Evaluators should type their evaluations directly online. You will be completing an online checklist in addition to the narrative.
Who can you bring?
Evaluators are allowed to bring one guest. In some circumstances children and pets are allowed, but this needs to be approved in advance and in writing. Please be aware that your guest is considered by the client to be part of the evaluation team, so make sure that whomever you bring is fully aware of the client objectives.
Preparation and Time Commitments
Most evaluators plan to spend approximately one hour prior to arrival doing the following:
- Making your reservation
- Reviewing and printing the client objectives and worksheets
The details of the evaluation vary for each client.
After the evaluation, you should:
- Submit paperwork (bills and receipts).
- Label and email pictures (for hotel evaluations).
- Respond to any communication from our editing team.
Most evaluators generally plan on spending one hour doing paperwork, plus whatever typing and editing they have left after the evaluation.
Your feedback should be submitted within 36 hours from when you check-out of the hotel and 48 hours for restaurant evaluations. Please make sure you are available for several days after the evaluation to provide any requested follow-up by our editing team.
If feedback is not completed and submitted 36 hours after check-out, the evaluator risks forfeiture of claims for fees and all expenses, due to non-completion of the evaluation.
All evaluations pay a fee in addition to covering your authorized onsite expenses. Fees vary from client to client based upon the evaluator’s experience, the length of stay and the client objectives during the stay.
Fee structure is based upon the type of property you evaluate.
The client will pay for all authorized onsite expenses incurred for the purpose of the evaluation. This includes tips for doormen, bellman, delivery items and cash gratuities in restaurants and bars.
For a guide on client-authorized Tipping Guidelines, click here.
Evaluators charging things that the client does not authorize in the client objectives, like extra meals, long distance phone calls or Pay-per-view movies, will be responsible to pay for those items on their own.
When you reserve your room, you will do so in your own name. You will pay your entire bill upon check-out, using your credit card. Therefore, your credit card will need to handle an authorization of several hundred dollars (and for luxury hotels over $1,000) for several days. For this reason, we advise that you do not use a debit card.
After you submit all of your feedback/client deliverable and the editing team determines the evaluation is complete, Coyle notifies the hotel, and a hotel representative reverses your credit card charges. The reversal typically shows up on your credit card within one to two business days after the hotel has reversed the charges, depending on your bank.
The speed of reversal is entirely dependent on how quickly your feedback/client deliverable is complete. If you provide a complete submission within 36 hours of check-out, you can expect complete reversal within a few days. If your feedback requires extensive fact checks and follow-up, expect the reversal to be delayed.
A client’s reimbursement limits are found in the client objectives for each restaurant.
Unless noted otherwise, a client’s reimbursement limit will always cover a meal for two people with reasonable allowance for beverages as well. We do not work with clients who ‘short the reimbursement,’ a practice where restaurants reimburse you for less than the required meal will typically cost you. Our clients will set dollar limits that cover a reasonable meal for two, plus tax and tip.
Please watch carefully for ‘menu exceptions’ in the client objectives. There are several clients who do not want specific things like filet mignon, lobster, eggs benedict, and soufflés ordered. If you or your guest orders excepted items, it will be deducted from the reimbursement.
Finally, if you are unsure, and want clarification, about a client objective or if you need assistance in interpreting a client request, please email us at email@example.com. We will be happy to help.
We fully understand the significance and the evaluator’s commitment when they place several hundred dollars of charges on their credit card. It is a lot of money. Never forget that by evaluating a property, you are undertaking a business transaction and will be held to your responsibilities of that transaction.
Ultimately, the client contracted to obtain, and is entitled to obtain, the evaluation findings that it requested. If your submission is not timely, detailed, accurate, or does not accomplish the client objectives, Coyle is authorized by the client to protect the client’s interests and reject your submission on the client’s behalf. If Coyle rejects your submission, your claim to any expected fees and actual expenses you have incurred, including the hotel charges, will be forfeited.
To see a list of reasons why submitted work may be rejected, click here.
Fortunately, Coyle rarely rejects submissions. If you prepare and make a good faith effort to meet the client’s objectives, we are partnered with you 100% to work through any challenges. However, always keep in mind that the hotel is what makes this business arrangement possible, and its interests must be served before anyone else’s.
Tools Needed for Successful Completion of an Evaluation
Successful evaluators have the following in hand before they go to the property
- Digital camera with back-up batteries or smart phone
- Cell phone with charger
- Wristwatch with second-hand
- Two manila envelopes: one for receipts and one for client objectives and worksheets
For tips and clues on how to best use these tools, please see Best Practices.
First and foremost, never forget that you are a professional, conducting a professional business. You will be evaluating the performance of people at jobs that they take seriously and need to put food on their table. Your feedback will be taken seriously by their employer. It is vital to the success of your evaluation that you maintain credibility and professionalism throughout the stay, even at times when you are not performing specific evaluator functions. Make sure that anyone you interact with would recall your conduct as professional. Period.
Your guest should abide by the same rules that you do. No exceptions.
In order to remain incognito, it is important that you dress like a professional, and look like a typical guest of the property.
Rule of thumb: Every single hotel we have ever been in ALWAYS has guests in business or resort casual attire. Sneakers, tank tops, sweat suits and ball caps all project a casual image. Make sure your appearance paints a picture of professionalism to all that encounter you. Please check with us if you have a question about attire.
Keeping Your Cover
1. Stay below the radar and do not be memorable; this goes for your guest as well. If service is poor, behave in an even, calm manner. NEVER get into arguments. Remain passive.
Likewise, do not over engage staff with extensive conversation or bonhomie. If you like to chat with staff members at length about personal matters, this type of business is not for you. Interact, Observe, Give Feedback.
2. Leave no trace: Secure all client objectives and evaluation materials every time you leave the room. Place them in the safe or in a closed manila envelope which you store out of sight in your luggage.
3. Never discuss in public, or with another guest, that you are an evaluator or are evaluating. You never know who may be listening, and the guest standing next to you may be an off-duty staff member or a guest who knows management and might say something. Make sure your guest understands this without question.
Note: If you spot any errors in the body of the client objectives, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.