I have talked about mystery shopping so many times before, but I never created a guide on the many companies that pay you to eat at restaurants. Yes, that’s right. You can eat at a favorite restaurant nearby and get paid.
What’s known as mystery shopping or secret shopping, it’s your job to go “undercover” and answer a series of questions once your trip completes. The restaurants just want to make sure that employees are doing their job as they should.
Let me give you an example.
One company I worked for asked me to visit a local fast food place. I was asked to order a particular combo meal and then time how long it took for it to get to me. I was then asked to take a picture of the food as well as take a bite right away to judge the flavor. I would type up a quick report on my phone or computer and then submit it. In that case, I was paid about $9 for the visit and the company paid for my food.
This isn’t all you will do as you may be asked to see how clean the location is or maybe how you were treated by the staff. Don’t worry as you will know what’s expected of you before you accept the job.
Now, you won’t get to choose from the restaurants you want to visit, but if it’s a corporate/larger chain, there’s a good chance they hire secret shoppers. You just need to find out which companies are working with them.
That’s what I’m going to do here. There more than 600+ chains right now that are paying you to eat there, and you can see a full list here.
In today’s post, I will talk about the many companies that hire secret shoppers for restaurants as well as other industries. Most of these work in the same way, wherein you will apply, maybe take a simple test and then wait for the approval. Generally, no experience is necessary. As long as you can write and follow directions, you can work.
And, the last thing.
Since you’re considered an independent contractor with all of these companies, you can choose the jobs you want and work whenever you please. You are in control.
With that out of the way, let’s dive and see the best restaurant secret shopper companies.
The Best Restaurant Secret Shopper Companies
NOTE: Check out Presto Shopper to see all of the jobs available in your area. It’s instant and no signing up is required. If you see any restaurants on there, click on it to see which mystery shopping company is offering the job.
About Face, according to the official website, is said to be the #1 mystery shopping company. That’s quite the claim, and I’m not sure that’s true, but, it’s one of the many mystery shopping companies out there that can help you get paid to get eat essentially.
To sign up and apply to be a shopper, follow the link below to start the application process. Once active, watch your email as they will send you jobs that are a certain distance from your zip code. You can check the job portal as well since jobs are frequently added. As with all of these companies, they are 100% legitimate and FREE to join, I promise you that much.
- Website: About Face
BestMark is quite possibly the largest restaurant secret shopper company on the list. They work in all industries, but they have thousands of clients in more than 13,000+ cities across the United States and Canada. Its reputation is second to none with an A+ BBB rating as well as being an award-winning member of the reputable MSPA Americas.
To become a successful secret shopper, they do ask that you’re at least 18+ years old with great written communication skills as well as full internet access. The company has a variety of FAQs that you can browse if you have any questions in regards to the application process as well as what’s expected of you.
- Website: BestMark
A Closer Look
A Closer Look mystery shopping company works in a variety of industries but mainly focuses on the restaurant sector, primarily in fine dining, full service, fast casual and even bars. They have been in business for more than 25+ years and have hundreds of opportunities at a given time.
To apply, you will need to follow a five-step application process, starting with your personal information, followed by submitting a brief writing sample. Since you will be writing a lot of reports, they just want to make sure your grammar and details are on point. It isn’t as hard as you think. If it sounds like something of interest, you can follow the link below to start the process. It’s free to join.
- Website: A Closer Look
Confero is one I have mentioned before, such as in my XXX post. It’s networks with a variety of big-name restaurant brands.
To sign up, you will need to create a shopper profile, which will contain your personal information as well as your PayPal address. After you register, you will receive immediate access to the Shop Log, which is where you will find all of the job information. You will be able to accept any jobs as you please. The link below takes you to the company’s official FAQ with more information.
- Website: Confero
Coyle Hospitality is one of the larger mystery shopping companies that offer restaurant secret shopping opportunities. They were founded in 1996 and have more than 65,000 evaluations under their belt. Aside from the restaurant industry, they also work in the travel/tourism, hotels, cruises, spas and banking sector.
To sign up, it’s 100% free, as with all of these options, and it only takes five minutes to do so. Once you do, approval is immediate and you can apply to any opportunities that are of interest to you.
- Website: Coyle Hospitality
IntelliShop is another one I use, and I have found a variety of restaurants, particularly fast-food chains. They are one of the larger ones on this list with a long list of jobs to complete, not just in the restaurant world.
To sign up, IntelliShop walks you through the entire process via the link below. The sign-up process is almost identical to the others. Fill out your basic account information, let them know how you want to be paid as well as set up a filter to let them know what kind of jobs you want to complete. Whenever a job posts that are of interest, you can accept it and complete it in its entirety to get paid.
- Website: IntelliShop
This is probably the most outdated website of them all, but they do offer mystery shopping opportunities, some of which are in the restaurant industry. Don’t be scared as the website does look spammy, but I promise it’s a legitimate organization.
To apply, you need to first abide by the shopper’s code of professional standards and fill out a profile. Then, when you’re approved, you can apply to the jobs that fit your schedule. It’s 100% free to join and only takes a few minutes to do.
- Website: KSS International
Market Force is one I work with all of the time, and I have found them to have many job listings from a lot of restaurants you probably have heard of. Like the many mystery shopping companies I mention, they work in other industries as well, but I have found most jobs to be in the restaurant industry.
To become a shopper, it’s as simple as filling out an application and then waiting for approval. Then, once in, you can either use the desktop version or the app, Eyes:On, to find jobs in your area. It’s as easy as applying to the job, answering the questions on your worksheet and getting paid. Everything you need to know about the job ahead of time is presented right on the dashboard.
- Website: Market Force
Reality Based Group (RBG)
The Reality Based Group was founded in Austin, Texas, in 1992, but since then, they have grown to serve the United States. This company isn’t as well known as the many mentioned here, but it’s one to consider. After all, you can join as many you please.
To apply, they just ask that you offer a variety of qualities, from committing to weekly assignments to being detailed oriented. One thing that sticks out is that they ask you to contribute more time than required for a typical mystery shop, so there will be more detail than the average job. You can follow the official application link below.
- Website: Reality Based Group (RBG)
Second To None
Second To None works with many leading restaurant brands and has more than 30+ years in the mystery shopping industry. They have an A+ BBB rating and are part of the very reputable MSPA, the Mystery Shopping Providers Association.
To become a successful shopper with their platform, they ask that you have excellent observation skills, you’re capable of remembering small details as well as have good written/oral skills. You can create a free profile via the link below.
- Website: Second To None
Sentry Marketing works with a range of restaurants, including cafes, upscale atmospheres and your typical casual chains. There’s a bit of everything.
The company is always looking for independent mystery shoppers who want to shop undercover and get paid. The pay, like the many listed here, will depend on the type of the job. Once you’re approved to shop, you can view the official job board, where you can select any job you want. You can also turn on notifications to be alerted of any opportunities at the moment. As all of these mentioned, it’s 100% free to join.
- Website: Sentry Marketing
Shoppers Confidential is looking for mystery shoppers in both the United States and Canada. They have an A+ BBB rating, are a member of the MSPA and are a member of a variety of reputable Canadian councils
The company asks that you’re fluent in English, have the ability to remember details, have access to a computer as well as provide detailed reports. And, since they pay out via PayPal, you will need a PayPal account as well. The link below takes you directly to the application page as well as an in-depth FAQ answering any questions you may have.
- Website: Shoppers Confidential
Sinclair Customer Metrics
Sinclair mystery shopping isn’t as popular as most of the companies listed here, but I have found restaurant jobs on occasions, so I will list it here.
If you want to sign up, you will have to review a document, fill out an application and take a “challenge,” which gets you used to the platform as to how it works. Once approved, you can access a job board like most of them and start working whenever you please.
- Website: Sinclair Customer Metrics
That wraps it up!
As you can see, there are a ton of very reputable restaurant mystery shopping companies. If it were me, I would sign up for as many of these companies as possible and check the job boards daily. As long as you’re signed up with more than 3-5+ companies, you shouldn’t have a hard time filling your calendar with a bunch of great restaurants. Just make sure you bring your appetite.
In the end, you can make decent money on the side mystery shopping. I’m talking $100 to $1,000+ a month. It’s just going to depend on how often you sign up for jobs, where you live as well as which jobs you accept. The harder you work, the more you can make, of course. Most jobs pay about $5 to $12+ each plus food reimbursement. In some cases, it can be a pinch more.
That does it.
As always, check out the many articles here to honestly learn how to make, save and be smart with your money. I’m always honest and don’t push garbage products. I just like to inform you. Be sure to check out my YouTube channel as well. Thanks for stopping by.
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