How to Implement Customer Service Training for Your Restaurant Staff

How to Implement Customer Service Training for Your Restaurant Staff

Customers who visit your restaurant will expect great food and great service from your restaurant staff, and if you don’t deliver both, they likely won’t return. Good customer service is a must-have for any restaurant, and failure to offer reliable customer service training could cause your business to suffer.

Offering great service begins with making sure you train your staff well. Here’s how to have a reliable and comprehensive service and food service training program in your restaurant.

Discuss Expectations with Your Staff

Your employees can be told “offer great customer service” but if they have no guidelines as to what great service actually is, they won’t live up to your expectations. You should make sure that your employees have an outline of how to treat every customer that walks in your door, and how they can implement it. Possible topics to discuss can include:

  • Customer service standards: How every customer should be treated
  • How to respond to customer complaints
  • What not to say to a customer
  • How to handle special requests

Don’t forget customer service also includes whether a diner’s drinks were watched attentively if the server asked about any special requests and other concerns of the typical diner.

Offer Complete Instructional Training on Customer Service

Customer service isn’t just the responsibility of one employee of your restaurant staff, it’s the responsibility of all employees of your restaurant, from the manager to the busboy. Every member of your staff should know what you expect when it comes to customer service and should be trained in all aspects of it. Let your staff know how they contribute to the customers’ experience, even if they’re not routinely in contact with customers. You can engage in seminars, role-playing sessions, or question-answer sessions as a way to stress the importance of what and what not to do with customers. Having a restaurant customer service training manual is also a good way to keep employees updated on policy and procedure; be sure you put the manual in a handy place where it can easily be retrieved.

Keep Customer Service in Mind When Hiring

As you expand your staff or replace a restaurant employee, you should keep customer service in mind as you go through the hiring process. Hire people who can offer good customer service or who are experienced in customer service is important, or else you’re starting from scratch. You should look for people who can be pleasant, attentive, and responsive to customers. Asking questions about customer service at the interview can go a long way. Employees that are hired should immediately go through restaurant customer service training to establish policy and procedure from day one.

To learn more about hiring a staff that meets your needs, check out how to properly staff your restaurant

Solicit Feedback from Customers

As you continue your focus on customer service training for your restaurant staff, you should actively solicit feedback from your customers. Customer feedback will let you know how the training is in action, as well as let you spot any potential issues that weren’t covered in training. Using customer service feedback forms or surveys allows you to set a goal to reach, and lets you see when you’re not reaching that goal. You can ask your customers to rate your service, food, and cleanliness on 1 to 10 metric, and assign a goal for each part of the survey. Using customer responses will also let you see what’s missing from your customer service training, especially if you notice a trend in responses.

Don’t forget to implement a recognition program for your employees so you can reward good customer service when you need it. Keep your focus on providing great customer service and regularly meet with your staff to see how you meet your goals.


  1. comment authorVerea Aug 4, 2018

    This is great advice. I work as a Food Service Manager & Chef and I strive to provide top quality food AND top quality customer service. I recently received both horrible food (resulted in food poisoning) and customer service from Kelly's Roast Beef in Medford, MA and Management hasn't even attempted to offer an apology. I will NEVER dine at any of their locations again.

    comment authorGoFoodservice Invalid Date

    Hi Verea, We love the feedback ? Thanks for checking us out!

  2. comment authorPatrick Jul 11, 2019

    Hi is there any company out there that can help assist in developing these training for service? I own several fast food restaurants and strive to have Chick-Fil-A type service, but do not know how.

    comment authorGoFoodservice Invalid Date

    Hi Patrick, I'm glad you asked. <a href="" rel="nofollow">Here</a> is a resource that we hope might help you with your training. Thanks!

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