In our industry Pret a Manager are the well documented leaders of Mystery Shopping, they have been long term committed users. They spend little on their marketing and a lot on training and product development, their belief is that great service and great product will drive their business forward, and looking at their success then it seems to be working.

Every shop, every week get a visit from a Mystery Customer , if the score is above target all staff get an extra £1 per hour , which equates to a 15% bonus for those on minimum wage, a fantastic incentive.

When you look at what drives customers to visit you will find that excluding location,  customer service is always in the top 3 reasons for loyalty, with price and range of products. So the organisation that gets these 3 thing right will do well in their market.

Recruitment of the right type of people to join the team is a priority for any cafe business wanting to be successful. Pret again have a very strong ethos here, with prospective employees spending a whole day on a trail shift, with the existing team having a say in weather they are taken on. Attitude is a key attribute in recruiting, and they believe that they can train a person to make a sandwich but they can’t train someone to smile naturally.

The passion for the team delivering fantastic service comes from the top of any organisation and reinforcing the message by using a third party to check your business is a very strong message to everyone how important it is.

There are many ways you can get feedback about your business, surveys, audits, talking to customers, these though are all flawed as they will all give you answers that your audience have biased based on their relationship to you  or the incentive given for the feedback. An unbiased 3rd party whose only incentive is to complete the survey accurately is by far the best option here which is why a proper mystery shopper program is so effective in helping delivering fantastic results from your teams.

The cost of a visit for even the smallest business can start at about £50 so the value soon becomes evident all round, you can tailor the questions to reflect the key priorities of your business and change them when those priorities change.

So if you are still questioning the value of using mystery customers then hopefully this will make you take action.

If you want any help in setting up a program then Cafe Success can help, just get in touch…


01235 507100