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Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12279-12294; doi:10.3390/su70912279

Developing a Mystery Shopping Measure to Operate a Sustainable Restaurant Business: The Power of Integrating with Corporate Executive Members’ Feedback

1
Center for Sustainable Business and Development, The University of Tennessee, 311 Conference Center Building, Knoxville, TN 37996-4134, USA
2
Department of Hospitality Management, Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, University of New Hampshire, 10 Garrison Ave., Durham, NH 03824, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 8 June 2015 / Accepted: 1 September 2015 / Published: 8 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Business and Development)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [702 KB, uploaded 8 September 2015]

Abstract

Mystery shopping has been used to objectively measure whether employees follow the visions of a company’s quality service standards. It then creates a feedback loop that allows companies to train their employees to consistently deliver quality services. The main purposes of this project are aimed at examining (1) the overall benefits of mystery shopper projects in the hospitality business through literature reviews; and (2) the importance of how a company can work with an outside agency (consultant, academic institution, etc.) to develop a mystery shopping program that can enhance and complement ongoing service quality programs. A casual steakhouse restaurant in the Eastern U.S. was selected as our pilot project. The basic concept of using secret shoppers is to have individuals experience real-time and onsite quality of services and record how the mystery shoppers felt about the quality of services and if the employees met or exceeded the company’s standards. For this reason, the authors believe that mystery shopping, especially in hospitality, is an important means of developing and maintaining a sustainable business. While the sustainability of a business is largely dependent upon “people, profits and planet” in the hospitality industry, it is also dependent upon meeting service standards and developing a feedback loop. Mystery shopping programs have demonstrated their ability to contribute to organizations in this regard. View Full-Text
Keywords: mystery shopping; service quality; training and development; service standards; mystery shoppers mystery shopping; service quality; training and development; service standards; mystery shoppers
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, R.J.C.; Barrows, C.W. Developing a Mystery Shopping Measure to Operate a Sustainable Restaurant Business: The Power of Integrating with Corporate Executive Members’ Feedback. Sustainability 2015, 7, 12279-12294.

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