How to become a Silent Customer

As a Silent Customer, AKA a mystery shopper or mystery diner, you will be asked to covertly visit restaurants and pubs to experience the service, the food and other specific areas of the business. You will then be asked to complete a detailed on-line questionnaire.

In return for your observations and empathic, objective feedback, you will have the cost of your meal partly or fully reimbursed. With some retail or drink only visits there is also a fee.

Being a Silent Customer is a great job if you have good observation and written English skills and a constructive attitude. If they’re your natural strengths, it won’t take you too long to write a good quality report and it will feel like a fair and reasonable amount of work to put in for a free meal or drink.

Before you sign up, ask yourself honestly: do I write very fluent, accurate and clear English? Am I a positive, objective person? Am I well organised and good at following instructions thoroughly? Am I known for being punctual, sticking to dates and times? If these are things your friends, colleagues and family would say about you, being a Silent Customer could be your perfect pastime.

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Our Terms and Conditions

Before you register as a Silent Customer, it is important that you read all the information below. Reviewing restaurants fairly, objectively and accurately is not as easy as some people think and we don't want to disappoint you by failing to set realistic expectations. If you want to ask other Silent Customers about us, you can join our Facebook forum.

You will need:

Access to a PC and internet as all our surveys are completed via our on-line software.

A smart-phone so that you can take pictures of the bill, your food and of any other visual requests to upload to the survey.

A bank account so that we can reimburse the cost of the meal. The agreed maximum allowance per venue will be transferred electronically into your bank account by the 30th of each month, though we do aim to pay weekly or fortnightly. You will need to add these details into your profile so that we can pay you but you do not need to do this until after your first visit. If you have a non UK bank account we will also require your BIC code and IBAN number.

To complete our online registration form - This is detailed because our software uses the data to search for visits that are within your specified miles radius from your postcode. We use the data to make sure we don't send the same Silent Customers to the same location too often and to make sure we send the right person to the right kind of place.

To be contactable on email after you submit your review in case we need to ask you questions about your report.

You need to know:

After you have registered as a Silent Customer you will need to login to your account, check the list of venues available under OPEN OPPORTUNITIES and request the visits you can do ahead of the scheduled date. If your request is accepted and you are 'assigned' you will be expected to read all the relevant information, complete the visit/s on the date/s as agreed and as per the briefs requirements. Failure to attend and/or send your report in on time or follow the brief to the letter may result in the loss of reimbursement to you and loss of the fee to us so do not assume that you don't need to read all of the associated information.

The days of the week and times of visit will vary depending on the nature of the brief and the client.

Some visits will have a higher redemption value than others, typically between £15 and £60, and this is determined by our clients. Some visits have up to £200 redemption value and only our loyal and highest rated Silent Customers get chosen for these assignments. If you are prepared to complete the lower paid assignments for us you are more likely to be chosen for the higher paid visits.

There is not usually an additional fee or payment for completing a food survey. Most drink only visits, however, do often include a small fee and non-food/drink visits will have a fee.

We expect a good to excellent level of comprehension and English literacy skills as some of our more lengthy reports can take several hours to complete! Allocation of future visits will depend on your skills in this area. All our Silent Customers are graded for accuracy, literacy skills and content after each visit, so the more effort you put in the higher your rating will be. Read our guide for how we grade our Silent Customers: Essential Tool Kit for Silent Customers.

The number of visits you can do will depend on the availability in your area or how far you are willing to travel.

We will not send you to the same venue twice within any three month period.

You will be expected to read all the information sent to you in order that you can complete the brief as requested and you must inwardly digest the survey questions before you visit the venue.

If you accept a visit and then are unable to attend you must contact us as soon as possible in order that we can reschedule or organise another Silent Customer. You cannot book or reschedule a visit yourself.

You need to read:

Essential Tool Kit for Silent Customers.

You will not be reimbursed if:

You go to the wrong venue or on the wrong day or time.

You are indiscreet about the covert nature of your visit or make yourself known to staff.

You share your experience with a competitor client or on a public domain - including TripAdvisor!

Your survey is inaccurate, incomplete, missing photos, poorly written or does not fulfil the brief.

Your survey is deemed to be disparaging, offensive, sarcastic, supercilious, hurtful or rude in anyway.

You fail to upload a copy of the bill or to notify us if you are unable to submit your survey within 24 hours following your visit.

We are unable to get in contact with you within 48 hours after your visit and survey submission.

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Great! Please register your profile.

We pride ourselves on understanding behaviours and our aim is to influence change through positive suggestions rather than criticism. We focus on customer sentiment as we believe that insight into how customers feel delivers the greatest value.

Janet Wood  Director

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