“People come for the Food. They return for the Service” -- Tom Colicchio, on “Top Chef”

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i-SPY specializes in:

  • ongoing quality assurance of guest service and sales opportunities.
  • restaurant openings; transitioning from opening to preparing for restaurant critics.
  • raising the dining and service operation to the next level.

Guests have expectations prior to entering a restaurant. Restaurant operators must meet and/or exceed those expectations, or they’ll become someone else’s guests. i-SPY mystery shoppers are thoroughly trained on the custom standards established in each client’s service training manual. Our customized reports provide detailed, objective data gathered during a meal experienced by the typical guest.

Quality Assurance measures performance for:

  • telephone administration
  • greeting staff
  • service staff
  • food
  • housekeeping and atmosphere
  • bartenders
  • management

Why invest in a Quality Assurance Mystery Shopping program? 

Restaurants invest in construction, design, rent, employees, furniture, public relations, social media and countless tangibles—all with the goal of attracting guests. Quality assurance mystery shopping is a bottom-line means of retaining guests and improving upon service and sales opportunities.

  • Service—whether good or bad—is the issue most often cited by guests when speaking of memorable experiences. If a guest has a negative service experience, the chances are slim they will give that restaurant another chance.
  • Word-of-mouth advertising, be it first-person or via Social Media, is the premier source of restaurant referrals. 95% of diners will not communicate a negative experience to an employee. Not only will a displeased guest not return to your restaurant, they also cannot wait to share their perceived negative experience with friends and family, as well as on social media sites like Yelp!
  • Lower Costs of attracting new guests and keeping current guests. You will lower marketing costs by maximizing the service experience of the guests already dining at your establishment.
  • Keep employees “on their toes.” The next person they serve may be a “mystery shopper,” thus making it more likely they adhere to the standards of service you expect of them.
  • Reduce the cost of hiring and training new employees. Your staff will have a better understanding of their expectations, increasing employee retention.
  • Employees will earn more money via our recommended sales strategies and ways to enhance the experiences of their guests, which leads to a happier and more productive working environment.

Trendy restaurants

Trendsetting restaurateurs and celebrity chefs are on the cutting edge of cuisine and design, operating varying concepts in multiple cities. These restaurateurs are typically successful—nobody is 100% successful—as they understand success is fleeting unless complacency is avoided. Quality assurance is the vehicle to assist with assuring your team of employees is managed at peak performance.

Michelin Guide

Restaurateurs operating high-end “occasion” restaurants (think Vetri in Philadelphia, French Laundry in California, Daniel in NYC) not only romance approval of foodies and critics, but also travel publications such as Michelin. While the “typical” guest is unfamiliar with such publications, chef/owners of these opulent restaurants understand the clout they carry on a global level. i-SPY understands the critical standards such guides require and are looked for by its evaluators. The smallest of details may mean the difference between One-Star, Two-Star or Three-Star rating. In 2018 only five restaurants in New York City earned three stars from Michelin. Two stars is an honor. Three stars is exclusive. With exclusivity brings prestige and elite patrons. Allow us to assist in taking your restaurant to the status you deserve—be it rising to the next level, or ensuring you remain at the top.

Franchise/Chains + Casual/Family restaurants

Operators of franchise/ chain restaurants take a singular successful concept to multiple markets. The success of individual locations is predicated on management’s ability to carefully follow service manuals, thorough ongoing training of employees and consistent preparation of food. Reliable mystery shopper reports are vital on the corporate level to hold locations accountable to standards. In addition to sales figures, reports may be utilized as part of employee bonus programs.

Restaurant Testimonials

Increase DINNER checks by 50% and BAR checks by 300%

Request a FREE COPY of the i-SPY restaurant service training manual