SEOUL, Sept. 7 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean tourism authorities have launched a special team of mystery shoppers consisting of both South Koreans and foreign nationals in a bid to improve food and service quality ahead of the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
The Korea Tourism Organization announced its decision to deploy mystery shoppers to restaurants at the Korea Press Center on Wednesday as tourism data has revealed over half of foreign visitors to South Korea typically enjoy culinary tourism during their stay.
Consisting of 50 South Koreans and 50 foreign nationals, a group of 100 mystery shoppers will be visiting some 400 restaurants incognito in a number of regions across the country, from Seoul and Incheon to Busan, between September and November, with the intention of discovering issues and improving the overall quality of the country’s dining experience.
Two teams of two, one consisting of two South Koreans and the other of two foreigners, will be deployed to each restaurant with an interval in between without letting the business owners know, during which a number of requirements will be checked ranging from friendliness to the availability of an English menu to cater to international customers.
In addition, the Korea Tourism Organization is conducting an exit poll for tourist groups leaving 50 restaurants catering to foreign visitors to measure customer satisfaction, with the data used to improve the overall service quality of food and dining industry in South Korea.
During the mystery shopper inspections, restaurants branded ‘best’ will be a recipient of rewards in the form of financial support such as online and offline advertisements at home and abroad, as well as promotional events and other marketing tools.
On the other hand, restaurants that find themselves on the receiving end of lower scores from the mysterious shoppers will be given consulting, and the findings will be shared with local governments to help the business establishments improve service quality.
“Over half of the visitors to South Korea have reported enjoying culinary tourism, which makes it all the more important to improve food and service quality. Through inspections, we plan to improve both the quality of service and food at foreign tourist-oriented restaurants,” said Lee Soo-taek, an official responsible for food and dining at the Korea Tourism Organization.
Hyunsu Yim (firstname.lastname@example.org)