How mystery shoppers can improve service at your restaurant

Mystery shoppers can help you improve the quality of service at your restaurant.

One of the great reasons to use a mystery shopping service is because it can provide real, actionable feedback for your staff. When the success of your business is based off your customers' experience, this kind of information can be vital. In the restaurant industry, wait staff members might be able to gauge their success on the amount of tips they receive each night, but it can be a bit of a shot in the dark when it comes to actually acting on that very limited feedback. After all, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to a good or bad tip. Only by getting real opinions from patrons can you expect to improve your staff's performance on the job.

The professional experience
As Food Woolf reported, the No. 1 thing restaurant owners can do to improve service is to research what good service looks like. This advice might seem nebulous - but when you have hard facts to draw upon, it can actually be very illuminating. For example, if you, as a restaurant owner, went to a competing establishment to review its level of service, you might return to your own business with a few ideas. But as a manager, you probably don't have much time to try out every other restaurant in the area! Plus, the lessons you learn might not be directly translatable to your establishment. When you use mystery shoppers, you can ask directed questions about your restaurant and what you can do to improve the dining experience.

Feedback from mystery shoppers can help out back-of-house staff as well.Feedback from mystery shoppers can help out back-of-house staff as well.

Teamwork and behind-the-scenes improvement
A study conducted by the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission found that higher levels of inclusion and diversity among restaurant staff led to higher business success rates. On top of that, providing staff members with good work-life balance is another key factor to improved employee disposition. Although much of this happens behind the scenes, this is another aspect that mystery shoppers can help to improve.

Customers can often sense when wait staff members are stressed out, upset or otherwise in a bad mood. The solution to this problem is more than just telling your staff to plaster on a smile when they interact with diners. Finding the root of those problems and dealing with them head on is the only way to really solve them. Asking mystery shoppers about their perceptions of staff morale can give you insight into what you can do as a manager to make your staff feel more included and, ultimately, happier.