Secret Shopping Glossary


Sometimes companies can seem like they’re speaking a whole different language when you’re reading the questions and guidelines. Here are some commonly used terms that should help take the mystery out of filling out mystery shopping surveys:

  • 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.
  • Back Waiter – This employee helps the server at high-end restaurants. The back waiter usually clears plates, refills drinks and bread baskets, and may assist with food delivery.
  • Upsell – This is a common practice at fast food restaurants, not to be confused with suggestive selling. When an item is ordered, the cashier commonly will offer the customer a larger size, or an upsell.
  • GeoVerify – This is an app that can be used on a smartphone, which marks your GPS location and time. Your GeoVerify location can be uploaded to your shop, so that MSPs can verify that you were at the correct location, at the correct date and time.
  • Route – Shoppers often sign up for multiple shops in the same area, and do multiple shorter shops in a row. These routes allow shoppers to make the most of their time spent in areas that may not be convenient to the shopper initially. When multiple shops are done in the area, however, these routes can really pay off.
  • Entree – This is the main part of the meal. Entrees are also often called main courses.
  • 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, and in others, they may ask for permission before clearing used dishes as the patrons are dining.
  • Jigger – This is a small instrument used to measure liquor. Jiggers are most often used by bartenders to make cocktails.
  • 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.
  • Suggestive Selling – Rather than simply asking if the customer would like anything, a cashier or order taker will often 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.
  • 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.
  • MSPs – MSP stands for Mystery Shopping Providers. MSPs are the companies who provide mystery shops to shoppers on behalf of the clients, who use the information provided by the shoppers to improve their services.

Can you think of any other commonly used mystery shopping terms that we missed?

By |2018-06-16T07:02:14+00:00July 13th, 2016|Mystery Shopping Report Tips, Tips and Tricks|