By Amanda Morrissey

Whether it’s texting or Twitter, more and more people are forgoing proper word usage and spelling in their communications.  However, proper spelling is still very important when it comes to mystery shopping.  Our clients expect professional, well-written reports from our company, and we take pride in ensuring that they receive just that.  We provide a spell-check feature on all of our report forms, and that can be helpful in a lot of instances.  As examples:

  • The spell-check can determine that “debri” is incorrect and suggest the proper spelling, which is “debris.”
  • It can catch an error like “carmel” and give you the proper spelling of “caramel.”

However, there are times when our spell check system may be down, and there are some errors that spell-check does not catch. In these cases, the incorrect word is actually SPELLED correctly, but it is used improperly.

  • One of the most common misspellings we see is the use of “desert” instead of “dessert.” Spell-check will not alert you to this because “desert” is an actual, properly spelled word. To remember the difference between these two words and the proper number of s’s, think of this: A desert has sand, and a dessert is something sweet. You would not want to eat a sandy desert after your meal!
  • Another common error is dinning” instead of dining,” which again does not come up as a mistake.
  • When describing your food, use filet for beef, but fillet for fish.
  • Also, remember that you shop the aisles of a store. An isle is where you might take your summer vacation!

Unfortunately, the spell-check feature is not foolproof, so be careful when you are choosing the “correct” spelling from the options provided. Look closely at the options and choose the one that is correct, not just the first option on the list. Here are some examples:

  • We often see the word definitely misspelled as “defiantly.” When you use the spell-check, the word “defiantly” is sometimes at the top of the list of suggestions. If you simply select the first option given, then you may end up telling us that you would defiantly return to the restaurant, instead of definitely return!
  • When you are talking about the restrooms, apostrophes are required – the ladies’ restroom is the restroom belonging to the ladies, and the men’s restroom is the restroom belonging to the men. Spell-check may tell you that the spellings of ladies’ and men’s are incorrect, when, in fact, they are not.

As with all of your mystery shopping, use your best judgment, and when in doubt, you can always look up the correct usage of apostrophes or any other grammar questions at  If the spell-check on our system is not working for some reason, try  You can also look up the spelling of menu items on the restaurant’s website.

For any other report-writing tips you might need, you can visit our website at  As always, we want to make sure that you have all of the tools you need to be able to succeed!



Featured Image by: FreeDigitalPhotos