Customer Service and the WOW Experience

 In 1. David Scott Peters, Employees

By David Scott Peters

We had an interesting discussion at an Elite meeting in Michigan where members come together to focus on a specific topic and use each others’ experience and knowledge to help each other make improvements in their restaurants. (It’s one of the mastermind groups with

The topic this time around was customer service, and we focused on the principles taught by John DiJulius because he focuses on creating a “world-class experience” for guests. We covered establishing the core values for each restaurant owner in attendance. These are the non-negotiables, such as cleanliness, health code and such. Things that can put you out of business when not done right.

Then we talked about mapping out the customer service cycle so everyone in your restaurant knows what’s expected of them and how to treat the guests. One of John DiJulius’ examples is a “beat the greet” standard where you or someone in your restaurant greets every customer before they can greet you. This ensures no one is left standing at the door wondering what to do next.

And then we talked about what each restaurant owner wanted to do to set up a WOW customer service experience for their customers. And this was a great brainstorming session because we have members who own all types of different kinds of restaurants, from family style to BBQ to full-service white tablecloth. So the ideas were all over the place. And when an idea came up that seemed not to fit into one style of restaurant, there was a room full of peers offering ways to make it work or other ideas that worked better.

It was a great meeting. And like every member meeting we have, there was an unannounced theme. If our official theme was customer service, then our unoffocial theme was expansion.

There was a lot of talk about growth and opening new restaurants. The opportunities are ripe. The commercial real estate market is expected to reach its bottom this year into next and the time is great for looking at expanding.

Of course, part of expanding is having the numbers in line. The banks are pretty tight with the money these days, so it’s essential that independent restaurants can show a bank the appropriate financial reports. Make sure you find a CPA who can really help you, and as always, here at, we teach the systems you need to get those numbers in line.

I took away from this meeting that the independent restaurant still has the ability to offer a WOW customer service experience every time. There is a formulat to it – but a formula you can make your own. You just have to make sure you train your staff to your expectations and hold them accountable. And then you have to know what you’re willing to do to make sure every customer leaves thinking, WOW, and wanting to come back for more.

Any members out there have anything to add?

David Scott Peters is a restaurant expert, coach, trainer and speaker, specializing in systems for independent restaurant owners. He is the nationally acclaimed restaurant coach whose unique “SMART Systems” approach to boosting profits has earned him the title of, “The man who can walk into any restaurant in America and find $10,000 in undiscovered cash before he hits the back door – Guaranteed!” Visit for more. Learn more tips, tricks and secrets in David’s free five-part e-course, “How to Explode Your Restaurant Profits NOW!” Simply sign up to receive the e-course at

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