Is there a term for the person who goes to restaurants and checks if anything is wrong?

This person does not introduce himself at first. He eats food and sees the restaurant, and if the restaurant is dirty or the food is not good, he can report this problem and ask the health department to close the restaurant because it has low standards.

Can health inspector be used?

  • A health inspector may do this, or, to a degree, a private citizen can do it. It's generally unlikely that a heath inspector will do this since if he did it much his picture would be posted on the wall in the kitchen.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 25, 2015 at 19:27
  • So in your opinion, just people report problems to Health Department. Am I right?
    – keramus
    Oct 25, 2015 at 19:29
  • In theory, in the US, health departments do inspections of restaurants from time to time. These are not "secret", but they may be unannounced. Someone posing as a private citizen, even if actually a bona fide inspector, would not be able to inspect many areas of the kitchen. As to whether private citizens often report problems, that's hard to say.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 25, 2015 at 19:34
  • I'd be surprised if government-funded inspectors in the UK often (if ever) visit premises incognito. They go to great lengths to work with the management/staff to resolve problems, most of which they couldn't even identify unless they check out the entire premises. So they need free access to kitchens, storage facilities, etc. Oct 25, 2015 at 19:34
  • 1
    On the relevant pages this gov.UK site only ever calls them "inspectors" (I'd say they're a specialised subset of "Health & Safety Inspectors"). Oct 25, 2015 at 19:38

1 Answer 1


mystery consumer (or costumer) is what they are called, and mystery shopping is the name of their practice.


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