Thank you for your interest in the SBDC Mystery Diner program!
The SBDC is pleased to partner with the City of Sebastopol to offer the Mystery Diner Pilot program to you. The SBDC provides management and technical assistance for existing and potential small businesses. From one-on-one professional business counseling, workshops and seminars to customized programs, these services benefit our local entrepreneurs as well as our local economy.
As a restaurant, you serve customers, and you know their feedback is important to your business. While some guests sing your praises and recommend your restaurant to friends, others may quietly never return.
The SBDC offers practical solutions to your business challenges. Our Mystery Diners will give you detailed customer satisfaction feedback on critical areas of your food service business. Recommendations will be specific and relevant to your operation.
How it works:
An SBDC Business Advisor will dine at your restaurant (most likely with friends) on two separate occasions within one month. You tell us if the Mystery Diner visits are to be during breakfast, lunch or dinner. After each visit, our Business Advisor will complete an online evaluation. Our restaurant industry specialist, Betsy Fischer, will compile the results and meet with you to provide feedback.
Who are the Mystery Diners?
Our Mystery Diners are experienced small business advisors with expertise in a variety of areas: marketing, operations, customer service, strategic planning, financial management and technology. While visiting your restaurant as customers, they will lend their valuable business expertise to the dining experience. You will not know when the advisor dines at your restaurant.
What will the Mystery Diner be evaluating?
- Customer Service
- Product Presentation and Quality
- Perception of Value
- Overall Impressions
Here’s the link to the evaluation the advisor will complete: http://bit.ly/eNPblT
Your cost is determined by the two meal periods you request our mystery diner to evaluate. The two visits may be made during breakfast, lunch or dinner, or a combination of breakfast, lunch or dinner. Breakfast visits are $40; lunch visits are $75; dinner visits are $100 (includes a $10 administrative fee).
For example, the cost of two breakfast visits is $80; the cost of a lunch and dinner visit is $175. Our mystery diner may be accompanied by several guests, so it is likely that the dollars they spend on their meals will exceed the fee you pay for the Mystery Diner Program. Your payment must be made before the visits take place.
How to Participate
The first step in participating in the Mystery Diner Program is to complete the online Request for Services. It’s quick and easy. In the form you will be asked to select the specific service you are requesting. Please select “Managing a Business” and then type “Mystery Diner Program” in the field below it.
Next, complete the attached Questionnaire. This information will give us valuable insight into your business so that we may best assist you.
Once you have 1) completed the online Request for Services, 2) emailed your Questionnaire back to us, and 3) paid for two visits, we will schedule your Mystery Diner visits. Both visits will be completed within one month. The results will be compiled and shared with you within 2 weeks of the second visit.
Restaurateurs can expect tangible benefits from using the SBDC Mystery Diner Service
- Objective, intelligent feedback evaluating your effectiveness in specific areas
- Numeric scoring to benchmark for future improvements
- Expert recommendations that will positively impact your business
The Mystery Diner Service will provide you with a significant amount of feedback. You can use the results to create an action plan—employee training, for example. Some businesses find mystery dining a practical “tune-up” a few times a year. If the Mystery Diner Service reveals significant problems for your business, no-cost counseling from an SBDC advisor is available, in addition to low cost workshops.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email, or give me a call at (707) 595-0060.
Have a great day, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.