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 Mystery Shopping
 Pier 1, TJ Maxx and Chili's - Are they shopped?
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Randi H
Star Contributor

Orange, Virginia
USA
930 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2007 :  7:58:07 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I do the Chili's shop and the pay is great. The reimbursement amount has ALWAYS covered the full amount of the meal, including the tip. The company also will give you a little extra if you do not use the full amount (usually $5-6). I pick this up every chance I get as this is one that is truly a free meal, which I have found is hard to find.

Randi
Silver Certified
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Sara L.
Valued Contributor

Virginia
USA
123 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2007 :  8:27:14 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
They're definitely shopped in Southeast VA as well. I only know this because my son worked there for years while he was in college, and he got shopped several times. No clue where the shopper was employed--by Chili's or by a contracted company. My son said they were very picky, but if they did very well, the server got a nice little chunk of award cash. (He never did. Probably because his facial expression would change involuntarily when the customer ordered, and they'd pronounce the L's in tortilla and quesadilla.

Sara
"People plan, God laughs."
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Ana M
Member

CA
USA
30 Posts

Posted - 04/23/2007 :  9:16:26 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I know that Chili's is shopped in Northern California.

Ana
silver certified shopper
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Cleo
Contributor

Silsbee, Texas
USA
50 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2007 :  05:13:06 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I have found that if a restaurant or store has a web page you can e-mail them asking about who they use to mystery shop. Someone else told me that is what they did and I tried it with two companies In my area. Within a few days I recieved an e-mail from both stating that they used in house mystery shoppers and they thanked me for my interest in shopping for them.

Cleo
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Jen Ohio
Star Contributor

North Olmsted, Ohio
USA
285 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  06:42:43 AM  Send Jen Ohio an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Is anyone able to give a hint without violating ICA's as to who does Chili's if they are still shopped?

Finally Silver Certified!!
Shopping Northeast Ohio Full Time
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Jen Ohio
Star Contributor

North Olmsted, Ohio
USA
285 Posts

Posted - 04/25/2007 :  1:10:03 PM  Send Jen Ohio an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
After posting my last comment I found some Chili's shops but none are in my state. Well at least we know they are still shopped.

Finally Silver Certified!!
Shopping Northeast Ohio Full Time
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VickieK
Apprentice

Bayonet Point, Florida
USA
1 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2007 :  06:13:02 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I just shopped two Chili's locations, was rated a 10 on my first restaurant shop, and was notified this morning that I am not getting paid for the bar shop (rated a 1 despite a comprehensive review of our experience).

You are supposed to perform this shop with a friend, and there weren't two bar stools together at the bar, so we sat at the table directly in front of the bar. Guess that wasn't good enough.

My opinion: The shops didn't pay enough to cover the requested items to be ordered, and as we normally wouldn't eat there, it wasn't a real treat for us. The first shop I paid $19 over what I was (or hopefully will be) reimbursed for. The second shop we ordered the more inexpensive items on the menu, (not items that fit our personal taste) and still ended up paying $4 over the reimbursed amount. Add driving time, expenses, and my time to fill out a long form, and I really wasn't reimbursed very well. Then I was informed that I won't be paid, due to sitting at a table in the bar right in front of the bartender, instead of right at the bar. I thought it would have been pretty odd to walk in with my husband, and then split up to sit at the bar.

Have decided to not do more shops for this company, as on their board it seems the experienced mystery shoppers are complaining they have lowered their pay too much. It certainly worked out that way for me.

Will try other companies before giving up on this as a fun thing to do. Seems there are many positive posts about other companies.
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Mildred
Contributor

NC
USA
79 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2007 :  10:20:40 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The message below is the response that I received from Chili's. Apparently they do not know that they are shopped.


Thank you for your email and for your interest in Chili's.

We do not employ restaurant evaluators or secret shoppers. We print our Guest Relations
comment line phone number on each of our guest's receipts for them to contact us to
relay their dining experience and we also utilize an online survey for our guests to
participate in to convey their feedback.

We again thank you for your interest in Chili's.

Chili's
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EliseWeav
Star Contributor

Boston, MA
USA
528 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2007 :  9:02:34 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Chili's bars are shopped in my area. I have never done one.

I have not seen TJMaxx or Pier One, but would love to shop them if anyone knows who shops them.

Elise
Boston area, especially North Shore. Silver certified and shopping since 2004.
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PamInCa
Star Contributor

CA
USA
6499 Posts

Posted - 04/26/2007 :  9:15:44 PM  Visit PamInCa's Homepage  Reply  Reply with Quote
Chili's is shopped in Ca. as well.

PamInCa
Author of: "The Essential Guide to Mystery Shopping"
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JaeByrd
Trainee

Hohenwald, TN
USA
5 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2007 :  08:03:30 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
The manager at the Chili's in my area said that it was decided by the district managers if they want their restaurants shopped. He also said that the DM's get to choose the shopping company or just send their own people.
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PamTX
Member

Texas
USA
11 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2007 :  12:27:29 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Corporate Brinker does not have a mystery shopping company. I can not say for all regions but in Dallas Chili's does not shop itself other than corporate visits that are secret but very rare.

Also yes they have franchises but it is limited to Chili's Too, etc. They do not franchise to individuals. They are very strict with their franchises included announced corporate audits.

My mother worked for Brinker (Steak and Ale, Bennigans, etc) in the seventies and eighties. She used to get a half price discount. She always did some kind of evaluation whenever we'd go. Brinker has a long history of using their own employees to access what is going on in their restaurants. And now they, like many others, use customer evaluations.

MSPA Silver tiwroy
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MegPie
Member

USA
21 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2007 :  4:00:05 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I am on my way to dinner right now at this restaurant. They are shopped like clock work every month.
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GNovello
Valued Contributor

Framingham, MA
USA
169 Posts

Posted - 05/02/2007 :  2:18:58 PM  Send GNovello an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

I happened to see some Chili's shops posted located in the state of UT but none posted for any other states.

Regards,
Guy Novello
Gold Certified
Full Time Shopper
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RSLawshe
Member

Orlando, Florida
USA
49 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  7:35:45 PM  Send RSLawshe an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
Chili's? I can say, that here in Florida, they are shopped very frequently... I've done 4 shops for them in the past 6 weeks..!!

Rob
Shopping West Central Florida... Orlando to Naples to Wildwood...
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Cinthia
Member

USA
19 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  8:19:49 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I live in south Florida and have done a bunch of shops for Chili's. It's probably a district thing.

Cinthia
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TerryInTulsa
Star Contributor

Tulsa, OK
USA
349 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  8:29:30 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
Isn't it a bit extreme to contact a company to see if they use MS services? Who is that bored? Who is that desperate? Raise tomatoes or something, that consumes a good deal of time and energy. And, you could sell the produce at your local Farmer's Market.
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EliseWeav
Star Contributor

Boston, MA
USA
528 Posts

Posted - 05/29/2007 :  8:45:53 PM  Reply  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TerryInTulsa

Isn't it a bit extreme to contact a company to see if they use MS services? Who is that bored? Who is that desperate? Raise tomatoes or something, that consumes a good deal of time and energy. And, you could sell the produce at your local Farmer's Market.



Actually, directly contacting the company via phone or email is the fastest and easiest way to find out if they are shopped. No time-consuming searches and reading all the boards! However, they are not always honest in their reply. Or, maybe they are just unaware.

Elise
Boston area, especially North Shore. Silver certified and shopping since 2004.
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LoraM
Valued Contributor

Eau Claire, Michigan
USA
135 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2007 :  06:18:38 AM  Reply  Reply with Quote
I call and ask who mystery shops a company so that I can get my Christmas/birthday shopping done early. Of course, EB Games/Gamestop "can't" tell who shops them, so I'm still in the hunt for them in our area!

Loralee ~Silver Certified
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TamiH
Contributor

TN
USA
57 Posts

Posted - 05/30/2007 :  07:47:41 AM  Send TamiH an AOL message  Reply  Reply with Quote
I saw on a company's home page where you log in that Chili's is one of their locations they shop, but I have never seen any actual shops available on their shop list.

As far as EB Games/Gamestop the company that did them has changed. I have signed up for the company that I have heard now does them twice in the past 2 years and no response either time. I may call them and see what the deal is if I can find a number.

Tami
Gold Certified
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