What is the 10 and 5 Staff Rule?

Hospitality 101 comes with a multitude of acronyms and customer service rules that can be applied in any business where service is a key element of the experience.

One of the first rules taught by hospitality companies big and small is the 10 and 5 Staff Rule, also known as the ‘Zone of Hospitality’.

Understanding the 10 and 5 Staff Rule

Simply explained, the 10 and 5 Rule suggests that anytime a guest is within ten feet of a staff member, the staff member should make eye contact and warmly smile to acknowledge the oncoming guests.

When a staff member is approximately five feet from a guest, a sincere greeting or friendly gesture of acknowledgement should accompany the eye contact and smile.

Successful companies in and out of the hospitality industry have adopted their own versions of the 10 and 5 Staff Rule.

At Wal-Mart, founder Sam Walton coined the ‘Ten-Foot Attitude” and said, “…I want you to promise that whenever you come within 10 feet of a customer, you will look him in the eye, greet him and ask him if you can help him.”

At Walt Disney World, the rule is taken a few steps further by outlining what should happen any time a Disney “cast member” is near a guest with Disney’s Seven Service Guidelines:

• Make eye contact and smile
• Greet and welcome each and every guest
• Seek out guest contact
• Provide immediate service recovery
• Display appropriate body language at all times
• Preserve the “magical” guest experience
• Thank each and every guest

At Coyle Hospitality, we recognize that the essence of the ’10 and 5 Staff Rule’ is applicable throughout any service industry, as it demonstrates to guests that the staff member is aware of his or her surroundings and understands that the essential part of their job is to be helpful and welcoming.

Do you employ the 10 and 5 Staff Rule in your company? If not, is there another rule like it that you apply to your overall customer service strategy?

Coyle measures this rule and other important service touch points thousands of times each and every month for global hospitality companies such as Kimpton Hotels, Mandarin Oriental Hotels and Resorts, and Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. Contact Coyle to see how your brand stacks up against these industry leaders.

© 2018 Coyle Hospitality Group. Reproduction of any material without written authorization is strictly prohibited.

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