Waiting on Coyle Review.... Is this normal?

I've been signed up with Coyle for a long time, but most of their shops are at minimum 45 minutes to an hour away. I'd like to do some fine-dining shops, but have been looking for a simpler shop to get my feet wet. So.... I found one, applied, and was accepted. It's a long way to go for a $30 reimbursement shop with a minimal fee, but I figure if I do it and do it well, that'll better my chances for an upscale dinner shop.

This is at a chain that has takeout and in-restaurant scenarios. I'd asked about the take-out one and the feedback here was that it was pretty easy. Never got that one, but snagged the order-at-table one. It's noted as "condensed," which I assume means a shortened survey?

Do they score these as tightly as they do their upscale shops? I'm a bit worried about the observations (four employee names & descriptions, in particular, but my son can help me since my old brain only has so much capacity), and also they're supposed to ask you if you've been there before. Telling them it's your first time there is critical to the shop, but if they don't and you just volunteer the information, does that seem odd?

I've applied for a fine-dining one for later in August--so I'm hoping if I ace this one, I'll get that one. My husband and I can't afford a $200 meal out, but we'd sure like one! LOL.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/11/2022 12:51PM by BirdyC.

Create an Account or Log In

Membership is free. Simply choose your username, type in your email address, and choose a password. You immediately get full access to the forum.

Already a member? Log In.

After each employee interaction text yourself their name/description, don't rely on memory.

I also text timings like drinks, order, appetizer, entree, manager visit etc. to basically get timings. So if they ask, if you got the appetizer within x minutes you can subtract the order time from the appetizer text time.

Be ready to describe all negative interactions.

Be ready to type in "This did not apply to my shop" or something similar for every N/A answer, it's required to fill in the text box on every question.

The question about first time visitors is probably to check if they offer you a sampler of their sides or something similar for first time visitors.

This should get you started.
If I've never eaten at a restaurant before I almost always tell the server it's my first visit and then ask for recommendations. I don't think that would seem odd to them at all. Have fun!
@wrosie wrote:

After each employee interaction text yourself their name/description, don't rely on memory.

I also text timings like drinks, order, appetizer, entree, manager visit etc. to basically get timings. So if they ask, if you got the appetizer within x minutes you can subtract the order time from the appetizer text time.

Be ready to describe all negative interactions.

Be ready to type in "This did not apply to my shop" or something similar for every N/A answer, it's required to fill in the text box on every question.

The question about first time visitors is probably to check if they offer you a sampler of their sides or something similar for first time visitors.

This should get you started.

Thank you!

I usually have a "form" set up in my Notes app for things like this, so I fill in answers as I go. But if it's a fast-moving shop or there are a huge number of observations and timings, I either have a hard time keeping up, or I feel like I fumble around with my phone so much after each interaction or timing that I might out myself. This one, with the 4 employee observations and descriptions, sounds like a lot of inputting of text.

Fortunately, this shop requires two people, and my older son will be with me. He's done a lot of restaurants with me and is pretty good about helping with descriptions and observations. Hopefully between the two of us, we'll do OK!

Good to know about paying close attention to the negative interactions as well and the N/A questions (not knowing that would have driven me crazy).

Apparently there is a lot more to the "first-time customer experience" for this shop, so I have to be on my toes and make sure I get in upfront that I've never been there before (which I haven't).

Driving a little over 1 1/2 hours for this shop is probably not wise, but if it gets my foot in the door, it'll hopefully be worth it.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Birdy - My experience only, so YMMV, but be prepared for a data entry slog, with pushback and requests from Coyle for more info....You will probably find that the whole process is acceptable IF they assign you the fine dining shops you covet! If they don't, well, you'll become yet another "anti-fan" of Coyle!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2022 03:56PM by salisburync.
@salisburync wrote:

Birdy - My experience only, so YMMV, but be prepared for a data entry slog, with pushback and requests from Coyle for more info....You will probably find that the whole process is acceptable IF they assign you the fine dining shops you covet! If they don't, well, you'll become yet another "anti-fan" of Coyle!
The survey seems pretty straightforward--similar to others I've done for other companies. There's not a lot of narrative, which seems to be where Coyle does the "gotcha." Although I'm pretty comfortable with narratives....

If I were doing this alone, I'd be a *lot* worried; LOL. But with another person helping with the observations, and he knows what to do and what not to do, I'm hopeful it'll go OK!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Good luck Birdy. I"m really surprised you haven't done a Coyle shop given the number of years you've been shopping.

I did a half dozen Coyle fine dining shops years ago, but found it hard to enjoy the dining experience because I was so nervous about not missing any observations. And then the write ups where a bear. I think I spent 5 or 6 hours writing up the first one and still only got an 18 out of 20 score. But I did get some great meals and one shop required a bottle of wine that cost a minimum $100.

Let us know how it went and what you think. I might go back and try one again.
It's an easy survey, as long as you have unlimited patience, and really like the back-and-forth with all of their editors. Typing for several hours till they finally accept whatever you wrote. For me, they SUCK! Never again...
Another way to get the timings is to take pictures. Unless the report calls for pictures, your pictures don't have to be in sharp focus or properly framed. For example, aim your camera phone at the drinks right after they are served and you can later look at the time you took the picture. Same thing with appetizers, entrees, etc. Make sure the flash is off and there are no shutter sounds. Even if a picture is out of focus and you can't tell exactly what you were trying to photograph, you should be able to figure out what it was by looking at the other pictures.

Please be careful not to be too obvious when texting to yourself. If you text right after every time a server or busser interacts with you, someone may notice.

Please don't take it personally if Coyle asks a lot of questions or shows a negative attitude after you file a report. I stopped shopping for them years ago and chose to do hotel and fine dining shops for more professional/reasonable/pleasant MSCs.

(In my experience, Coyle often sounded like they assumed the shopper missed something or was wrong. One example of what Coyle did was to ask, in a condescending manner, if I was sure I got my server's name right. It would have been fine to ask, but not in the nasty way they did. I told them I was sure. The server was Brazilian. His name was the Portuguese version of a popular Spanish name. Did they apologize or even reply to my email? No. They just accepted my report.)
@Maryanne J wrote:

It's an easy survey, as long as you have unlimited patience, and really like the back-and-forth with all of their editors. Typing for several hours till they finally accept whatever you wrote. For me, they SUCK! Never again...

And this is why I'm a bit nervous! I've read a lot about them here over the years....

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@DRJ wrote:

Good luck Birdy. I"m really surprised you haven't done a Coyle shop given the number of years you've been shopping.

I did a half dozen Coyle fine dining shops years ago, but found it hard to enjoy the dining experience because I was so nervous about not missing any observations. And then the write ups where a bear. I think I spent 5 or 6 hours writing up the first one and still only got an 18 out of 20 score. But I did get some great meals and one shop required a bottle of wine that cost a minimum $100.

Let us know how it went and what you think. I might go back and try one again.

Thanks! It took me many years before I signed up with them, mostly because they just don't have shops in my backwater area. But I can drive 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours away (one way) and do some very nice dining shops or hotel shops. I was more into work for fee than reimbursements, too, but now I have more time to try out these high-reimbursement/low-fee shops.

If this $30 shop can open the door to $200 shops, I'll give it a shot and drive the 1 1/2 hours round trip! Besides, if I can convince my son to "let" me check out the upscale mall near the restaurant for an hour or so, I'll have some fun on the way home. But he'll probably pitch a fit. Sigh. I've been looking for an excuse to drive down there and do some window-shopping, and the restaurant is about 5 minutes from this mall.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@BirdyC wrote:

I've been signed up with Coyle for a long time, but most of their shops are at minimum 45 minutes to an hour away. I'd like to do some fine-dining shops, but have been looking for a simpler shop to get my feet wet. So.... I found one, applied, and was accepted. It's a long way to go for a $30 reimbursement shop with a minimal fee, but I figure if I do it and do it well, that'll better my chances for an upscale dinner shop.

This is at a chain that has takeout and in-restaurant scenarios. I'd asked about the take-out one and the feedback here was that it was pretty easy. Never got that one, but snagged the order-at-table one. It's noted as "condensed," which I assume means a shortened survey?

Do they score these as tightly as they do their upscale shops? I'm a bit worried about the observations (four employee names & descriptions, in particular, but my son can help me since my old brain only has so much capacity), and also they're supposed to ask you if you've been there before. Telling them it's your first time there is critical to the shop, but if they don't and you just volunteer the information, does that seem odd?

I've applied for a fine-dining one for later in August--so I'm hoping if I ace this one, I'll get that one. My husband and I can't afford a $200 meal out, but we'd sure like one! LOL.

Heheh, I know which client you got. I hope they don't burn the entrée. I've had that happen a few times. These aren't nearly as bad as the other Coyle shops. Basically you need a description for everyone you talk to. The greeter, food delivery and whoever does the check back if there is one. You also need a description of one manager. You need a timing for the food and pictures of each food item as well. Like, each entrée and each side individually.

Trust me, these are no where near what a full Coyle shop entails.
Food was great, but the location didn't do quite a bit of what it was supposed to. I hope my report won't be adversely viewed because of that. Fortunately, I thought to take a picture of one of the things that resulted in half of the required steps not being taken!

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Far in the past, I completed a single job for Coyle. The food does not exist nor could it be imagined, that would, in the minute sense, ever tempt me to consider an encore assignment.
@shopperbob wrote:

Far in the past, I completed a single job for Coyle. The food does not exist nor could it be imagined, that would, in the minute sense, ever tempt me to consider an encore assignment.


Exactly right. TOP of my ten-foot pole list.
My first two jobs for them were takeout jobs. They were approved without any questions/clarifications but haven't paid yet. For any job I do for any company I keep a notes app on my phone open to note names, descriptions, etc. I also time everything using one of the timer apps. I've also learned to take pictures of everything from every angle.

I'm fairly new to MS and didn't find Coyle's jobs particularly difficult, just detailed.

Good luck!
They also do urgent care clinics and beauty salons/spas in my area. I don't find these difficult at all. and reasonably compensated.

Actually, I haven't seen ANY restaurants from them in my area.
@BirdyC wrote:

Food was great, but the location didn't do quite a bit of what it was supposed to. I hope my report won't be adversely viewed because of that. Fortunately, I thought to take a picture of one of the things that resulted in half of the required steps not being taken!

They frequently don't. Check-backs are a big miss usually. The food can be hit-or-miss at times to. I would count on getting a persnickety e-mail in the next few days. They seem to have a new reviewer on these assignments who feels the need to justify their own existence by badgering shoppers with non-sense questions.
About how long does Coyle take to review shops? Mine was more than a week ago, and it's still pending. It was a simple shop with a short survey. I made notes after the shop, but if they get back to me in two weeks with questions, I'm not sure I'll remember everything! I'd rather have it still fresh in my mind if they kick it back to me.

Also, do they typically take a long time to accept or reject applications? I had one in for days on a shop that was due last weekend, and it was still pending as of the day the shop was due. So I deleted my application.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
@BirdyC wrote:

About how long does Coyle take to review shops? Mine was more than a week ago, and it's still pending. It was a simple shop with a short survey. I made notes after the shop, but if they get back to me in two weeks with questions, I'm not sure I'll remember everything! I'd rather have it still fresh in my mind if they kick it back to me.

Also, do they typically take a long time to accept or reject applications? I had one in for days on a shop that was due last weekend, and it was still pending as of the day the shop was due. So I deleted my application


It's not a matter of, "If they kick it back to me", It's WHEN and HOW MANY TIMES they kick it back to me. Cause that's what they do...


.
At this point, I'd rather have them kick it back to me than to just have it as still pending. One would think that for a pretty simple shop and survey, it would be turned around more quickly.

I'm wondering if it's "lost" in their system. And I wonder how they would take to being asked about it. Has anyone here ever contacted them to ask about a shop that's been pending for a long time?

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Pleasantly surprised today. My shop was accepted as is. I truly was expecting it to be sent back with questions or requests for clarifications.

I learn something new every day, but not everyday!
I've learned to never trust spell-check or my phone's auto-fill feature.
Congrats!

@BirdyC wrote:

Pleasantly surprised today. My shop was accepted as is. I truly was expecting it to be sent back with questions or requests for clarifications.
Yay, bet that was a wonderful feeling ! Congrats.

@BirdyC wrote:

Pleasantly surprised today. My shop was accepted as is. I truly was expecting it to be sent back with questions or requests for clarifications.
@Zek wrote:

Yay, bet that was a wonderful feeling ! Congrats.

@BirdyC wrote:

Pleasantly surprised today. My shop was accepted as is. I truly was expecting it to be sent back with questions or requests for clarifications.

Thank you! I must be a cynic after reading here about their reviews , but I was thinking that maybe it took so long because they were looking for things to pick apart! How bad is that? LOL.

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 think they got new editors who actually have brains and can actually understand the written word.. My last shop was returned with a 100 rating. But I, like you, fully expected it to bounce back and forth with additional questions.

Wait, does this mean it might be coming off other peoples 10 foot pole lists? More competition for me? Say it isn't so.
Be sure to use the example filled-in shop form they include as a guideline for how they want this shop reported. They have a lot of different kinds of restaurant shops besides fine dining, and you can get dinged just as quickly for including too much info as for not including enough.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login