I am a secret shopping Average Joe. But, the real secret that I am about to share with you is the joy of secret shopping for food. Yes, glorious, delicious food cooked and prepared by someone other than myself! And, you too can have access to delicious free food and believe it or not, get paid to eat that food. Here are the juicy details:
Find a Company – In this day and age of the smart phones, this is easy. I use the app Presto Instashopper, available in the iTunes app store. This app serves as a job posting board for numerous individual companies. Once you provide your location a number of shops from various companies will pop up via pins on a map. This will give you a good idea of the variety of shops within your geographical area. Pick a pin and start checking out the shops and the companies that are offering the shop. More than likely you are going to have many different companies and shops available in your area.
Apply to a Company – Before you can do a shop, you need to pick a company and then apply to that company, Fill out a quick application and provide some basic information. It is just like applying for a job. As I move around the country, I adjust who I shop for and may take on new companies that have shops within my new location. You may want to apply to more than one company. I shop for several at any given time.
Wait for Approval – Okay, this can take a while why they verify your personal information. But, be patient, keep checking back with your company.
Apply for Shops – Boom! It happens you’re cleared for shopping. Go back onto the app, check your surroundings, and find the shop that you want. Now, don’t limit yourself to just food, be open to other shops. I just happen to like getting paid to eat, so I tend to pass on the other shops and focus on restaurant shops. You are competing against other shoppers so get your request in and then the shop manager will select from the candidates who have applied. Average Joe trick here, the sooner you are willing to do the shop, the better your chances. Some shops have so few people applying that you can simply assign it to yourself.
Do the Shop – If you sign up for a shop, you need to do the shop. If you fail to show up, I guarantee you that you will be flagged and your future efforts will be seriously hampered with that company. Do the shop that you signed up for!
Read the Fine Print – Every shop has specific guidelines. It is imperative that you understand what the company is looking for and that you understand what they expect from you. Screwing up a secret shop sucks. I know, I have done it. So, read the fine print, aka the shop guidelines.
Eat the Food/Make Notes – The best part, go to your shop and eat your food! And, very discreetly make notes. I use my cell phone so it looks like I am texting. Your notes will be critical as you do your write up of the food, the staff, the restaurant cleanliness, etc. If you do not make notes, unless you have total memory recall, you are going to forget critical, but small details like, the left over lettuce on the tray that the server brought your food to you on. Or, that the waiter said, “What’s up?” instead of, “good evening welcome to the…..” These little things are the critical service notes your company and their respective customer is looking for.
Write the Report – You have done the shop, now go home and write your report. Don’t wait till the next day. You need to do a memory data dump ASAP. If you wait till the next day, details, those critical little details, will become forgotten and your report will reflect that. You are going to be graded for your report. Make it look good. Watch the grammar, the spelling and go into details. Writing, “the restaurant was clean,” is not going to cut it. Take your time, proofread several times. And, then when you think you got it, submit the report. I find it takes me at least an hour to write up a report. And, you will be graded. Just like in school. The companies track you and grade your abilities to deliver quality product. Do good work and get ready for more work!
Payday – Every company pays differently. I have yet to find one that is instantaneous. I have one company that pays every 30 days. Another pays every two weeks. Mobee, who I have written about pays out about every other day. Make sure you understand how they pay, so that you do not become a frustrated Average Joe wondering where your money is.
All right Average Joes, I have shared the secret to getting free food and getting paid to eat. But, let’s keep it safe and keep it secret, it is just between us Average Joes!