60+ Years Combined Hospitality Experience        Call/ WhatsApp: +27 82 765 9238      Email: training@hospitalitycourses.co.za

Hotel Mystery Shopping

executive housekeeping checking rooms

Our Mystery Shopping Reports Has Helped Many Hotels & Resorts Identify Problem Areas, Improve Customer Satisfaction and Increase ROI | Works for both Independent & Hotel Groups

Our Hotel Mystery Shopping

The Tourism & Hospitality industry is highly competitive. As a hotel owner or manager, one of your biggest concerns should be to improve the quality of your service to your guests. If your guests do not get good value for money, they will switch to your competitor. You want to be head and shoulders above your competitors to get a higher market share and ROI.


We understand that it may be a challenge to find out exactly why your business is not giving you a higher ROI. Relying only on customer feedback and your team feedback may not always give you a clear picture of what is going on and where to improve. That is why, at Sam Hospitality, we have developed our mystery guest programme, which works for every tourism & hospitality business. 


We will evaluate your current quality of service and give you a detailed report that will help you make an informed decision and take your business to greater heights. Our mystery guest programme is conducted by a team of experienced mystery guest assessors and professional hotel evaluators. The programme can measure compliance with general industry quality standards of an individual property or entire group, or can be tailor-made to focus on particular needs and specific corporate standards.


How Does It Work?

First, let's look at what a mystery guest is. A mystery shopper or mystery guest is a person employed to visit businesses and evaluate the quality of service. They come undercover, the staff members deal with them just like any other guest. This enables the mystery guest to experience every aspect of your value proposition through the guest's eyes.


Whether you are running a hotel chain and some properties are not doing well, or you are running an independent property, we work with you to find the best ways to get to the bottom of what the problem is. We book any of our experienced professionals and they evaluate everything, from the time of making the reservation, to how they were received, front office standards, rooms division standards, food & beverage standards and customer service standards in general. 


After our 'mystery guest' has experienced your property's offerings, we compile detailed reports on each of the departments that you contracted us for, as well as our recommendations which will help you get to the bottom of the issue and make an informed decision. 


Our mystery guests experience hospitality professionals who have that special eye for detail. We report on each department without fear or favour. Our mystery shopping service works for both independent and hotel groups. Our services are offered to hospitality establishments in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Durban, Limpopo, Cape Town, Durban, North West and many other areas. Whether you are running a 1 star or a 5 star hotel, we will work with you. 


How long does it take?

The duration of our Mystery Guest Programme depends on the scope of the assessment. We work with you to determine the duration. Some hotels have multiple facilities which they make like us to audit. Generally, our mystery shopping audits are conducted over a 2-night period. We offer our services in all parts of South Africa and other countries. Our mystery guest programme works for both hotel groups and independent establishments.  


Which Companies Does It Work For?

Our mystery guest programme works for all tourism & hospitality industry-related businesses including:

  • Hotel groups
  • Independent hotels
  • Resorts
  • Lodges
  • Game lodges
  • Restaurants
  • Tourism establishments


Whether you are running a group of hotels/ companies or you are running your own independent business, this programme will work for you. We deliver our services in all countries.


Do I Choose The Departments I Want to be Evaluated?

Yes, we work with what you have contracted us for. Our experience has taught us that sometimes not all the departments are a 'thorn'. You may be running a hotel and having an issue with one or 2 departments. If you want us to focus only on them, we will do just that. 


Here are the departments that we audit:

  • Reservations
  • (Airport) Shuttle Service
  • Front Office
  • Housekeeping
  • Food & Beverage 
  • Overall Staff Appearance
  • Overall Property Appearance



We use your top booking sites that drive business your establishments to make reservations (under different names), including directly from your website, then call your hotel directly to cancel or change the reservation. We call your reservations department at different times. We also test how your reservations team handle large group bookings as well as during sold-out periods. 


If you have other services, e.g. conferences, we also test how your reservations team handles those bookings.  


(Airport) Shuttle Services

If you offer shuttle services, our mystery guests will shop for them in various scenarios. This includes how visible they were from the airport, how they respond to a guest who didn't see them, how they welcome and assist the guests with luggage, how they introduce the guest to the shuttle, driving speed, music played, how they ensure that the guests are comfortable, etc.


Front Office

Front Office is usually where the guest's first impression counts. Things can go down south very quickly here if guests are not handled well in this department. Our evaluation includes appearance, staff professional appearance including uniform and name tags, responsiveness, how the guests are welcomed, how informative staff is and how well explain services and rates, the check-in process and duration, upselling skills, response to guests' special requests, telephone etiquette and responsiveness, check out process and many more. 



Our evaluation of housekeeping includes public areas, lifts, guest room, cleanliness, smell, lights, curtains/ blinds, windows, walls, ceiling, beds underneath beds, couches, balcony, TV, tea/ coffee facilities, bathroom cleanliness, towels, amenities arrangement, floors, any maintenance issues, etc. 


Food and Beverage

Our evaluation of the food and beverage department includes staff appearance including uniform, shoes and name tags, meet, greet and seat procedure, waitrons product knowledge, suggestive and upselling skills, responsiveness to special requests, time spent to deliver food and drinks ordered, service style, food quality, complaints about the food, the restaurant manager's approach, efficiency in resolving complaints, etc. 


What are The Benefits Mystery Shopping?

Mystery shopping still remains one of the most important tools to find out how your team is performing. Most managers usually ask us, "Why do we need mystery shoppers when our guests review our service in platforms like Tripadvisor, Booking.com, Google, Facebook, etc?". Well, you will be amazed that only less that 3% of your guest actually write a review about your establishment. 


 Mystery shopping provides a great look at the service a hotel, lodge or resort provides that you, as a manager cannot personally see. By using these reports, a service improvement training program can be implemented with the proper accountability. With our mystery guest programme, you will be able to do the following:


  • Identify issues that lead to poor service in your hotel(s)
  • Identify employees that deliver exceptional guest experience and those who need assistance
  • Identify skills gap and the exact training that may be needed
  • Identify what works for your hotel and what doesn't
  • Benchmark your hotel against your competitors
  • Identify which hotel(s) are delivering exceptional guest service and which ones need assistance (hotel groups)
  • Identify which departments are performing well and which ones need assistance
  • Improve your customer experience and revenue


As the hotel or resort owner or GM, you will be able to use our reports to help you identify problem areas and provide solutions that will improve your customer satisfaction and increase your ROI. You will know exactly what you need to focus on and focus on it without delay. Whether you are a 1 star or 5 star hotel, we have a program for you. Whether you receive good guest reviews or not, you still need a mystery shopping agency. Talk to us today and let us work with you. 


The success of any business depends highly on its brand reputation. Brand reputation comes as a result of exceptional 'wow' customer service and the overall experience offered to your guests.


Do you know how your guests see you? Are you achieving your brand quality and standard goals? Are you meeting your guests' expectations? Are you looking to improve your service standards? Let us work with you. Contact us below.