Your browser is out of date. It may not display all features of this websites. We recommend to use one of these browsers or versions Mozila Firefox or Google Chrome

Connect
To Top

Front of House vs. Back of House

By: Reading Time: 2 Minutes

Is the divide for real? Anyone who’s ever worked in a restaurant knows about that eternal divide between kitchen and service. No, not the pass. It’s more of an invisible barrier, a sense of two worlds colliding, almost like they’re two rival sports teams—or even armies on opposite sides of the battlefield. Yes, Front of House (FOH) and Back of House (BOH) do have separate work areas and completely different jobs, but they still have plenty in common. And they’re all working in the hospitality industry—you’d think they’d be hospitable to each other, right?

So what’s the deal?

Service is out there collecting orders like fiends, but they’re just not putting them in. Back in the kitchen, everyone’s standing around wondering why it’s so quiet. The restaurant’s full—isn’t anyone ordering anything? And then suddenly the dam bursts, and the machine’s rattling off one ticket after another non-stop. Great, just great. The cooks LOVE it when all the waiters dump a big stack of orders on them at once. Really. Oh, but just you wait, Service. You’ll get yours, too. Ever carried a plate that was just sitting on top of a gas flame? Or faced down a table of customers demanding to know why the other table got their food first? Clearly, nothing good will come of this restaurant guerrilla warfare. (Unless you count first-degree burns and angry customers as “good”, which we… don’t.)

back of house

A way out.

This is the part in the conversation where each group says the other is totally lazy, that “all they ever do” is carry trays / chop vegetables / whatever. They all know it isn’t actually true, but they still keep up this us-and-them mentality. Maybe it’s time for everyone to kiss and make up? We’ve got a few ideas…

1) Even if it’s hard: Share tips

FOH gets the tips, obviously, since they’re out front. But let’s be honest here: why are customers tipping you? Because you’re so friendly and charming, you say? Okay. But it’s also because you served them such fabulous food. And where did that fabulous food come from? Exactly. From the back.

2) Grab a drink

It was a long evening, but you’re not tired. So go out for a nightcap. That’s right, together. Chat, have a smoke, whatever. Spend all that (shared) tip money. And remember, what happens in the restaurant, stays in the restaurant. Work hard, party harder!

3) Be nice

People on both sides of the pass are working crazy hard, hopped up on adrenaline, but that’s still no excuse for shouting, whining, or sniping at each other. Obviously, we all have bad days, but if you want to be treated like a professional, you have to act professional—and being friendly is part of that.

4) Have a proper meal

Food nourishes body and soul, and that goes for restaurant staff, too. So be sure you (that’s you, restaurant owners) factor in enough time and enough ingredients that the whole team can have a meal together. Then FOH will appreciate all the blood, sweat, and tears that BOH puts into their creations. (Figuratively. We hope.)

5) Remember: you need each other

A service team with nothing to carry and a kitchen nothing’s getting carried out of. Seems like a bad combination. So suck it up and work together, and your restaurant will flourish, because your customers will sense the friendly atmosphere, and they’ll reward you with better tips. Which brings us back to that whole tip-sharing thing…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More in Chef's Life

  • MANGOSTEEN: THE QUEEN OF FRUITS

    This exotic fruit owes its lofty nickname to Queen Victoria, the second longest-ruling British monarch: Legend has it that Victoria promised...

    Rolling PinJuly 22, 2021
  • Do (not) finish me off

    The sound and not-so-young convenience production industry is finally speaking up for itself. Why they feels so at home in their...

    Lucas Palm - RollingPinJune 15, 2021
  • Bread and games

    If you want to know how to make 90,000 people happy in the shortest amount of time, ask Stefan Pappert. After...

    Heike LucasJune 10, 2021
  • Best Chefs of Instagram 2021

    Haute cuisine meets snackable content: the perfect mix! It's not just in kitchens around the world that things are bubbling, simmering...

    KTCHNrebel Editorial TeamJune 7, 2021
  • Mycology: the trumpet of death

    At first glance, this edible mushroom is rather off-putting to laymen due to its sooty grey to black color. But this...

    Alexandra Embacher - Falstaff ProfiMay 20, 2021
  • “There is always a light at the end of the tunnel.”

    The trip to Hiša Franko takes you along winding country roads and follows the turquoise Soča River through a valley with...

    Ilona MarxMay 14, 2021
  • FOOD SCHOOL: Moai Caviar

    The light green sea grape with a crisp bite: Moai Caviar. If you're looking for a plant-based alternative to fish roe,...

    Alexandra Gorsche - Falstaff ProfiMay 11, 2021
  • Organic Garden

    Rethinking the food cycle with Organic Garden. From the farm to the plate, everything from a single source – that's how...

    Alexandra Gorsche - Falstaff ProfiMay 3, 2021
  • Tour de Beef

    Farmers and producers in all corners of the world are playing around with creating the absolute best steak on the planet,...

    Lucas Palm - Rolling PinApril 29, 2021