Posts Tagged ‘dinner out’

My daughter does secret shopping for restaurants from time to time.  It’s a great deal because she gets to eat out at the expense of the company that hires her and then after she submits a short review, she also gets a gift card to use at the same restaurant.  She has done mostly the Cheesecake Factory which is one of her favorite restaurants but it’s too pricey for her to eat there on her own.

Tonight we went to a different restaurant which although I won’t name I will say that it is known for it’s beer and steak.  One location is near me so I went with her.  When you secret shop a place, it is just that…secret!  The restaurant is not to know until they review the report that you file the following day.  They never know who you are.  The visits are pre-determined by the company, meaning that they tell you at what time you are supposed to go and what you have to do (usually you have to interact with the front reception people, order a drink at the bar, order at least one appetizer/dessert, etc.).  We were seated in 15 minutes instead of the 30 minutes they had told us so that was a plus.  We sent her boyfriend to the bar to order a drink (my daughter is pregnant so she’s not drinking) and he came back with a glowing report and the barmaid’s name.  Then the “fun” began when we were seated.  It took the server almost a full 8 minutes to even acknowledge us and then even longer to take our beverage order.  It took him four trips to our table before we ordered our appetizer (which he didn’t offer to take our order for, we just told him we wanted one).  Our entree orders were taken and when the food arrived, my daughter’s burger was not medium-well, it was so charred that it was falling apart and was completely black all the way through.  She sent it back.  When they came back with the replacement, it was cooked much better but they had failed to serve it plain, as she had ordered.  She doesn’t like any condiments at all; they served it with some kind of mustard sauce which she tried gut didn’t like.  She asked the waiter to send it back and just take it off the bill.  She was pretty upset by then.  The server said he didn’t blame her and said he’d take it off the bill.  Then the manager came out.  He was such a jerk!  He was condescending, loud enough for people many tables away to start staring, and then snapped at my daughter, saying something like, “Well what do you want?  Tell me how you want it and we’ll bring it that way.  We’ve already started it for you.”  My daughter responded with the order again, very precisely telling him how she wanted it.  Then he snapped again to tell him how she wanted it so they could get it right.  Then I blew up and snapped back at him and told him exactly how she had ordered it both to our waiter and to him.  It was finally brought out the right way, way after the rest of us had finished eating.  When my daughter asked for the manager’s name, he came over and apologized for snapping at her, all the while with a condescending attitude again!

In the end, they did take the price of her meal off but we weren’t offered any other resolution.  We weren’t even asked if we wanted to order dessert before they brought us the bill!

Needless to say, they aren’t going to like the review they get.  My daughter is really good about being very precise when she reports her restaurant visits and has rarely had any occasion to  give any kind of demerit to the businesses she has visited with the secret shopper program so she will be fair but it’s difficult to give a positive review when something like that happens.   She also did a really good job of keeping her temper and smiling and being nice to everyone involved during the entire time, even when the jerk of a manager was basically scolding her like a child.  We probably won’t go back to that location, at least not during dinner hours, but we’ll enjoy the gift card for another meal when it comes.

Tomorrow I do my first secret shopping gig!  I’m kind of excited about it!  I signed up over a year ago and never got anything til now so I’m hoping it will be the first of many!

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