Secret Shopper

Last night, for 3 hours, Joel and I attended a training to become Secret Diners for Lettuce Entertain You, a large restaurant group here in Chicago. They own 31 restaurants in the city and suburbs– some of which include the most expensive, top notch restaurants the city has to offer (Tru and L20).

In May, Joel had a co-worker who was doing this program, and told Joel that we should really consider filling out an application. One night, after a few glasses of wine, we sat down and filled out the extensive application. The questions were pretty fun; what is your favorite restaurant? What was the best meal you last enjoyed?, etc.

Last week, we found out we were accepted, and here we are today.

So….on to the details.

Lettuce Entertain You breaks their “secret raters” into 2 groups; causal and fine dining. We are starting in the casual dining group.

We got our schedule last night, and in the next 10 weeks, we will be going to 7 restaurants.

At every restaurant there is an extensive amount of area’s that we need to rate. From what the hostess says, to how the door works on your entrance into the restaurant. Each restaurant has certain guidelines for what you need to order, but the majority of them require you to get 1 appetizer and 2 entrees, as well as 1 glass of wine/cocktail (and dessert is optional).

Within 24 hours of dining, we need to complete the review and send it, along with the receipt of all of our purchases (including taxi, coat check, bar tab, dinner, tip, etc.).

We are fully reimbursed for every dining meal, as well as given $10 for each completed review.

If we are good, dutiful reviewers, we will graduate and move on to the fine dining experience, where...shit gets real.

A couple that we met last night have completed the fine dining experience and said they were compensated for $700-$800 dollar meals every week.

For those of you who are Chicago girls, here is the list of the restaurants we will be reviewing…

Big Bowl:

Mity Nice (In Watertower):


 Food Life (In Watertower):



Paris Club:

And, don’t worry, I asked our trainer if I was allowed to share this experience, and my reviews, on here and she gave me full permission!


  1. How fun! That'll be such a cool experience, even better that you get paid to do it!

  2. No way! I am so jealous! This sounds like so much fun. I wonder if they have something like this in Houston?

  3. that is AWESOME...i wish nashville had something like this!!!

  4. Sooo very neat! I'm putting this on my bucket list of things to do!

  5. This is awesome! Sometimes wine induced ideas are the best ideas!

  6. Hi there! Can you please send me an email at Allyson.w.bunker@gmail.com with how to apply? Also, please do not post my comment or delete it. Thanks!