Mystery shopping the movies

Most people have heard of mystery shopping at retail stores or even restaurants, but fewer are familiar with assignments at places like automotive dealers or movie theaters.

Most people have heard of mystery shopping at retail stores or even restaurants, but fewer are familiar with assignments at places like automotive dealers or movie theaters. However, those businesses also need shoppers to come and evaluate the quality and promptness of service, as well as the cleanliness of facilities.

Mystery shopping companies might post assignments for opening nights, sneak previews, quality checks for nightly performances and regular evaluations of box office and attendance performance, according to Mystery Shoppers Pros.

When someone goes on an assignment to a movie theater, the source suggests mystery shoppers be prepared to tackle a number of objectives, such as making sure the theater feels safe from the outside and evaluating the customer service at the ticket office. On a busy weekend or opening night, this includes making sure patron counts are accurate. 

Once they're past the box office, they should take note of how friendly the staff is as they take tickets and sell concessions. While they're in the lobby, they will need to evaluate the concession stand process and observe the cleanliness of the lobby and auditorium to include in their report. 

As they head into the theater, they should note the clarity of the film and its overall presentation and also track the start and end times of movies. Throughout the assignment, shoppers should observe the overall management and maintenance procedures of the theater.

Depending on the film and its rating, mystery shoppers may need to meet age requirements. For example, an assignment for an R-rated movie would call for a person who is at least 17 years of age. Similarly, a job that requires shoppers to buy alcoholic drinks at a bar or restaurant would need to be fulfilled by someone who is at least 21 years of age. 

Mystery shoppers might realize that the perks of their job - free movies, snacks and drinks - often boost the cash payment they receive for completing assignments. There are a vast number of jobs at a variety of locations that will provide shoppers with wages (varying in level - some pay $20 to $200 - depending on the industry), as well as free products or services.

Workers can enjoy perks like meals out, drinks and shopping trips when they take assignments at restaurants, theaters and malls. Other listings will provide them with things they will likely need to buy anyway, such as oil changes plus compensation or repayment for groceries they usually purchase. 

In addition to jobs at movie theaters, mystery shopping advice blog Mystery Shop Maven suggests considering a number of other assignments during the spring and summer seasons, such as having lunch with a friend, taking jobs at dessert shops or accepting retail assignments at department stores or boutiques.