By Steven Cooley, Customer Impact Scheduler

As a mystery shopping scheduler, it makes sense that I sometimes have the “shopper” mentality when I enter a restaurant.  I instinctively evaluate the steps of service, I attempt to identify the manager on duty…in short, I’m almost always mystery shopping.  I make an effort not to be overly critical, since I’m not “working,” but you can’t help but notice some things.  Then again, there are those experiences that stand out even if you’re NOT a mystery shopper.


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On a recent dining trip, a group of three friends and I went to one of my favorite local restaurants.  This place serves great food in a unique way, and it is always great for when I just want something different than the usual fare.  Upon entering the location, we were “greeted” by an employee who was disinterested in being at her job that day.  She asked us to wait in the entryway for a minute, then disappeared for 10 minutes before returning to seat us.  She dropped our menus on the table in one pile, and walked away without a word.  After waiting another 15 minutes, she returned to take our drink orders.  Since we’d all been waiting for quite a while, we asked if we could go ahead and place our food orders at the same time.  She told us she would rather put our drink orders in first and wouldn’t budge on the issue.

We were all a little perturbed at her reluctance to serve us.   Our plans for the evening involved making it to a show on time, so what started as a leisurely dinner had become a stressful race to get our food ordered and eaten as quickly as possible.   We were 30 minutes into the evening and did not even have water yet!

Imagine our relief to see a different waitress bring our drinks to the table.  She was friendly and immediately apologized for the long wait we’d already experienced…without us mentioning a thing!  She took our orders and promised to have the food out as fast as she could, with a complimentary dessert if we wanted.  The new waitress never mentioned our previous waitress, and we did not see the original waitress during the rest of our time in the restaurant.  We still don’t know what happened to her or why she was in such a sour mood with us, but we were glad to be able to make it to our show on time, thanks to the help of a kind employee.



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