Moments of Truth


Whether you’re serving a packed house or offering curbside delivery, you and your staff have many chances to impress – or disappoint – guests. That’s why it’s so important to identify where you can exceed expectations at every point in the guest experience. Remember, guests don’t form an impression of your restaurant based on one thing you do, it’s all the little things that determine whether they’re giving you one star or five while they’re on their way out the door. These are your “moments of truth.”

What Are the Moments of Truth in Your Restaurant?

A “moment of truth” is any point during a visit when a guest has an opportunity to form a positive or negative impression of your restaurant. Moments of truth may be different for every restaurant, but if you put yourself in your guests’ shoes, you should be able to identify what they are for you. Think about it, brainstorm with your staff, and hire mystery shoppers if you have to. Write down the moments of truth for your guests. Then, answer these three questions to create a plan of action for each one:

  1. How should guests be treated to exceed their expectations?
  2. Which employees and managers have the greatest impact on guests?
  3. What training is necessary to ensure a positive experience for the guest?

What Does it Cost You to Fail on the Moments of Truth?

Moments of truth are tied to sales. Your guests don’t walk in your door, make a purchase, and walk out. Your staff has opportunities to sell to them throughout the entire guest experience. Here’s why excelling at each moment of truth is so important:

  • Guests who have negative experiences are more sensitive to price. Conversely, guests who have positive experiences are more open to suggestions and less concerned about price.
  • Negative experiences reduce guest loyalty. Some studies suggest that more than 80 percent of customers never return to a business if they have a negative experience.
  • Negative word-of-mouth spreads to other potential guests. Restaurant managers know this better than anyone – guests are more likely to tell others about negative experiences than positive ones.

Training is Key to Excelling at Your Moments of Truth

Restaurant staff training can help you and your employees prevent negative experiences throughout your restaurant’s moments of truth.  Click here to discover how our Cycle of Service training covers the guest experience from the moment they pull in the parking lot to the moment they walk out the door.

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