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Spotlight: Fitness Facility Mystery Shops

Spotlight: Fitness Facility Mystery Shops

When I first began my career in the mystery shop industry over 15 years ago, almost one hundred percent of our portfolio of clients fell into the hospitality segment. As our business has grown, we have expanded into many other industries including but not limited to, financial, higher education, retail, senior living, car washes, museums, and movie theaters. While hospitality is still a top priority and focus for us, we now work with a much more diverse collection, and clients within the fitness facility industry are now one of the top groups that we work with.

Fitness facilities, gyms, and health clubs utilize mystery shopping services for a variety of reasons. Most commonly, they are looking to measure their guest experience; specifically, their new membership procedure and the sales tactics used in that process. They are also looking for feedback on their facility and equipment cleanliness, guest services, and amenities among other things. If you haven’t yet done a shop for this type of client, below are some helpful guidelines and tips.

Multi Step Shop

These shops usually require both a phone call and a visit to the facility. The call and tour should occur on the same day. The call is often recorded so make sure you take thorough notes as the questionnaire will ask about the employee’s sales pitch and you will be asked to check off which points they hit during the conversation.

Straight Profit

            All of our fitness facility shops are straight profit shops, meaning, you aren’t required to spend any money on the visit. The payment ranges based on the shop, but the majority of these shops range from a $25 – $40 payment.


Almost every shop in this segment requires photos, most often of the exterior, interior lobby, and marketing material. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the form and requirements prior to going on your visit to ensure you have prepared yourself for what photos need to be taken and when during the visit you will obtain them.

Dressing the Part

When doing one of these visits, you should dress in workout attire. If you aren’t wearing clothing with an athletic aesthetic, you will stand out and you may be identified as a shopper. These gyms are looking for new members, so regardless of your current level of fitness, you are a qualified shopper.

Proof of Visit

As there is never a purchase required for these types of shops, you won’t have a receipt at the end of the visit. We still require proof that the visit occurred, so most often you will be required to obtain a brochure or business card from the facility. If they are unable to provide you with these items, a photo of the rate sheet will suffice.

Timing and Follow-Up

You may be asked to hold these shops for a period after the visit has occurred. Often, our clients are looking to see if the employee follows up within 24-48 hours of the visit as it’s a part of their sales process. It’s important that you fill out as much of the shop report as you can while in the holding period, so the scheduler knows you have completed the majority of the assignment.


Fitness facility shops are quick and easy, and best of all, a great way to make a little cash as you are never asked to put out any money on these shops. The forms are usually short and condensed and directed at very specific points of service. If you haven’t done one of these shops and are hesitant to pick one up, please let us know and we would be happy to answer any questions you have.