Individuals with a background in the hospitality sector are now being recruited by The Mystery Dining Company (TMDC) for a series of exclusive paid-for assignments.
The move comes as the firm, which specialises in analysing the customer experience to give operators feedback on how they can improve performance, launches a new assessment programme designed to give an in-depth overview of corporate event management.
Sodexo is the first company to sign up to the project, and through TMDC’s professional diner network, it will gain insight on its performance at a series of events, including meetings and conferences.
Assessors will be responsible for overseeing pre-conference checks including reviewing room set up and equipment availability. They will then be required to monitor scheduling throughout the day, provision of food and beverage at break times and the general efficiency of event staff.
Using assessors who have hospitality expertise helps to ensure that the feedback gained from the event takes into account a wide variety of considerations specific to events according to TMDC director Sally Whelan.
“There is a world of difference between a positive eating out experience in a restaurant or pub and a well executed event in a corporate setting. We believe that assessors who are familiar with both good service and the work required to deliver a seamless event are better suited to the comprehensive reporting that is required by this programme.
“The other notable difference between this and our regular mystery visits is that our event assessors aren’t working undercover. They make themselves known to the event coordinator on arrival and act as an observer rather than a participant during the course of the event,” she said.
Whelan added: “Working alongside operators such as Sodexo who are challenging themselves to raise the bar is exciting and we are continually evolving our own reporting methods to deliver the right information using bespoke approaches.”
Anna Fenten, marketing director for Sodexo’s event division added:
“We are working with The Mystery Dining Company to implement this programme as we firmly believe it will encourage our venue and event division to continue to strive for excellence with every event and ensure our own clients are receiving the highest levels of service at every level.”
The only requirements for would-be assessors are that they should have a solid background within the hospitality industry, either front and back of house, a good eye for detail and a passion for good service.
Assignments are available in locations including London and surrounding counties, the South West (Bristol), the North (Mansfield, Sheffield and Newcastle), and East Anglia (Suffolk) as well as a number of venues in Scotland throughout the year.
For the chance to complete an assignment log on to www.mysterydining.com and apply to become a diner.