How to Manage Your Restaurant Front of House

How to Manage Your Restaurant Front of House
From staff training to floor plans, here’s what it takes to keep your front of house in top shape.
by Colleen Egan Mar 12, 2018 — 3 min read
How to Manage Your Restaurant Front of House

If you own a restaurant, you understand the importance of your front of house. The front of house represents what customers experience at your restaurant, and customers’ impressions are key when it comes to garnering recommendations and loyalty for your business. From staff training to floor plans, here’s what it takes to keep your front of house in top shape.

What is the front of house?

Front of house includes all of the customer touch points in a restauant. It’s where your customers order and dine. It includes everything from the host stand and waiting area to the dining room, bar, outdoor seating, and restrooms.

Your front-of-house staff might include a host or hostess, servers, bartenders, and the general manager — basically anyone who might interact with customers.

Front-of-house staff

Responsibilities can be split up among the staff you hire, but below are the key roles and their usual duties.

The general manager runs the restaurant, ensuring service goes smoothly; hiring, training, and managing front-of-house staff; and setting the bar for customer service. The GM oversees front-of-house staff and sometimes back of house, if the head chef does not.

A GM often plays a role in designing the floor plan of a restaurant — giving input on everything, from wall color and scents to noise level and lighting, that might affect customers’ appetite and comfort. They may also plan restaurant promotions and other company events.

The host or hostess is the first person to interact with guests and therefore imparts that all-important first impression. They greet guests and show them to their table. They also take reservations and, if a table is not ready when guests arrive, estimate the wait time. The host or hostess, to the best of their ability, keeps things running on schedule.

Servers explain and answer any questions about the menu, take food and drink orders, serve customers, and, at the end of the visit, give them their check and process payments.

Bartenders greet customers, take drink orders, and then mix and serve drinks. They might also wash glasses and manage bar inventory.

While servers take customers’ orders, in some restaurants it is the job of the food runner to transport meals from the kitchen to diners. Food runners might also assemble appetizers, refill water glasses, and clear plates when diners are done eating.

Best practices for managing your front of house

Managing front-of-house operations requires strong leadership, attention to detail, and the right technology. Here are some ways to make things run smoothly:

Colleen Egan
Colleen Egan writes for Square, where she covers everything from how aspiring entrepreneurs can turn their passion into a career to the best marketing strategies for small businesses who are ready to take their enterprise to the next level.


Keep Reading

Tell us a little more about yourself to gain access to the resource.

i Enter your first name.
i Enter your last name.
i Enter a valid email.
i Enter a valid phone number.
i Enter your company name.
i Select estimated annual revenue.
i This field is required.

Thank you!
Check your email for your resource.

Results for

Based on your region, we recommend viewing our website in:

Continue to ->