Good first time experience with Coyle restaurant shop

I just received my first score with Coyle - a 93! I did get some follow up questions which I promptly answered.

I spent around 4-5 hours split over 3 days on this report - around 1 hour on the phone portion, 1 hour the night of the dinner, and then another 2-3 hours the following morning.

My spouse was my guest and he helped me by tracking the timing of water refills. The most surprising thing was how much we enjoyed the “mystery shopping” part of the assignment and being forced to be observant. It turned out to be a fun date night.

I did not enjoy the report writing, but I did not hate it as much as I feared. It got tedious at parts. I tried hard to adhere to the sample evaluations and use past tense.

As I do more of these, I hope I can bring down the time to 3 hours.

Thank you to this forum for the great tips and tricks.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2019 12:10AM by Theshopiscoming.

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@boridi wrote:

5 hours on the report not including the time to do the shop?
Hope the fee was at least $100.

Their mid to fine dining shops are reimbursement plus fees from 15 to 25. The fine dining shops require a Comprehensive Chronological Narrative, many including bar visits.The mid level shops require as much detail but with no bar visit and less visit time to observe the reports are shorter.

Having performed several shops for them, my ability to provide narratives for other MSCs has improved. Very few MSCs have restaurant clients where you can spend well over $100 on an enjoyable night out. The reimbursement is not taxable income. I might do one a year. For the mid level location's I would do as many as they will approve me for.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
@boridi wrote:

5 hours on the report not including the time to do the shop?
Hope the fee was at least $100.

I agree, and that’s why I don’t do them.

They only take me about an hour, but still, for $15 fee, I’m not interested.
The original poster comes across as a brand new shopper.

If that is the case: Congratulations! It will get easier and you'll get faster.
I’m brand new! This reimbursement was $150. It’s way more than I typically spend on restaurants so it was a treat to get drinks and multiple courses at a nice place. But mostly I try to look at it as a fun and unusual-to-me experience, instead of as a way to make money. When it stops being fun, I’ll stop doing it.
Congratulations!

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I have done 40 of them and they take me 4-5 hours each. It's nice getting reimbursed $100-$200+ for dinner, especially considering at $200, that would be $300 pre-tax income. Either you are okay with Coyle, or not. We did a shop for a different MSC that paid $10 and reimbursed $75. The report took under an hour. Coyle is becoming a hard sell these days.

OP, congratulations on a 93 on your first shop with Coyle, that's something to be proud of!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2019 11:31AM by Niner.
@SoCalMama wrote:

@boridi wrote:

5 hours on the report not including the time to do the shop?
Hope the fee was at least $100.

I agree, and that’s why I don’t do them.

They only take me about an hour, but still, for $15 fee, I’m not interested.

How long are your final reports? Mine are around five or six pages single spaced. Are you writing about every question in the narrative (all 240 of them?)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2019 11:33AM by Niner.
OP:
"But mostly I try to look at it as a fun and unusual-to-me experience, instead of as a way to make money. When it stops being fun, I’ll stop doing it."


A good way to look at the experience, and another reminder that we all do this for various reasons: some for money, some for experiences that they could not or would not spend their own money on, some to keep the intellectual skills in shape....

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/18/2019 11:58AM by MMMM.
The bar visit takes about 20 minutes, needs a paragraph or two. If a fine dining visit, you are there about an additional 60 to 90 minutes. The Comprehensive Chronological Narrative should be 1.5 to 2 pages maximum. Look at the sample narrative they provide. You cover the key engagements and timings, including names you obtained. Cover any "no" answers or issues you had. I believe they allow both objective and subjective remarks for the food. You do not need to covet every question. I use the questions to fine tune the report. Some of their forms for the casual and mid level restaurants allow a maximum of 2000 characters so need to really be to the point. I make sure all of the comments on the form match the report.

My posts are solely based on my opinions and for my entertainment, contact a professional if you need real advice.

When you get in debt you become a slave. - Andrew Jackson
The fee is basically there to cover your transport to the restaurant and parking. Anyone looking to pay their rent via assignments for Coyle is going to be frustrated.

Even within those options, there are better and worse assignments, however. The full bar/dinner narratives take a while for me, even though I've probably done over 500 of them. Anything without a bar portion gets my interest these days, as well as the subjective only reports. Those can be done in under and hour and should be 2 pages max.

If you are at 5 pages for a standard restaurant you are probably being to verbose. There are ways to structure your sentences to cover multiple standards, so for a section with 25-30 questions, you should be able to get the narrative down to 5-6 sentences.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

The fee is basically there to cover your transport to the restaurant and parking. Anyone looking to pay their rent via assignments for Coyle is going to be frustrated.

Even within those options, there are better and worse assignments, however. The full bar/dinner narratives take a while for me, even though I've probably done over 500 of them. Anything without a bar portion gets my interest these days, as well as the subjective only reports. Those can be done in under and hour and should be 2 pages max.

If you are at 5 pages for a standard restaurant you are probably being to verbose. There are ways to structure your sentences to cover multiple standards, so for a section with 25-30 questions, you should be able to get the narrative down to 5-6 sentences.

2817 words/11 pages if double spaced

That was my last report. Five hours. The editors have told me that all yes questions need to be answered in the narrative.
@Niner wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@boridi wrote:

5 hours on the report not including the time to do the shop?
Hope the fee was at least $100.

I agree, and that’s why I don’t do them.

They only take me about an hour, but still, for $15 fee, I’m not interested.

How long are your final reports? Mine are around five or six pages single spaced. Are you writing about every question in the narrative (all 240 of them?)

I usually do them in Nevada. I can also see the scores of other shoppers. I guess whatever I’m doing is fine because I have the highest scores every time I check. My scores outside of Nevada are dependent on the editors. Usually it’s 96-100 but MickeyB and I got low 90’s within the last year. Lol

I do limited shops for them outside Nevada. I’ve had so many $200+ dinners over the years, it’s not really that big of a deal st this point. I’m happy with a $40 shot of whiskey and a small meal for a $75 fee.
I get a 100 on the reports, but at this point, it does not seem worth it. I would rather cook and not have to write a report, or complete a shop that will take 45 minutes to write up. We are also perfectly happy eating at Chili's for the 3/$10.
@SteveSoCal wrote:

Anything without a bar portion gets my interest these days

So much easier without having to spend a minimum 30 minutes at the bar and then writing about the experience. So much work for the 30 minutes that you're there.

I don't do the F and B surveys often unless they're party of a package of surveys for a hotel or resort.
@Niner wrote:

I get a 100 on the reports, but at this point, it does not seem worth it. I would rather cook and not have to write a report, or complete a shop that will take 45 minutes to write up. We are also perfectly happy eating at Chili's for the 3/$10.

100 pays the same as a 96. I get lots of 100’s. But, I can see the other reports, so I know I’m fine, better than 90% of the others every time with minimal effort on my part.

So now we’re on the same page.
@SoCalMama wrote:

@Niner wrote:

I get a 100 on the reports, but at this point, it does not seem worth it. I would rather cook and not have to write a report, or complete a shop that will take 45 minutes to write up. We are also perfectly happy eating at Chili's for the 3/$10.

100 pays the same as a 96. I get lots of 100’s. But, I can see the other reports, so I know I’m fine, better than 90% of the others every time with minimal effort on my part.

So now we’re on the same page.

I would be happy with a 96 also. I am sure your reports are fantastic. I write so much to make sure I answer every question and am not stuck with a $200 bill. Do your reports look like the sample as far as length? Mine seem so much longer. (This could also be from the years of long winded legal documents that I used to write.)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/2019 03:26AM by Niner.
I'm a new shopper and just completed a Coyle restaurant/cafe assignment. How long does it usually take the editors to evaluate them and score you? It's been about 5 days and I'm worried they aren't going to cover my expenses... sad smiley
@chomo wrote:

I'm a new shopper and just completed a Coyle restaurant/cafe assignment. How long does it usually take the editors to evaluate them and score you? It's been about 5 days and I'm worried they aren't going to cover my expenses... sad smiley

I've had it take as long as eleven days.
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