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secret shopper score as grounds for termination

Posted Wed June 23, 2010 4:15 pm, by james s. written to Whataburger, Inc.

Write a Letter to this Company

I was terminated was for poor job performance. we had a secret shopper program in place, And I managed the over night shift with ONE employee. we got a bad score(100% was the only acceptable score). No matter how many times we got shopped we could not get the speed of service 2 min. and the lot/drive through clean. we were right next door to a bar! doors locked at 11 pm with no outside privilege & everything made to order. so they could save a few bucks on labor which they lost in sales!I feel I was set up to fail by my AM!

Stop using shoppers as a disciplinary tool and use them for what they were designed for, making the experience a good one for all involved. several employees have lost there jobs. and it all could have been avoided by adding 1 more employee to the overnight shift.not firing the ones you had.


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by Cambion Posted Tue June 29, 2010 @ 2:31 AM

Yeah, two minutes sounds a little unrealistic for service, especially
in the event of a bunch of people requiring service or if your
workplace is understaffed. A good friend of mine got fired from Burger
King on his first day there because he couldn't slop a meal together
in under two minutes and that didn't even give him a chance to try

Take comfort in knowing that sooner or later, with the way the secret
shoppers are beating down on your former co-workers, it may not be too
long before your employer is fresh out of slaves. People will not stay
there long if they get fired for not moving at mach speed.

As others have said, secret shoppers are meant to show what
weaknesses, if any, a business has so the issue can be fixed and the
business can run more efficiently. They are not meant to be used to
fire people. I don't think you did anything wrong. If they want faster
bloody service, they should hire themselves some ninjas.


lmao! by stylesdude Tue June 29, 2010 @ 1:23 PM
by mrsdkm Posted Mon June 28, 2010 @ 8:28 AM

I am surprized you were fired over one complaint. I worked at a fast
food place in high school and the polocy there was 3 major complaints
to be grounds for firing.


surprized by stylesdude Tue June 29, 2010 @ 1:19 PM

by Silvia D. Posted Thu June 24, 2010 @ 9:28 PM

Being a secret shopper myself, I agree that our reports should not be
used as disciplinary tools, rather learning tools. Unfortunately,
there have been some places where I have received terrible service and
have had to report it. Later I have returned to the establishment and
the person is no longer working there.

I suppose management contracts with the secret shopper companies
because they may have had complaints in the past regarding specific


by Just Simply Bella Sera Posted Thu June 24, 2010 @ 5:31 PM

I think that secret shopping programs can be wonderful tools for
companies to use when evaluating how to improve their productivity
etc. The problem comes in when companies use these services as
disciplinary tools, as they did in your case.

While I feel bad that you lost your job and particularly over what
sounds like an unreasonable to standard to aspire to, I also think
this may be have been a blessing in disguise. After all, would you
really want to continue working for a company that sets such
unreasonable standards for employees and fires them accordingly?


Agreed by Donno Thu June 24, 2010 @ 6:54 PM
by Richard S. Posted Thu June 24, 2010 @ 4:57 PM

James, I am sorry to hear about what happened. I do not know why
businesses put faith in mystery shopping. As a shopper I have seen
some business that take mystery shopping results seriously and others
that have not. I have done shops were the same problems are reported
time after time even though there was ample time in between shops to
correct the problem. There are also mystery shoppers out there that do
not take their mystery shopping seriously.

I do not understand how your former company would expect you to make
fresh burgers within 2 minutes.

If it gives you any satisfaction you should apply to be a myster
shopper with the company that shops Whataburger and give your


RE: by Irving Patrick Freleigh Thu June 24, 2010 @ 9:16 PM

Mystery Shoppers by Richard S. Fri June 25, 2010 @ 2:12 PM

far as I know they just get the reinbursement of what they bought plus like 5 dollars by dottiejean28 Mon July 12, 2010 @ 9:17 AM

by batmoody Posted Thu June 24, 2010 @ 11:43 AM

I hate the shopper programs. For one, it's their word against yours,
and their word will get you fired.

We also have tha secret shopper program and there are a couple of them
that we know are shoppers. One time one was shopping and I
specifically went up to her on the aisle and greeted her, asked her if
she was finding everything she needed, everything I was supposed to. I
knew it was the shopper and I knew I nailed it.

Guess what, the shop came back and she dinged me on one of the
attributes that I KNOW I delivered.

I called BS and went to the manager. See, if we know who the shopper
is, cover blown, they get canned. I knew her name, I knew the time she
was in. It was her. I wanted to report her.

Manager says, "It's in our best interest to know who they are blah
blah blah." Ya I got that but we can get fired too if we get so many
of these dings.

Eventually it was taken off my record. But what happens when you don't
know the person or remember the interaction and you are fired? BS
that's what!


I'm surprised by fairywithfangs Thu June 24, 2010 @ 12:15 PM

Depends on the company by Richard S. Thu June 24, 2010 @ 4:51 PM

Secret Shoppers by Lisa H. Thu June 24, 2010 @ 6:04 PM

Not only that by batmoody Thu June 24, 2010 @ 6:51 PM

When I worked at Kohls, we also got secret shopped. by Just Simply Bella Sera Thu June 24, 2010 @ 8:54 PM

management was hung up on this stupid score by stylesdude Fri June 25, 2010 @ 2:12 AM

LOL Just bribe them, ours asks by NathanG Mon June 28, 2010 @ 6:42 PM
by KGBags Posted Wed June 23, 2010 @ 7:36 PM

Its true, if bar customers throw beer bottles, cigarette butts, or
anything else in your parking lot after hours (which I assume
intoxicated people do every once in a while), it is unreasonable for
you to clean it up, in the dark, alone (since the 1 other employee is
inside), after 11. The secret shopper should be able to reason this
out. Its unsafe for you to clean and quite frankly, silly, for your
employer to mandate that the outside of the establishment be clean
when you are not allowed outside!


Sadly - you arent given that by fairywithfangs Wed June 23, 2010 @ 11:00 PM

thank you for the insight by stylesdude Thu June 24, 2010 @ 9:11 AM

Fast Food employers demand that you "achieve the impossible"..... by Chadg Fri June 25, 2010 @ 9:31 AM

by olie Posted Wed June 23, 2010 @ 6:09 PM

I feel for you. If every item is made to order, how in the world are
you supposed to meet a 2 minute serve time? Fries take longer than
that. I'd hope that even the thinnest burger spends almost 2 minutes
in contact with a grill.

Another person isn't going to make those fries or burgers cook any
faster. It's not even like a lunch rush, where you can cook stuff with
the knowledge that you will probably be able to sell it. You can't
predict when people are going to show up in the middle of the night.


mcdonalds burgers take 42 seconds to cook. still pink when they come off the grill. by Chadg Thu June 24, 2010 @ 10:41 AM

by Bill R. Posted Wed June 23, 2010 @ 4:29 PM

James S.,

You might have a point here.

When you were hired were you told that a certain score on Shopper
Reports was a condition of employment? Did you have any other current
Disciplinary related issues in your file at the time?

If you don't hear back from this letter in what you feel is a
reasonable amount of time you might get in contact with the corporate
Human Resources Department.

Stop back and let us know how this pans out.



secret shopper score as grounds for termination by stylesdude Thu June 24, 2010 @ 3:49 AM

Contact the EEOC by Richard S. Thu June 24, 2010 @ 1:49 PM

maybe by Bill R. Thu June 24, 2010 @ 5:55 PM

the Labor Board? by stylesdude Fri June 25, 2010 @ 2:31 AM

contact by Bill R. Fri June 25, 2010 @ 8:18 AM

Good luck. by stylesdude Sat June 26, 2010 @ 7:42 AM

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