Get paid to eat out!
by Kelly Henderson (follow Kelly on Twitter: @kellythekiwi)
If you like the idea of somebody else paying for your dinner then you should consider becoming a mystery diner. Big companies pay regular people to eat in their restaurants. It is the best way for these places to get a real idea of the service and quality that they provide to the public.
The rates of pay vary according to the assignment. Some will pay a small fee whilst others will pay compensation towards your meal. But it could be a great way of eating in a new restaurant, one you have always wanted to try or one that you normally wouldn’t be able to afford.
Remember though, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. These companies are paying you to do a job and there will be certain rules that you will be expected to follow. You will have to complete a report based on questions and guidelines set down by the individual restaurant and you will generally be told what you have to order.
Whist some restaurants employ their own team of mystery diners, most hire an agency like The Mystery Dining Company, Market Force or Gapbuster to provide the diners for them. If you are interested, fill out the application form on their website and then start looking for assignments.
You may also want to check Kelly’s Tips for Eating Out for Cheap.