Category Archives: Hotel Mystery Shopping

Mystery Diners for Restaurants, Bars, Cafes and Pub Chains

Written by James Harper – Tern Consultancy Ltd – Linkedin  21/07/2015

The UK dining and restaurant sector is a hugely competitive marketplace and the experience of the consumer is key to the ongoing success of individual brands and the growth of the sector as a whole.

In a time where online reviews through sites like have become an integral part of the consumer decision making process it is even more important to check that service levels are right from the start. Many companies are using ‘Mystery Diners’ to see whether their service standards exceed, or fail, against company expectations.

Mystery Diners


Eating-out spend reaches 13 month high

By Sophie Witts, 09-Jun-2015
Consumer spending on eating and drinking-out reached a record peak in May, according to the latest Barclaycard Consumer Spending report.

Creating a mystery diner programme, that is both engaging and rewarding for staff, can help to identify any areas of weakness throughout the consumer experience. Making your staff members ‘champions of the business’ can be a great motivational tool and really improve overall service standards.

We were commissioned by Sam Smith Brewery to conduct a Mystery Diner Programme to do just that. We provided them with a carefully blended programme of standard restaurant mystery shopping and under age sales testing. The customer journey was carefully documented through the eyes our mystery diners and recorded on our online reporting system.

Sam Smith, owner of the independent Sam Smith Brewery and pub chain said:

‘I can only speak very positively about Tern and the service we have agreed. There have been some challenges getting our managers to take it seriously and holding them accountable for poor service. A highlight was running a trip for our Customer Service Champions – the managers who achieved the top three scores – where they had a VIP experience at our breweries, including getting involved in the brewing process themselves. We are slowly but surely seeing progress in the service delivered at our sites.’

Commissioning Mystery Diners

When commissioning a mystery dining programme you should give consideration to some of the following points;

  • Understand the mystery dining criteria against your company standards.
  • Keep visits objective.
  • Seek to understand performance and benchmark over time.
  • Create segmented views of the business;
    • For example looking at how the service level changes at different times of the day or when ordering at the bar or in the restaurant.
  • Let the data identify the gaps for training your staff.
  • Understand sales and service upgrade opportunities.

Whichever method of mystery shopping you decide upon, video, audio or written, the reports you gain will be invaluable for your business.

See some of our mystery shopping report examples and download the free mystery shop survey template to get you started or find out more about Tern, one of the leading mystery shopping companies in the UK on our home page.


Hotel Mystery Shopping for Customer Services (UK)

Mystery Shopping Hotels

Mystery Shopping Hotels- Read more about the Crowne Plaza Case Study below

Hotel Mystery Shopping and customer insights specialist Tern is delighted to be working with Crowne Plaza Hotel Edinburgh.

The partnership has seen Tern monitor and analyse levels of customer service by providing a bespoke hotel mystery shopping programme to evaluate the high standards expected at the upscale hotel which caters for business travellers, and to the meetings and conventions market.

Tern Digital Sales and Marketing Manager, James Harper, said: “It’s fantastic to work with a hotel chain which seeks to deliver exceptional customer service to all those who visit. Crowne Plaza Hotels recognise mystery shopping hotels can help the staff and management  teams to achieve its overall customer satisfaction goals and ensure that Visitors and Hotel guests receive a first class stay ”

Lucja Leonard, General Manager at Crowne Plaza Edinburgh Royal Terrace said of Tern: “I was very interested to get involved in working with Tern and gaining some further insights into my business through the use of mystery shopper reports. Whilst we are receiving great reviews about our customer service & quality following our guests stay, I was curious as to how well we were handling our customers prior to their arrival. It was certainly surprising to see the results. The mystery shopper reports from Tern have meant that we have made some positive changes to our procedures and the management of leads & calls coming into the business. A winning solution.”

Delivering a first class Hotel Mystery Shopping Programme

In working with Tern Crown Plaza Edinburgh were able to take advantage of surveys with built in manager action plans, streamed best practice video content and a tracked appeals process.

To find out more about how we can help you assess your hotel conference suite sales delivery and customer service performance within the Hotel Industry and leisure sector call our team on 01939235555. Or why not visit our mystery shopping page to find out a little bit more about our approach and delivery methods for Hotel Mystery Shopping and read the case study in full.

Written by James Harper – Digital Sales & Marketing Manager – Linkedin Google+ 24/07/2014