The Authority in Guest Experience Management

The Authority in Guest Experience Management


Our Story

HGEM has always been a pioneer, even being the first to coin the term ‘mystery dining’ back in 2003 when the company was originally founded as the Mystery Dining Company.  

Since then we have continued to seek innovative ways to empower hospitality in a competitive and rapidly changing market and today work with over 5000 restaurants, pubs, hotels and caterers internationally. Scroll through our journey to see past milestones and where we’re heading.


2018 - Launch of the GEM Hub. A powerful new platform with custom dashboards, interactive reports and the ability to stream data from different sources. One source of insight about your guest experiences; keeping your managers focussed Launch of the GEM Hub. A powerful new platform with custom dashboards, interactive reports and the ability to stream data from different sources. One source of insight about your guest experiences; keeping your managers focussed
2019 - We've cooked up an exciting pipeline of new features planned for the GEM Hub and the Mobile App. So watch this space! We've cooked up an exciting pipeline of new features planned for the GEM Hub and the Mobile App. So watch this space!
The 2020s - We’re always looking to the future. Expect to see lots of innovations in forecasting and responsiveness that build on advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. But hospitality will always be a people business and so will we - it's just that we'll be able to use these 'bots to be cleverer and faster. We’re always looking to the future. Expect to see lots of innovations in forecasting and responsiveness that build on advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence. But hospitality will always be a people business and so will we - it's just that we'll be able to use these 'bots to be cleverer and faster.
2003 - We pioneered the use of the term Mystery Dining as a specialist form of mystery shopping; more suited to the deeper levels of interaction that are more common in hospitality than retail We pioneered the use of the term Mystery Dining as a specialist form of mystery shopping; more suited to the deeper levels of interaction that are more common in hospitality than retail
2004 - Bye bye paper reports! Back when the internet was young, we pioneered the use of the internet for next-day report completion and delivery Bye bye paper reports! Back when the internet was young, we pioneered the use of the internet for next-day report completion and delivery
2006 - Going global. We’ve been visiting all the international wagamama sites since that time, covering over 40 major cities around the world. In 2017, we also introduced the ability to complete all communications in French as well as English Going global. We’ve been visiting all the international wagamama sites since that time, covering over 40 major cities around the world. In 2017, we also introduced the ability to complete all communications in French as well as English
2008 - The aftermath of the smoking ban. We worked closely with pub companies to transform their business model as food became an increasingly important differentiator The aftermath of the smoking ban. We worked closely with pub companies to transform their business model as food became an increasingly important differentiator
2009 - Introduction of online reporting. We take it for granted now but, at the time, this broke the mould and enabled managers to gain insights when they chose to rather than when they received reports Introduction of online reporting. We take it for granted now but, at the time, this broke the mould and enabled managers to gain insights when they chose to rather than when they received reports
2010 - Introduced analyst support for clients. We have long recognised that collecting feedback and assessments is only the start; it’s what you then do with it that matters. So custom reporting and interpretation became a core part of our service Introduced analyst support for clients. We have long recognised that collecting feedback and assessments is only the start; it’s what you then do with it that matters. So custom reporting and interpretation became a core part of our service
2011 - Death of the comment card! We began building custom feedback sites to help operators to listen to their guests and track their perceptions Death of the comment card! We began building custom feedback sites to help operators to listen to their guests and track their perceptions
2012 - Introduced learning management solutions. This enabled businesses to articulate the connection between the training people receive and the experience they deliver to guests, as well as to engage employees and track their results Introduced learning management solutions. This enabled businesses to articulate the connection between the training people receive and the experience they deliver to guests, as well as to engage employees and track their results
2013 - Pioneered the use of the term Guest Experience Management. Little used at the time, now many businesses embrace the concept, sometimes even using the job title Guest Experience Manager Pioneered the use of the term Guest Experience Management. Little used at the time, now many businesses embrace the concept, sometimes even using the job title Guest Experience Manager
2014 - Introduction of a support package for major events. Based on our experience with teams on the ground at Royal Ascot providing up-to-the minute intelligence Introduction of a support package for major events. Based on our experience with teams on the ground at Royal Ascot providing up-to-the minute intelligence
2016 - Development of the GEM Wheel. Used to frame your intended experience, to measure performance against expected standards and behaviours, and to align training with operations Development of the GEM Wheel. Used to frame your intended experience, to measure performance against expected standards and behaviours, and to align training with operations
2017 - Launch of the GEM Mobile App – a great aid for managers to view results for multiple locations while on the move. And we introduced French as a supported language for completing and communicating visit reports (we visit all European Pret sites weekly) Launch of the GEM Mobile App – a great aid for managers to view results for multiple locations while on the move. And we introduced French as a supported language for completing and communicating visit reports (we visit all European Pret sites weekly)
2018
2019
The 2020s
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Our People

Many of our people have joined us having worked in the hospitality industry and so it truly has shaped who we are and the way we behave. We understand the pressures and challenges of your teams because we have been there and we’re passionate about supporting you to deliver a great guest experience every time.

Ella Baron

Ella Baron

Visit Fulfilment Coordinator

I enjoy chatting with our mystery guests about their visits and working within such a positive team.

Rosie Dewhirst

Rosie Dewhirst

Quality Advisor

As well as validating reports, I enjoy my role as Quality Advisor, ensuring that standards are met within the company and high quality reports are sent through to our clients. 

Gary Bond

Gary Bond

Senior Web Engineer

I care most about getting stuff done right and helping my team to focus on that too.

Rebecca Moore

Rebecca Moore

Assessor Recruitment Co-ordinator

I care most about maintaining our high standards of quality, and ensuring each report gives useful insight to our clients.

Josie Palmer

Josie Palmer

Business Development Coordinator

I love learning about the clients we work with and helping them achieve their goals!

Lloyd Williams

Lloyd Williams

Senior Business Intelligence Developer

Our Business Intelligence solutions are inspired by translating your needs into technical specifications. Our data drives actions through insight, allowing you to focus on what matters to you.

Steven Pike

Steven Pike

Managing Director

It's really important to me that we put our clients in the driving seat and coordinate all our resources in pursuit of your objectives.

David Pepper

David Pepper

Associate Director of Hospitality Culture

People!  People who work in our company, People who work in our industry, People who visit the 'Hospitality Sector' for a great experience!

Amy Herriman

Amy Herriman

Mystery Guest Advisor

I really enjoy talking to the mystery guests of HGEM. Especially when you can tell how excited they are about their next visit!

Sandra Dale

Sandra Dale

Accounts Manager

It's important to me that the accounts are accurate, and I love the fact that in my role I interact with everyone in the company, as well as with our clients and our diners.


Pradnya Nimbalkar

Pradnya Nimbalkar

Software Engineer

I care about continuously improving the quality of my work in the organisation and delivery of well designed, easy to use software which is enjoyable and simplifies users' life.

Ian Straton

Ian Straton

Infrastructure Manager

I like that we use cutting edge technologies to drive our product delivery. I also love the teamwork - everyday a team member will ask me a question that I don't know the answer to but we go and find the answer together!

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Our Mystery Guests

At HGEM we are fortunate to have a fantastic community of mystery guests that we try hard to nurture and support as stakeholders in 'empowering hospitality'. In return, they go the extra mile to provide detailed and practical feedback on their experiences.

Mystery Guest 64520

Mystery Guest 64520

"I like being able to feel like my experience as a Mystery Guest is being heard by the places I eat at. That my feedback might help improve service or reward those doing a good job."

Mystery Guest 82635

Mystery Guest 82635

"Through the eyes of a customer, sharing my experience with companies that I otherwise might never have chosen to visit and sharing great opportunities that allow them to be first for customer service."

Mystery Guest 57893

Mystery Guest 57893

"I really appreciate being able to have a night away and explore somewhere new. I even enjoy the report writing. I am constantly surprised by the gems I've found eating at places I'd have never tried with my own money."

Mystery Guest 61441

Mystery Guest 61441

"When I now go for a drink or meal, whether I’m on a Mystery Visit or not, I tend to take notice of my environment a lot more than I used to. I also can identify good customer service and appreciate how hard staff work whilst looking after their customers."

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