Brouwerij Troost – Brewpubs in Amsterdam

Brouwerij Troost has been conducting comprehensive customer experience research with Secret View since 2018. Every month, their three establishments in Amsterdam are visited by our mystery shoppers. They are treated to a delightful evening out in a cozy brewpub. 

Brouwerij Troost – Brewpubs in Amsterdam

Since 2013, Troost has been brewing beer. Over time, they have expanded their range to include various beers and soft drinks. All of these are produced with a focus on the environment, as they have been fully organic and locally sourced since 2019. Brouwerij Troost can be experienced in three locations across Amsterdam – welcoming brewpubs with a variety of bar food options, including many vegetarian and vegan choices. 

Jason McAuliffe oversees all three establishments. He began working as a bartender eight years ago during his studies and has since risen to the role of Operational Manager, gaining experience in all aspects of mystery shopping research. 

We spoke to Jason about the research. Below, he explains why it's so important for Brouwerij Troost and how they utilize the results to continually improve their organization. 


Company: Brouwerij Troost

Industry: Hospitality 

Locations: 3 in Amsterdam 

Client since: 2018 

Spoken with: Jason McAuliffe, Hospitality Operational Manager 


Why does Brouwerij Troost opt for Secret View's mystery shopping research? 

In today's world, leaving reviews on platforms like Google or TripAdvisor is incredibly easy. However, these reviews often present extremely positive or negative experiences without providing context. Especially when faced with a series of negative reviews, it's crucial to understand the underlying issues. 

Mystery shoppers also provide reviews but through detailed questionnaires. This allows for a better understanding of the establishment and, for example, the product knowledge of the staff. We place great importance on our staff's ability to share information about what they serve. 


How is mystery shopping research structured? 

The mystery shoppers go through the entire customer journey. They take photos of the exterior, assess the interior, note whether they are greeted upon entry, and evaluate aspects like seating availability. We also emphasize intermittent checks to ensure everything is going well, using open-ended questions. 

secret view - mystery shopping research hospitality customer journey

We want guests to feel welcome and engaged with open-ended questions. Our staff then builds on the answers provided. Anyone can be trained to pour a beer or make coffee, but not everyone possesses soft skills. It shouldn't feel forced; it should be organic. Asking, "Is everything all right over here?" doesn't yield much. That's why creativity and social skills are crucial – responding to answers in a personalized way. The conclusion is important for us as well. In many places, when the bill arrives, the conviviality fades. It's all about paying and leaving. 

This information is gathered from mystery shopping research. Hence, the questionnaire is extensive, and we offer a fair compensation to the mystery shopper. 


How do you handle the results internally at different levels? 

We have two owners, and I report directly to them. All three of us receive the questionnaires. The owners intervene only when there are standout issues. I review the results with the dashboard in our weekly meetings with chefs and managers. Additionally, we share the results on our intranet, allowing all staff members to see them. 

Secret View - mystery shopping research hospitality amsterdam 2

Generally, our scores are quite high. Recently, we achieved 100% for the first time in De Pijp, and we celebrated that accomplishment! If there's a minor issue, we don't make a fuss. However, if the score falls below 85/80%, we do sit down with the staff who worked on that particular evening. We discuss whether they recognize the situation and what went wrong.

This often leads to interesting conversations. Sometimes, there's resistance. Every story has two sides. If a mystery shopper arrives during a busy period, isn't greeted, and has to wait for a table, they're already starting with a disadvantage. Those scenarios are typically not recoverable. I must say that a negative Google review triggers more resistance. They tend to lack detail and nuance. A moderate review from a mystery shopper is often better received because it includes constructive feedback. This feedback is something the organization can work with. 


What impact does the mystery shopping research have on the organization? 

We conduct a range of training sessions, from beer training to hospitality. I lead many of these myself. Since we serve unique beers, our staff must be knowledgeable about them. Our beer tasting events are very popular and are also part of the customer experience survey. We invest a lot of attention in new employees for this. We always conclude the training with a few cases and examples from the mystery shopping research. 

secret view - mystery shopping onderzoek horeca Brouwerij Troost westergas

The research doesn't come with consequences in the form of punishments or bonuses. It's purely a measuring point for us. Alongside online reviews, the dashboard provides more insights and enhances our service's efficiency and quality. From the candles on the table to the various ways guests are approached with open-ended questions and personalized attention.

In addition to the monthly Secret View research, our managers must dine at one of the establishments at least once a month. I do the same. It's just to observe how things are going. Furthermore, we inspect each kitchen every week for hygiene. This remains important alongside good food and a pleasant atmosphere! 


Curious about what mystery shopping research can do for you?

We have years of experience in various industries with mystery shopping research. This way, we map customer experience for restaurants, supermarkets, clothing stores, and other sectors. Take a look at our cases or get in touch for a demo.

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