Get to know Charles Stiles, host of Mystery Diners.
Charles Stiles is the founder and president of Business Evaluation Services (BES), a national mystery shopper company, and the host of Food Network's Mystery Diners, the hidden-camera show that exposes what goes on behind the scenes when employees assume no one is watching.
Charles comes from a background of hard work and dedication. During high school, Charles worked as a busboy and prep cook and became a delivery driver after graduation. At one point Charles even held the tough job of an oil derrick hand on a drilling rig. Later on, Charles worked as the director of admissions for a trade school, where he developed a marketing plan that doubled the school's income. As a result, he decided to start his own company that specialized in marketing for trade schools.
But about three years later, Charles' entrepreneurial spirit led him into a new career path. In 1988, he purchased a chain store in a national mall from a bankruptcy sale. After making the store profitable again, he opened additional locations. Charles quickly realized that the best way to differentiate his stores from those of national competitors was to develop a consistent service culture that exceeded customer expectations. His first step was to train his employees in the importance of making the customer feel valued and welcomed in the store. To sustain this service culture, he put in place a regular monitoring of the customer experience to make sure that service was consistent whether or not a manager was present. Once local restaurants and retailers heard about what Charles was doing, they all wanted his help. BES grew out of this need for service evaluation, and Charles ended up selling off his retail stores to focus on his new company.
BES serves a number of industries, including restaurants, retail and finance, among others. In 2011, BES began working with Food Network to produce the television show Mystery Diners. Charles takes great pride in hosting the show and in helping employers, because it gives him the opportunity to benefit businesses through his expertise in customer service.