Craft Effective Reports for Through Restaurant Mystery Shopping

Mystery shopping at a restaurant is not just an opportunity to enjoy a delicious meal; it’s a serious task that requires attention to detail and excellent report writing skills. Your ability to provide comprehensive details in your restaurant inspection report is crucial for evaluating your performance and ensuring you receive proper reimbursement. This article will guide you through the essential elements to include in your mystery shopping reports, focusing on host performance, cleanliness, wait staff’s menu knowledge, food and drinks, and overall service.


1. Host Performance

The moment you enter the restaurant, your assessment begins. Pay close attention to the host staff members. Are they at their designated posts, assisting customers, or preoccupied with their phones? Clients are interested in knowing these specifics. In your report, honesty is key, so document the whereabouts and activities of the host staff accurately. If they were not at their posts, specify where they were and what they were doing. Capture the names of the employees you interact with, either upon entry or once you’re seated. Even if the restaurant does not encourage staff to introduce themselves, make a note of it in your report.

2. Cleanliness

Cleanliness is a factor that can be assessed from the moment you step inside the restaurant. Examine all aspects, including floors, walls, ceilings, lights, tables, counters, plates, and silverware. Maintain awareness of cleanliness throughout your experience, noting any issues that arise during your visit. This information contributes significantly to the overall evaluation, as clients are keen on maintaining a clean and inviting environment for their customers.

3. Wait Staff’s Menu Knowledge

Engage with the wait staff by asking questions about the menu when ordering drinks and food. The responses you receive will reveal the depth of their menu knowledge. Include in your inspection form whether the server informed you about special offerings, soups, and desserts of the day. Most restaurants prioritize well-informed wait staff, making this information valuable for your report. Documenting these details not only demonstrates your thoroughness but also provides insights into the staff’s commitment to their role.

4. Food and Drinks

Details about the food and drinks are paramount in your mystery shopping report. Note the time it takes to receive your order, whether the food was prepared according to your specifications, the portion size, temperature, and taste. Be specific when commenting on taste, addressing factors such as saltiness, sweetness, or any other imbalances. Additionally, comment on the presentation of the dishes. While you might be focused on reimbursement, assessing whether you found the food reasonably priced adds valuable context to your report.

5. Service

Service encompasses various aspects of the dining experience, and it’s crucial to observe and document these details. Evaluate how the wait staff treats you, whether the food is served simultaneously, how frequently the staff checks in, and how quickly plates are cleared. Given the rapid pace of restaurant service, it’s advisable to maintain a running list, either mentally or on your smartphone, throughout the dining experience. This ensures that you capture every detail, from the moment you enter until you pay your bill.


Mastering the art of mystery shopping for restaurants involves more than enjoying a meal at a restaurant; it requires keen observation and meticulous report writing. By focusing on host performance, cleanliness, wait staff’s menu knowledge, food and drinks, and overall service, you can provide comprehensive and valuable feedback. Remember, the devil is in the details, and the more specific and honest your report, the better your chances of not only enjoying a reimbursed meal but also contributing to the improvement of the restaurant’s overall performance.

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