Measuring Dining Experience through Restaurant Mystery Shopping

Food service has always been a high potential industry given the rise in consumer disposable incomes and higher occasions of eating out. However, consumers tend to have less loyalty for restaurants. This coupled with stiff competition makes restaurants develop points of differentiation to attract repeat consumers. Some restaurants have food as their point of differentiation, some have location & ambiance while some have service.

All these parameters cumulatively define the dining experience and are evaluated through restaurant mystery shopping programs, which includes:

  1. First Impression: First impression can sometimes act as a choice consideration for choosing a restaurant. It includes the following aspects:
  • Location & Positioning: Mystery shoppers evaluate the ease of reaching the restaurant and the area in which it is located.
  • Signage & Exterior branding: Measuring not only the visibility and condition of the signage, but also checking, if the signage is up-to-date and represents the brand and talks about the running promotions.
  • Cleanliness & Maintenance (Exterior & Interior): One of the most basic aspects of a restaurant is hygiene which involves:
    • Clean and Well laid table
    • Presentable crockery and cutlery
    • Cleaning of the tables after the guest leave within appropriate timelines
    • Maintenance of the hygiene standards for customer areas like Dine in, Rest rooms
    • Free of flies/insects
    • Physical condition of the Walls and Floors
  • Ambience: This parameter provides insights on:
    • Temperature & Lighting inside the restaurant
    • No foul smell
  1. Steps of Service: Restaurant mystery shopping measures whether servers are following the standard steps of service, their rapport with customers, and more to identify how they can improve.
  • Greeting & Seating:-
    • Greeting/Acknowledgement within appropriate time
    • Pleasant attitude on arrival
    • Seating the customers at a fully laid table
    • Handing over a well maintained Menu/Beverage Menu card
  • Food Ordering:
    • Employee approaching the table in a stipulated time
    • Need assessment in terms of type of food and taste etc.
    • Employee’s knowledge about the ingredients and Specialties
  • Upsell & Cross Sell: A large part of raising the guest cheque comes from upselling. Through this parameter the mystery shoppers check the employee if he/she proactively suggest any add-ons during food ordering like a beverage or a dessert
  • Speed of Service - In order to keep flipping tables - and for customers to be happy with their dining experience – it is important that everything is executed in a timely manner like evaluating the time taken for the food to arrive, employee approaching the table as and when requested by the customer etc.
  1. Food Quality:
  • Food Presentation: This aspect evaluates how the Food items are being presented and served
  • Food service & taste: The food should be served within promised timelines and at correct temperature
  1. Billing Experience: The billing experience is measured on the basis of:
  • Time taken to produce the bill
  • Providing a clean bill
  • Complete invoice with list of items ordered
  • Feedback form

Channelplay conducts restaurant audits every month to measure all these parameters and bring necessary improvements. Restaurant Mystery shopping program provide a microscopic and objective perspective. It measures important aspects of the customer dining experience and shares the results in the form of updation of policies, timelines, as well as establish training needs for the staff.

For any requirement for restaurant audits, please fill the form at the bottom of this page or visit our website.

Topics: Mystery Shopping & Audits

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