Question from a mystery shopper:
I do mystery shopping and get free fast food. I’m supposed to taste it but I don’t want to eat the whole thing b/c I’m trying to stay healthy and I feel guilty if I throw it out and I also don’t want to give it to anyone because I wouldn’t even eat it myself. I’m CONFUSED!
Whew! First of all, take a breath. That second sentence is a long one! Although you are confused, there are several possible solutions to this dilemma.
Consider that your ideas about what you are willing to eat are not the same as those of other people. There is a reason that fast food restaurants sell as much as they do—lots of people like burgers and other fast food, even if you do not. If you know someone who would like the food, give it to them. They get to make choices about what they are willing to eat, just as you do.
When you give the food to others, they might have to be someone you know pretty well, because you might have to take a bite or two so you can report on the food. If you do not actually have to sample the food, you might give it to a homeless person or someone else who could use the meal.
The shop may have specific requirements about what you are to order, but if it doesn’t, choose one of the healthier items on the menu. Most fast food restaurants have a wide variety of menu items, and some of them are better than others when it comes to fat, calories, etc. Or if there are parts of the meal you find objectionable (e.g., bread or French fries) don’t eat those.
If you have to order something you do not want to eat and you don’t have someone you can give the food to, throwing it away is better than eating something that you do not want. If you really think the food is as horrible as you imply, you should have no problem throwing it into the trash.
Lastly, have you considered not doing these shops? If you don’t like the food and the idea of throwing it away is this stressful, maybe you should just say no to these mystery shops. Most of the time the reimbursement for food is a significant part of the compensation, so if you don’t want the food they are probably not worth doing.
You do not have to accept a shop just because it is there. Do shops you enjoy that provide benefits you want.