What's the smallest "chain" you've ever shopped?

I'm just asking because for the last two Sundays I've done bar compliance observation for what I call a "micro-chain" of restaurants here on Long Island that until recently had only 3 locations (they have opened up a fourth very recently but I haven't seen it in the shop rotation yet).

Has anyone shopped a 2-location "chain" or even a standalone business? I'm guessing yes but would be interested to hear.

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Last year, or maybe it was 2 years ago, (feel like I lost a year) I had to buy over $150 worth of merchandise from a wonderful local bakery with only 3 stores, try most of it and report on it. Now, my hubby insists on going out of our way to get their cheesecake because it was that good and very $$$. Their breads are also wonderful, as were the cookies and pies...my bowling league and friends also reaped the benefits, cause how much can two people eat?

The more I learn about people...the more I like my dog..

Mark Twain
I've shopped small businesses that are only single location stores just depends on the project.
I've mystery shopped an Italian Restaurant in Dallas with only one location. The owner was the chef. I'm guessing he had worked for some some large restaurant that was mystery shopped.

It was a very well put together shop. You had to evaluate the hostess, the bartender, your server, the manager and the food.

It was a very well compensated shop with excellent food and service.
I’ve done a fair amount of integrity bar shops for single or two-location operations. It’s not uncommon for them to be owned by multiple parties, not all of them present every or even most nights. Three to four locations seems to be where small restaurant groups are most likely to start ordering dine-in shops. One nice thing about credit card/payment app shops is they often involve going to small businesses that wouldn’t otherwise be shopped.
If you don't mind being asked, for which MSCs?

@NinS wrote:

I’ve done a fair amount of integrity bar shops for single or two-location operations.
Once "Guest" and I ate at a country club dining room. I don't think it was part of any chain.
On the flip side my father owned a store. During High School I occasionally subbed as cashier for the regular employees. One day Daddy came home annoyed--he had hired a Mystery Shopper who shopped ME. He never shared the report with me either.
It's a chain with only 2 locations that i am aware of. Food was fresh, delicious with overwhelming portions to me. Service was not so great with regard to wait staff buffoonery. I still loved it. I still patronize the venue with my family. Have catered from there many times as well. We are going to cater a birthday soiree for Dd in 2+ weeks. Always delicious.
I did a secret shop for a place that had two locations. I never saw the second location available for a shop, and that second location eventually closed, leaving them with one location.
I shopped a 2 location chain restaurant. It was cool because I did a nearby parking shop at a hotel garage and walked to the restaurant. The restaurant paid a flat fee and required 2 drinks and food.

"There's so much trouble in this world; surrounded by miracles" - Citizen Cope
I did an independent single location bowling ally not a competitor shop either.

Shopping Western NY, Northeast and Central PA, and parts of Ohio and West Virginia. Have car will travel anywhere if the monies right.
A MSC I do a lot of work for had a couple of shops for an upscale restaurant, single location, a few years ago. It was about a 45-minute drive for me, so I hemmed and hawed about it. Emailed the MSC to ask more about it, and it turned out the restaurant owner was a friend of the MSC owner and wanted to be shopped as part of his start-up. By the time I got more info, the shops were gone, and there wasn't an ongoing program. Must be the reports were helpful (or they were so spot on they didn't get any negative comments), as the place is still in business and has a very good reputation.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
I have done several one or two location "chains" which i guess would be a chain with one link One of them went on to add a second and then third location. The interesting thing to me was they sent out an email to their relatively frequent diners asking them to invest in the opening of their third location. Most of the one or two off places are for a small local msc.
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