband typically remembers nothing when I ask him questions. He does go with me though.

Same here. I've been trying to train him without him knowing.

I just got approval on the report for my highest fine dining shop to date, about $400 for dinner for two. I guess it depends on the client because the survey & report for the this dinner was the same as for a $100 dinner, which made me very happy. This meant I didn't have to sweat about it. The more you do, the easier it will be! I barely enjoyed my first 10 dinner shops because I was so stressed about getting things right.
They seem to use the same form. I looked at a shop that we are going to later this month, an Italian place, and the form looks nearly identical. The limit is the same as the burger shop also, around the $100 mark.

My husband has decided that the $24 burger he had was his favorite burger ever. We live right across the street from this place, too. I thought Five Guys was expensive for a burger!
@Niner wrote:

I hope Coyle is as happy as ACL was.

If they are, they’ll never let you know! In my recent experience, a completed visit goes from “pending” to “OK for pay” - without any acknowledgement, follow up questions, thanks, or even score report. I used to ask for the score report but not even worth it - as there’s actually very little “feedback” ...just points and %’s. I gave up on trying to figure out why I got a 99% instead of 100%. I guess it was satisfactory work if there were no clarifications needed.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/18/2018 09:10PM by Avenger9.
I did get an email back about a retail shop I did for them. I spent a good two hours writing the report and included lots of detail. The email asked for more detail from start to finish, nothing more specific. I spent another hour and a half writing. For the time spent writing and at the shop, this is not even minimum wage.
@Niner wrote:

I did get an email back about a retail shop I did for them. I spent a good two hours writing the report and included lots of detail. The email asked for more detail from start to finish, nothing more specific. I spent another hour and a half writing. For the time spent writing and at the shop, this is not even minimum wage.

I would have wrote back and asked them to be more specific in what they were looking for from you.

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
I did! They said to "detail all interactions from start to finish."

I hope they pay for the dinner shop I just did. I do not want to have to pay that much for that meal.

Funny thing, I got an email from ACL for dinner last night, it was along the lines of "fabulous report, thanks."
@Niner wrote:

I did! They said to "detail all interactions from start to finish."

I hope they pay for the dinner shop I just did. I do not want to have to pay that much for that meal.

Funny thing, I got an email from ACL for dinner last night, it was along the lines of "fabulous report, thanks."

ACL is awesome, and I agree that Coyle seems to be overly crazy about there reports. I can't say more then that since they ignored me the first few months I applied so now I ignore them. I have no time for a company that wont even send out mail saying "Sorry we assigned it to someone else"

Orlando - lightly shopping NC
They are sticklers on reports but I never had one rejected. They will usually help you fix the report and as opposed to the hotel shops they are a lot less involved. I’ve done a few that were 200 or so but I never do a shop that I could not afford if I did not get reimbursed and/or a place I’d otherwise enjoy just in case I would not get reimbursed. But I highly doubt they would do this. They are respectable and reliable .
For me, it's worth all the work unless I am getting a meal over $150 or so...but they are very good about working with evaluators to get reimburse if you follow the guidelines.
That doesn't make sense...is it worth all the work if you are NOT getting a meal over $150?

@SteveSoCal wrote:

For me, it's worth all the work unless I am getting a meal over $150 or so...but they are very good about working with evaluators to get reimburse if you follow the guidelines.
@JASFLALMT wrote:

That doesn't make sense...is it worth all the work if you are NOT getting a meal over $150?

@SteveSoCal wrote:

For me, it's worth all the work unless I am getting a meal over $150 or so...but they are very good about working with evaluators to get reimburse if you follow the guidelines.

Sorry...NOT worth the work. I was typing too fast.
Same. I couldn’t be bothered to do any high end meals in Vegas this weekend. Even at $200 and up, I wasn’t giving up my time to type.
video or audio record the shop, the details they expect are crazy. I don't think they are worth it as its hard to enjoy the meal, its just work.
With Fine dining shops or with any shops with a lot of timing or when they want direct quotes or narratives, I use a micro recorder when I stick in my bra. Then I have the entire shop from beginning to end recorded. I use code words or just state the time as soon as they walk away. I know exactly how they introduced themselves and how they stated the specials, etc. When they walk away the first time, I will lean down like I'm looking in my purse and state what they look like. Just make sure you know how to use it. Make sure that whatever you have has a "LOCK" button so you hit record and this LOCK it so it can't accidently be turned off while you are there. I won't bother telling you about mine, it's about 10 years old but you can find them easily enough on Amazon.

They also have very nice recorders that look exactly like pens.

I do the shop and keep the recording until I'm paid and then delete them.
Well, I'm on Coyle experience #7 tonight. The last report was marked "okay for pay" with no contact from them.

(Crayon, I don't have the assets to hold a recorder in my bra...I guess you can buy those, but props to those who have them naturally!)
I've been doing two or three fine dining shops for them a month for the past year or so, and you do get used to the requirements. The reports are still time-consuming, but they're easier to crank out with experience. I use Emerald Timestamp to record every time a dish is delivered and cleared, and I get descriptions of everyone who stops by the table or who I encounter. They want descriptions of everyone that you pass walking down the hall if you reference them in a report. Knowing who schedules which shops for them has helped me get the shops that I want.
Go figure, I am actually scheduled to go to the restaurant I first wrote about when starting this thread. The budget is a few hundred, which does not make sense based on the ordering requirements and menu prices, but we will see what happens.
@Niner wrote:

Go figure, I am actually scheduled to go to the restaurant I first wrote about when starting this thread. The budget is a few hundred, which does not make sense based on the ordering requirements and menu prices, but we will see what happens.

Didn't you do Capital Grille for $200+ recently? Are you still nervous? Don't be! I always get a detailed score report from Coyle but usually just look at the overall score.

Are the prices menu prices lower?
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