Secret Shopping Glossary

When preparing for a secret shop, sometimes questions and guidelines can seem like a completely different language. To help, here are some commonly used terms that should take the “mystery” out of filling out mystery shopping surveys:

  • MSPs – MSP stands for Mystery Shopping Providers. MSPs are companies who provide mystery shops to shoppers on behalf of their clients. These clients then use the information to improve their services.
  • GeoVerify – A smartphone app which marks your GPS location and time. This information can then be uploaded to your shop, so that MSPs can verify that you were at the correct location, at the correct date and time.
  • Route – It’s a common strategy for shoppers to sign up for multiple shops in the same area. This allows them to do multiple shops in a row. Also, these shoppers are able to make the most of their time spent in areas that may not be convenient to them. A well-planned shopping route can really pay off, and you’re more likely to get scheduled for specific projects when willing to take on multiple shops.
  • Suggestive Selling – Rather than simply asking if the customer would like anything, a cashier or order taker will instead offer a specific add-on item. Restaurants often encourage their employees to use suggestive selling because it is more likely to result in an additional item being added to an order.
  • Upsell – A common practice at fast food restaurants, not to be confused with suggestive selling. When an item is ordered, the cashier will commonly offer the customer a larger size, also called an upsell.
  • Auctioning – When a server or food runner does not know who ordered which dish, they often name each dish and wait for each diner to claim it. This practice is known as auctioning.
  • Server – Also known as a waiter or waitress, the server is the person who serves tables. The server is usually the person who is taking customer orders, delivering food, and processing customers’ payments.
  • Food Runner – The food runner is the person who delivers the food to the table. The food runner may or may not be the same person as the server.
  • Back Waiter – An employee that assists the server at high-end restaurants. The back waiter usually clears plates, refills drinks and bread baskets, and may assist with food delivery.
  • Busser – The busser is the person who clears used and dirty dishes from the table. At some restaurants, they may clear dishes as soon as customers are finished with them. In others, they may ask for permission before clearing used dishes as the patrons are dining.
  • Entree – This is the main part of the meal. Entrees is another name for the main course.
  • Jigger – This is a small instrument used to measure liquor. Jiggers are most often used by bartenders to make cocktails.