Mystery shopping bakery shops


Rowe’s Bakery operate a chain of retail outlets for their bakery products. The management at Rowe’s wanted to run a mystery shopping exercise to determine the levels of customer service experienced in their organisation.


As Rowe’s wanted to test the levels of customer service experienced not only in their retail bakery outlets but also in the Head Office, we needed to develop methodologies for dealing with both types of experience. Mystery shopping the Head Office experience required us to have a range of scenarios to follow to avoid arousing the suspicions of the Head Office staff. A range of different departments were also required to be assessed.


Mystery shopping in the stores was conducted using the same researcher for all store visits to achieve consistency in expectations and scoring. The researcher was given standards which the stores were expected to follow and the researcher scored based on these standards. In addition to customer service levels e.g. attitude of staff, the researcher was asked to purchase specific items to see if staff had been suitably trained on the products and any promotions that were running.

For Head Office staff, we developed a series of “scenarios” with the operational team to identify most likely types of enquiries and were given guidance on how we should be dealt with. These were conducted over the telephone by a number of different researchers to avoid them being identified by the receptionist or the person dealing with the enquiry.


The retail team were able to rank the different stores against each other and encourage sharing of best practice amongst them. The Head Office staff were appraised based on this and other feedback and any training requirements e.g. on product knowledge were highlighted.


  • Food


  • Customer Employee and Supporter Surveys
  • Product and service research

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