Writing an Evaluation


Coyle clients are mainly upscale establishments. Because these upscale properties rely so heavily on service quality as part of their service proposition, the clients require that the feedback be very detailed.

Clients typically use the feedback to train staff members. Therefore, they need each section to be detailed and contain ‘step-by-step’ accounts of what happened so that they can coach the team.

An acceptable submission for an upscale full-service hotel will commonly take several hours to type.

If typing for 3+ hours is a chore, stop right now, and decline the evaluation.

The following is general advice about the length of a typical evaluation.

Type of Report Average Length (words) Average Typing Time
2 nights, limited service hotel

3,500 – 4,000

2-4 hours

2 nights, full service hotel, limited F&B


3-5 hours

2 nights, full service hotel, full F&B


5-6 hours

2-3 nights, full service resort


6+ hours

Before you begin, please be sure that you are capable of producing a client deliverable that has both the length and content quality an upscale hotel needs to get value out of your evaluation.


Be Ready
The cornerstone of a good written narrative begins with being fully informed and prepared before you go to the property. Know the client objectives and checklist cold. If you sit down to type and are seeing information and standards for the first time, you are sunk. You will not be able to provide the depth of content needed, and you may miss important details that could cause forfeiture of fees and expenses. No one wants that.

Know Thy Site
As any good reporter does, do your research about your ‘subject’ and check out the property’s website. Having a visual reference is always helpful, and there is plenty of information about the facility where you will be staying/working. Knowing that the lounge closes early on weekdays will only help you manage your time and become an excellent reporter.

Get in Style
Next, review the format guidelines seen in the Evaluation Resource Center. It is helpful to  clients to have staff members described in a consistent way, as well as consistently rendered formats for dates, times and industry jargon. Your narrative should incorporate these style points.

Client Objectives
Print the client objectives or have them handy on your digital device.

Taking Notes
Another cornerstone of every good evaluation is excellent note taking.

The best evaluators are disciplined in taking notes and organized in how they record the information right after the interaction. If you rely on memory, you will not be successful.

  • Take religious notes immediately after you complete every interaction.
  • Use the worksheets that are available to you for assistance.
  • Make sure you note the following critical components immediately:
    • Time and date of the interaction
    • Descriptions and names of the staff you encountered
    • The opening and closing greetings used by the staff
    • Service and elapsed times (F&B, deliveries, and dependent interactions)
    • Phone Interactions: number dialed, number of rings, greetings, tone of voice

The smart phone is an excellent tool. A discrete call to your voicemail or text can give you a good opportunity to capture all the critical components if you cannot take notes discretely.

Public Restrooms:  Top evaluators commonly make a quick visit to the restroom and use the privacy of a stall to jot down notes on the critical components.

Note:  Be sure to have the checklist handy.

Completing the Narrative

It is highly recommended that you set aside at least one to two hours a day while at the hotel for typing (for overnight visits). You will enjoy the stay much more knowing that work is not accumulating.

Moreover, feedback should be submitted within 48 hours for restaurant evaluations and 36 hours of your check-out for hotel evaluations. If you save all the work for when you get home, you have to count on having the time to do it. If you return to sick children, a flooded basement, or your other business needs you in Albuquerque, you will be under water and risk forfeiture because you did not meet the deadline. Work as you go.

Before you type any sections, make sure the online checklist for that section is complete. Type the narrative portion of the report directly online.

Check your submission against the example provided in the feedback examples to make sure yours is up to par in regards to content and format. If this is your first evaluation, refer to the example section while you write your feedback.

Submitting the Evaluation

  • Make sure all sections of your online checklist are complete and submitted.
  • Submit final items such as photos and paperwork as provided for you in the client objectives.

Note: Proofread your work and spell check it. Part of your job as an independent professional evaluator is to submit grammatically correct work.

Edits and Fact-Checking

After you submit the feedback, an editor may need you to provide some additional information or clear up any questions. This needs to be done immediately.

The hotel will not reverse your credit card charges until the Coyle editor lets accounting know the client has received fully completed feedback.

The editors are under strict deadlines. Please respond to all of the items they ask for. If you are unsure or cannot remember a detail, say so.