5-Foot Rule

Customer satisfaction begins with you. If you simply remember to follow "Our 5-Foot Rule", most customer satisfaction issues will take care of themselves.

5-Foot Rule

Our 5-foot rule means you must make eye contact with your customers and interact with them. When you are within five feet of the customer, make eye contact so you can determine if they are in need of anything. "I am the customer, so look at me, smile at me, and take care of me!"

10-Steps of Customer Service

We are a full-service sit down restaurant. Therefore our customers come to us with the expectation of receiving full and complete sit down service. Sit down service is far more than what you might receive at a fast-food restaurant. So, a missed step sticks out like a sore thumb.

Greet & Seat
Hello I'll be right with you!

A) Sit wherever you like; -or-

B) I'll be right there to seat you.
Shout "Hello" the moment the door opens (even if busy with other customers!)

Direct customers to take any seat; -or-

If store is busy, direct customers to seats that are ready.
Offer Beverage
Coffee or Soda today? Approach quickly offering a beverages and serve those right away.
Take Order
Are you ready to order? Be an adviser, "care for meat with your eggs, soup or chili with your burger?"
Repeat Order
Let me repeat your order back.

(If on 3rd shift, say "I'll be right back with your check, we have to collect right away after 10 PM.)
What you heard and what the customer thinks they said, may be different.
Place Order & Issue Check
Here's your check.

(If on 3rd shift, say "I need to collect right away it's the policy after 10 PM.)
Place the order on the POS, then run the receipt right over and place the check on the table (and if on 3rd shift, return to collect also right away).
Return for Refill
Care for a refill? While the customer is waiting for their food, return to offer a refill on coffee or soda.
Serve Food
Here's your order...

Do you have everything you need?
Serve the food and make sure the customer has everything they need.
Check Back
How is everything? Within "two minutes or two bites" check back to see if everything is all right.
May I take your plate? Monitor tables and pre-clear dishes as soon the customer finishes eating.
Thank you! Good Bye! Come again! Thank the customer for coming and ask them to come again!

Coffee RefillsGood Coffee Image

Coffee in Cup = Happy Customer!

Customers are unhappy when they're sitting with an empty cup!

Refill One, Refill All

When you refill coffee for one customer.... take the pot around and offer refills to everyone who's having coffee!

Ask First-Then Pour

The customer may have their coffee just to their liking or they may not want more, so ask first, before pouring.

1st Priority - Clear Tables!

Pre-Clearing Tables

Dishes Everywhere Does this look appealing --->?

Pre-clearing the customer's main dish while the customer is still seated is a a vital step to keeping the restaurant looking tidy and to encourage table turnover.

Clear Tables into Bus Pans - Don't Waste Time Running to the Sink with Every Clear

Also Don't Clutter the Sink

Dish Clutter Image Bus Pan Image Clear dishes directly into bus pans to save a trip to the sink.

By pre-clearing into bus pans you're keeping the dirty side of the dish sink clear of loose dirty dishes.

Resetting the Tables

Set Table ImageDoesn't this look nice? Here's how:

  1. Pull the condiments away from the menu holder and wipe underneath.
  2. Wipe down the condiments if dirty
  3. Arrange the setups
  4. Placemat and silverware roll
  5. Table tent in the middle

Answering the PhoneTelephone Image

While in-store service is the priority, call-in carryout orders represent a significant portion of our business.


  • The phone must be answered and call-in orders taken.
  • If you're busy with other customers, excuse yourself to answer the phone.
  • When answering, don't immediately say "hold" and set the phone down. Let the customer get a few words in so you know why they're calling! Then, if you must put them on hold say: "I have another order, I'll be right back with you."
  • Please answer the phone as follows:  " Hello, George Webb's on _____(street)______ this is ___(your name)_____"


Indifference Looses Customers

Disgruntled Image Late in getting to the customer? Food took too long? Forgot a beverage? It's not the occasional lapse in service that results in us loosing customers, it's your failure to show sincere concern and to resolve the issue quickly.

It doesn't matter whose fault it is. Just resolve the matter! Later, in your actual training, we'll show you how to turn a customer complaint into a positive outcome.

Recovery after Complaint

Apology Card Image

Follow this two-step process in order to "recover" from such a situation:

  1. Take Action.  It doesn't matter whose fault it is. Resolve the matter! Depending on the situation say:

    • "Thank you for waiting, how can I help you?"
    • "I'm sorry about that, let me fix it!"

  2. Issue an Apology Card. Use the opportunity to drive home the point that we value our customers.

Table Sections

If you don't use sections when the store is busy, there are customers who may get overlooked. So when there are two or more servers on duty, divide the restaurant into sections so that each of you can focus on the customers in your section. Decide among yourselves who will take which section. However, continue to work as a team, helping each other as needed.

Every Shift Has a "Runner"Runner Image

The runner runs back and assists and coordinates the activities of the cook in order to expedite food preparation.

If there are two server/cooks on duty, the server is the runner.

If there are three server/cooks on duty, one of the servers is the runner.

If there are four server/cooks on duty, the one cook (on the egg side) is also the runner that should help out front as needed to take orders, etc. but then run back to help get the orders out.

End-of-Shift Customer Hand-Off

Hand-off your customers to the new shift.

  1. Point out each customer.
  2. Explain to the oncoming server what stage of the 10-steps you are in with each customer.