One of the most popular categories of mystery shopping is dining. It’s a great way to enjoy a dinner out and save money on food, since many jobs allow you to take your family. Secret shopping companies will reimburse you for any required purchases, plus a little extra. Enjoy our top picks for the best mystery shopping companies that help you target those restaurant jobs.
Don’t Get Scammed
Legitimate restaurant mystery shopping jobs won’t require you to pay a fee. Leave the site immediately if the company requires dues or up-front payments of any kind. And while most sites give you the option of including your social security number in your online account (should your earnings exceed $600), only scamming sites insist on personal information before you’ve earned enough for reporting taxes.
There is one exception, and that is that most mystery shopping companies are now offering direct deposit services or PayPal in order to pay you. But if the company is asking for bank account information for any other reason (such as to pay registration fees), then you are dealing with a scammer.
Review these tips from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) before you start signing up, so you can avoid getting scammed. Also check out some of the most common job-related scams and how to avoid them.
Get MSPA Certified for the Best Restaurant Jobs
To help you target the reliable mystery shopping websites, one helpful resource is the Mystery Shopping Professionals Association (MSPA). In addition to standardizing the way that marketing firms use and hire shoppers, you can become MSPA certified to help you get more of the better paying jobs.
Most of the mystery shopping companies listed here send shoppers to a variety of industries, but the ones listed here are all provide a notably high volume of restaurant-shopping jobs. Remember that job availability varies by area of the country. You may want to sign up for all of them or only select the ones that offer more jobs where you live.
As you set up your account with each company, understand the difference between different kinds of restaurant shops (such as drive-thru, full service, fast food, etc.). Read the instructions carefully before expressing interest in an open job. Complete the job by the deadline and collect on pay and reimbursements.
Top Restaurant Mystery Shopping Companies
Like several mystery shopping companies, Customer Impact has you sign up via Sassieshop (a web service for online merchants). They offer direct deposit and PayPal payment. When deciding where to mystery shop, you will enter up to five phone area codes for the parts of the country where you would like to get paid to dine.
Once you’ve verified your email and updated your profile, you can visit the job board page, as shown above. On the right, click “More” to see details and “Apply” to claim the job.
After confirming the details for yourself, scroll to the bottom of the page and apply. Remember that Customer Impact will not let you apply for a job without first updating your profile page.
Reality Based Group
Signing up for RBC is nearly identical to Customer Impact (they also use Sassieshop). You will again be allowed to select up to five phone number area codes, indicating where you would like to mystery shop.
After signing up and verifying your email address, RBG requires you to take a quick test. You need to complete the test and pass with an 80% or higher to shop. If you fail the test once, you can wait 24 hours and try again. The test is open-book, and the site even offers you a handbook to reference during your test.
The job board and application process are nearly identical to Customer Impact. Make sure to complete your test (it is not difficult) and your profile. Afterwards, begin applying to shopping jobs that you like.
Second To None
Signing up with Second To None is simple and gives you the option to sign up via email or your Facebook or Google account. After verifying your account, you are ushered to the Shopper Hub. The hub guides you through setting up your profile.
Of all mystery shopping sites, users attest that Second To None’s online dashboard is truly “second to none.” The interface is aesthetically appealing and easy to use.
Once your profile is complete, you are able to navigate your account. To begin shopping, you will visit the “Shops” menu at the top of the website and select “Find Shops.”
Second To None allows you to target the type of secret shopping jobs you want (in this case, restaurants).
After selecting your preferred location (which you can change each time, by the way), available jobs will pop up on a map.
When you select “Assignment Details,” you are provided contact information for the scheduler, as well as the assignment instructions. As soon as you agree to the terms and contact the scheduler, you are good to go.
Finally, download Second To None to your smartphone for ShopperHub on the go. Allowing the app to get access to your GPS will give you the option to select jobs anywhere in the country should you want to secret shop while out of town.
Like Customer Impact and RBC, Confidential Consumer uses Sassieshop. Therefore, signing up and using the job board is nearly identical. One feature separating it from the other sites is that Confidential Consumer allows you to turn on your computer’s GPS to geo-locate mystery shopping jobs near you.
With Coyle Hospitality, there is more vetting on the front end. For example, they want details about your digital camera, along with some writing samples. After completing a survey, Coyle will email you your login credentials and a link to coyle.shopmetrics.com.
To begin searching for open jobs, visit “Open Opportunities,” and follow the instructions to claim the ones you want to complete.
More Mystery Shopping Companies
Some mystery shopping companies do a whole lot more than target restaurants. This list of companies offer restaurant jobs, along with paid shopping opportunities of all different kinds, including healthcare, banks, and more.