1. Smells Bad – Tattoo shops should smell like cleaning products and sterile air, if you walked into tattoo shop and have been greeted by a big puff of smoke, or other foul odor you may be in the wrong place. The owners of the tattoo shop and the artist not caring about how the shop smells is a good indicator that the level of sterilization may be low.
2. Animals – At some parlors the owner will have a snake cage set up or a dog running around Mint Juul pods . This is a violation of most states health codes and either way is a disgusting situation always avoid any tattoo shop where animals are present. Beside the smell the presence of animals compromises any sterile zone the artist may have set up.
3. Dirty Employees – Employees of tattoo shops should be clean wearing not only sterile gloves and using sterile equipment. But there personal hygiene should also be high. If the tattoo artist you have chosen is dirty, has ink or other stains on there clothes, you may want to leave. If the artist is not keeping his own person clean his working area is probably in similar disarray.
4. Foul Bathroom – Check out the bathroom in the tattoo shop you plan to go to in advance. Does it look and smell clean? The look of the bathroom will give you an idea of the level of cleanliness in the business. If the employees take a nonchalant attitude to the bathrooms cleanliness they may also be nonchalant in the cleaning of there personal stations.
5. “Sorry We Are Out Of…Ink” – Nothing says you are in the wrong shop like “sorry we are out of ink”. Maybe its black ink or red or green, but the question is the same how can a tattoo shop run out of anything, much less tattoo ink. It happens all the time, it is usually the sign of a tattoo artist who does not want to do the work. But even if the shop is really out of a particular color of tattoo ink it is still a good sign you are in the wrong shop.
Mystery shopping services are typically used to measure employee performance or customer service levels. However, a more unconventional use for this service is compliance checks.
Age compliance is a big concern for businesses, and taking a proactive approach will save time, headaches, fines, and potentially losing a license to sell these products. The most common compliance checks are for tobacco and liquor products – it is well known that law enforcement agencies will conduct their own checks by sending in underage people to see if they are able to make purchases. Companies can take this one step further by engaging in a compliance program to stop problems before it’s too late.
Mystery shoppers who fall into the 18-26 year old demographic are perfect for this type of work. They simply visit your place of business and purchase tobacco or liquor products and document whether or not the employee asks for identification. For tobacco compliance checks, they are also responsible for documenting that appropriate “No Smoking” signage is visible. This can be taken one step further, and if asked, the mystery shopper can say that they do not have their identification on them, but they are of age to purchase such products. This will give you even further insight into how the employee handles the situation: do they rely on the customer’s word and sell the product, or do they refuse?
Many restaurants have incorporated compliance checks into the regular mystery shopping program to ensure that their bar and wait staff are in compliance as well.
Another area where compliance is a concern is video games. Like movies, video games disclose age ratings such as “E” for everyone, “T” for teen, and “M” for mature. For this type of evaluation, a mystery shopper may accompany a child or teen to the store and allow the child to select a video game out of their age group and attempt to make the purchase. The parent stands out of sight of the employee to document what happens.
This is different than what law enforcement may do, as they accompany under age people to stores and restaurants to conduct their evaluation. This is not used in mystery shopping, as it is not in the same league as law enforcement. Mystery shopping companies are required to use shoppers who are of the legal age to make such purchases.