Restaurant Mystery Shopping

Do you ever wish there was a clear roadmap explaining the best way to make a lasting impression on customers and to increase repeat business at your restaurant? BestMark's proprietary restaurant mystery shops will help identify exactly which behaviors and metrics are consistently linked to exceeding guests' expectations.

BestMark Understands the Restaurant Industry

BestMark's expertise in the restaurant industry is unmatched; we have well over 27 years of experience helping some of the world's finest restaurants improve and perfect the customer experience. In fact, our company's very first mystery shops were conducted for restaurant clients in 1986. Back then, shoppers hand-wrote paper questionnaires and mailed them to us. Times have certainly changed, but the need to wow customers and the value of exceeding expectations is more critical now than ever. Our years of experience will help you focus training efforts on the specific behaviors proven to wow guests time and time again.

We expertly service all types of restaurants, from fast food to casual dining to five-star gourmet, and all of our clients love the positive impact that our mystery shops have on employee engagement, service, and customer satisfaction. BestMark mystery shops offer unparalleled value because we utilize a proprietary behaviors-based survey format which allows our clients to see exactly what went right and what went wrong at the moment of truth when guests come into contact with restaurant employees.

Our surveys are tailored to address each client's unique standards. They also transcend the typical Likert scale format. BestMark's customized methodology provides a comprehensive report with extensive story-like narrative that details every aspect of the shopper's visit, from the interaction with the host upon arrival to the food quality to the check delivery (and every interaction in between).

The BestMark Advantage - Restaurant Mystery Shopping

As one of the nation's first mystery shopping companies, BestMark made significant contributions to legitimizing mystery shopping as a powerful research tool, and we pride ourselves on continually leading and changing the landscape of our industry. We understand operations, technology, and research, and we know what it takes to manage a phenomenally successful program:

  • Vast geographical coverage. We have mystery shoppers near the restaurants you want shopped. BestMark conducts tens of thousands of shops each month with shoppers in over 10,000 cities and towns in the United States and Canada.
  • Top quality with 100% completion rate. Many mystery shopping companies claim a completion rate of 100%, but at BestMark, we never break our promises. Our promised completion rate is 100% no exceptions, no excuses. On top of that, the quality and accuracy of our shop results are the best in the industry. (See the details around our(See the details around our Quality Assurance Processes)
  • Superior survey format. The structure of BestMark's mystery shops is based on our proprietary survey format, a dramatic departure from traditional methods of collecting mystery shopping research data. Instead of asking a series of generic and potentially subjective questions, a BestMark behaviors-based shop enables our restaurant clients to pinpoint the very attributes and behaviors proven to drive customer delight, effective selling techniques and other critical performance attributes.
  • Extensive shopper training. Before our restaurant mystery shoppers visit your locations or call your employees posing as customers, they will be trained, tested and certified on your specific program. Our shoppers will know exactly what to look and listen for, and we will ensure that all of your employees/locations are evaluated objectively, consistently, and accurately.
  • Direct one-on-one management of shoppers. Many mystery shopping companies subcontract the shop scheduling process and even the quality editing process out to businesses that offer mystery shop support services. BestMark never uses sub-contractors. Our dedicated staff of in-house schedulers and editors speak one-on-one with our shoppers every day; this ensures that the shoppers fully understand specific requirements and receive continual coaching and recognition to better produce actionable feedback for you.
  • Highly engaged, top-performing shoppers. We understand that our shoppers are also our clients and our most important commodity. Our mystery shoppers feel like they are a part of our company. Through consistent direct contact, we instill in them a high level of personal accountability and pride that their feedback is important.
  • Licensed in Nevada. BestMark is one of only a handful of mystery shopping companies who is licensed to perform shops in the state of Nevada where a Private Investigator's license is required in order to conduct mystery shopping. Currently, there are a large number of companies operating in violation of the Nevada state laws. Not only does this put these companies at risk for significant fines and sanctions, but also puts their clients' companies at risk for these same penalties.

Examples of restaurant-related questions we can answer:

  • Are your employees building rapport and emotional connections with guests?
  • What could you do to ensure fewer customers leave with a neutral or negative brand image?
  • What is your competition offering that your customers wish you offered and vice-versa?
  • Are your employees correctly informing customers about your products, promotions, and/or policies?
  • Are customers of every age, ethnicity, and gender receiving the same exceptional level of customer service?
  • How engaged are your employees, and how can you optimally improve their engagement?
  • Are promotional signs, displays, and other types of marketing materials present and correctly positioned within your restaurants?
  • Which locations within your organization are consistent shining examples of offering customer delight, and what are their best practices?
  • And many, many more...

A BestMark Restaurant Mystery Shopping Program Enables our clients to:

  • Understand exactly what customer delight-driving behaviors look and sound like
  • Align company-wide focus on improving the customers' experiences, resulting in higher return rates
  • Track and trend behaviors that correlate with guest delight to generate actionable data proven to increase customer satisfaction
  • Customize programs to evaluate a variety of different customer touch points, staffed positions, and times of day/week, etc.
  • Gain valuable, detailed insight into the customer experience through extensive story-like narrative from our highly trained and certified shoppers
  • Discover if customers are receiving consistently superior customer service at every location and/or customer touchpoint
  • Identify gaps in training needs
  • And much, much more...

No matter what your mystery shopping objectives, we will partner with you to develop a program that will provide actionable results using state-of-the-art technologies and proven shop methodologies.

Actionable Insight for Restaurants

Collecting and aligning data only provides value if that information is actually used to improve performance at each location, so it is critical that the data is useful at the operator level. With that in mind, BestMark created GuestLink™, a proprietary web-based reporting system that allows clients to create, update and track data at all levels within the organization for performance feedback and coaching. BestMark clients are also able to dynamically create ad hoc reports on the fly and update customized "Action Plans." When managers of customer-facing employees directly access shop results via GuestLink™, coaching and recognition can occur at the front lines almost immediately.


GuestLink™ Customer Experience Intelligence Features

  • Interactive Dashboards
  • Performance Scorecards
  • Dynamic Query Drill-Down
  • Individual Customer Experience Reports
  • Strengths & Opportunities Reports
  • Key Performance Indicator (KPIs) Tracking
  • High-Impact Standard Reports