Just did a dinner shop, probably will never do it again

Did a dinner shop that reimbursed up to $110 plus paid $20 extra. I thought this was a great way for me and the spouse to grab a nice dinner, oh boy was I mistaken. This was my first ever dinner shop with this company and will be my last. It took me more than 4 hours to complete the survey. It had about a 180 questions where I had to provide at least one to two sentences for each. The worst part about this whole dinner which made no sense was per the shop guidelines, I was not allowed to take leftovers. I have no idea why they don't allow this, so I ordered food and it hurt so bad that I had to let it go to waste since I couldn't finish it all there. I never waste food. Anyone have experiences like this?

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I think I know which MSC it is by the guideline that doesn't let you take leftovers home and I don't understand that either. I know places won't let you order to go but it seems like a waste to not be able to take home what you don't finish.
Shop,

Your experience is exactly why my last fine dining job was in 2007. There simply is not any meal of which I have desire that requires me to toil away for multiple hours, BUT, as the old adage goes, "What's one person's meat, is another's poison."
I have never spent 4 hours on a Coyle report. Maybe 90 minutes tops, usually an hour at most.
This one took a while because it kept getting kicked back to me as they kept saying they wanted more detail. The worst part is when it would kick back to me, there would be additional questions that get added. I dont mind answering them, but they should ask them during the evaluation not after I submit. They'd also want more detail one how long it took for a beer to get to me. I said one minute. It got kicked back to me saying provide additional detail on the delivery process. What delivery process? The guy went to the bar, picked up the beer, and gave it to me. Its not worth it for $20 profit. I would do it, but would need to be paid much more. Maybe will just bid much higher.
I am not suggesting you do it again, but remember this was a learning occasion and it will go faster next time.
But I don't do any job I don't feel like doing!
I doubt that I could enjoy a fine dining meal with a 4-9 hour report looming when I got home. I preferred doing the high dollar QSRs or sports bars and using the fees to go to the restaurant of my choice.

When a potential shopper asks me for an MSC, Coyle is the one I recommend. I know the new shopper will not be competition.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

I doubt that I could enjoy a fine dining meal with a 4-9 hour report looming when I got home. I preferred doing the high dollar QSRs or sports bars and using the fees to go to the restaurant of my choice.

When a potential shopper asks me for an MSC, Coyle is the one I recommend. I know the new shopper will not be competition.

Lol so true. Rather do one of those drive thru shops at a QSR, get paid nicely and go somewhere else
There are certain shops I cringe at. These include Coyle because of the extensive level of detail and A Closer Look because of the narratives. I haven't done any of these for two years. When I get home, I don't want to spend 2-3 hours on a report. Not worth it to me.
They used to take a while for me as well. Now I've got the hang of them and they aren't as bad.
Very wealthy people don't bother bringing leftovers home. Probably something about having enough money to buy more fresh food later, but it's one of those "culture" things that you just don't do.

@foodluvr wrote:

I think I know which MSC it is by the guideline that doesn't let you take leftovers home and I don't understand that either. I know places won't let you order to go but it seems like a waste to not be able to take home what you don't finish.
You could have said that my daughter/son is at home and I am taking them left overs. Unless it is an high dollar shop and they don't have to go boxes.

How will they know if you ask for an box??

That does not make sense..
@Isaiah4031a wrote:

You could have said that my daughter/son is at home and I am taking them left overs. Unless it is an high dollar shop and they don't have to go boxes.

How will they know if you ask for an box??

That does not make sense..

It was not a high dollar shop. If there was a dress code there, it would consists of tank tops, arm tattoos, and Oakley sunglasses. I tend to follow the guidelines exactly. I understand they may not know, but am iffy about doing things like that in case they check the cameras there.
Yes, the managers of the locations often review video when they get a corporate shop report.
Another reason may be to prevent overordering by shoppers, which can be a giveaway to staff that they are being shopped. Ironically I’ve had shops with large ordering requirements and then had to make up excuses as to why I wouldn’t want to take home half of a meal like any normal customer would (“My hotel doesn’t have a fridge” or “We’re going on a trip tomorrow” are standbys).

A restaurant near me is currently being shopped by both MF and Coyle. A typical check for two there is around $75. Coyle offers a $125 reimbursement (which is more than I could possibly spend) and a “bid” fee they say is usually $10-20. MF offers just a $50 reimbursement but they’ll cover parking which in that neighborhood can easily be $30. I can also go solo or invite a second or third guest and there are no ordering requirements beyond one entree. I’m happy to do the MF shop, spend 10 minutes on the report, and if I bring my spouse make up the rest of the check with a $40 burger shop. I have no interest in shopping it for Coyle as I’d spend much longer on the report and lose the fee to parking. Obviously others feel differently as the shop is no longer on the board.

I’m surprised to see ACL reports compared to Coyle reports. I’ve found that once you get the hang of the ACL format they’re pretty quick, even allowing for the likelihood of a few editor questions.
Bingo!

@NinS wrote:

Another reason may be to prevent overordering by shoppers, which can be a giveaway to staff that they are being shopped. Ironically I’ve had shops with large ordering requirements and then had to make up excuses as to why I wouldn’t want to take home half of a meal like any normal customer would (“My hotel doesn’t have a fridge” or “We’re going on a trip tomorrow” are standbys).

That's not the reason, and it's a huge generalization.

@chiffon cupcakes wrote:

Very wealthy people don't bother bringing leftovers home. Probably something about having enough money to buy more fresh food later, but it's one of those "culture" things that you just don't do.
That's not true.

@chiffon cupcakes wrote:

Very wealthy people don't bother bringing leftovers home.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
@HonnyBrown wrote:

That's not true.

@chiffon cupcakes wrote:

Very wealthy people don't bother bringing leftovers home.
I know lots of very wealthy people who don't bring home leftovers. By very wealthy, I mean income of over 5,000,000 a year minimum. I always let them pay when we go out. I've never seen them agree to taking home the leftovers. I have had "those types of people" pass over their bottle of wine when they only drank half ($200 reds) Random rich people are a hoot. smiling smiley
Ahh Coyle. Their editors are infamous for basically pull stuff out of their....you know. I only do a casual dining shop for them and I swear some of the editors don't actually read the reports as I have been asked questions in their "please, just one(hundred) more thing(s)" emails that were definitely in the report.
@shopaholic1
I was once chastised by mystery shopping company because I stood in front of my shopping cart instead of behind it. Since then, I have concluded that I live my life on camera.
If you ask for the leftovers to go, it will be on camera. Every shop may not be reviewed, but every shop could be.
@SoCalMama wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

That's not true.

@chiffon cupcakes wrote:

Very wealthy people don't bother bringing leftovers home.
I know lots of very wealthy people who don't bring home leftovers. By very wealthy, I mean income of over 5,000,000 a year minimum. I always let them pay when we go out. I've never seen them agree to taking home the leftovers. I have had "those types of people" pass over their bottle of wine when they only drank half ($200 reds) Random rich people are a hoot. smiling smiley

You know alot of people that bring in more than $5M a year in income? Wow must be nice to have these people as friends.
And I have used this tactic to make sure people behind me social distance.. I got tired of asking people to back up a bit to their mark on the floor. Although they were always very nice about it I solved that particular spacing problem by standing in front of my cart. But, I have not noticed anyone else ever doing that even though i live in a compliant city for the most part.
As for the take home containers I know very many middle income people...lets say $30-60,000 for a single a year in a high priced city who do not take home leftovers. Back In the day when I used to eat out with small groups of people with shared dishes I always scored at going home time as I was the only one who wanted the leftovers.
And at work it was a real bonanza as when we had someone serving lunch to our larger group almost no one wanted to pack up the leftovers and take them home even though we had lots of fridge space in our breakroom.


@prince wrote:

@shopaholic1
I was once chastised by mystery shopping company because I stood in front of my shopping cart instead of behind it. Since then, I have concluded that I live my life on camera.
If you ask for the leftovers to go, it will be on camera. Every shop may not be reviewed, but every shop could be.
That was always my reason for standing in front, just always did like my space. Now, more than ever.
@shopaholic1 wrote:

@SoCalMama wrote:

@HonnyBrown wrote:

That's not true.

@chiffon cupcakes wrote:

Very wealthy people don't bother bringing leftovers home.
I know lots of very wealthy people who don't bring home leftovers. By very wealthy, I mean income of over 5,000,000 a year minimum. I always let them pay when we go out. I've never seen them agree to taking home the leftovers. I have had "those types of people" pass over their bottle of wine when they only drank half ($200 reds) Random rich people are a hoot. smiling smiley

You know alot of people that bring in more than $5M a year in income? Wow must be nice to have these people as friends.

I know a few. One of them let us use their spare house in Hawaii for the holidays one year. Turns out, they had a half dozen places. Pretty cool.
When I was in Italy about two years ago there was a PSA campaign encouraging diners to take home doggie bags as a way to combat food waste. My Italian friends said it had not been traditionally a part of the local dining out experience.
Wealthy people I know who order from the menu (as opposed to asking for something the chef makes thats not on the menu) take leftovers home, if home is their next stop. Some even plan it from the start, dividing their food in half and asking the server to box half right away, while they eat. It depends on the food, too. Some foods travel home well; others dont.

Wealthy people come in all types. Most restaurants give serving sizes too large for the average, somewhat sedentary, person.
Let’s not forget it’s a “doggy bag”. I also know plenty of wealthy folks who bring home leftovers for their dog particularly if there is a large bone involved.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 11/17/2020 04:30PM by kenasch.
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