What do the Terms “Back of House” and “Front of House” Mean? 7 Facts

Hospitality and tourism are two of the most diverse fields where you can find work. You’ve probably heard of the terms “front of house” and “back of house,” whether you’re looking for your first hospitality job or you’re a seasoned pro.

But there are some important differences between positions in the front of house and the back of house. Find out the answer to this question, the challenges that both sides of hospitality face, and which one is right for you in this article.

What Is the Front of the House?

Although boutiques may be created for a variety of product categories, fashion and clothing retailers are the most likely to choose this shop model. Typically, businesses that offer mass-marketed items need or require additional floor area.

What do the Terms "Back of House" and "Front of House" Mean?

Category specialists are huge stores with competence in specific product categories; yet, they have greater rooms and a wider selection than boutiques. A boutique is effective in the fashion or garment industry because affluent customers frequently seek personalized or unique clothes.

What Is the Back of the House?

Back of the house, commonly known as BOH, refers to all of the unseen regions that clients will never see. This is the restaurant’s command center, since it is where food is prepared, cooked, and plated before being delivered to the customer’s table.

On the job, all back-of-house employees must wear clean uniforms and aprons. The rear of the home is also where employees and management perform administrative tasks.

What do the Terms “Back of House” and “Front of House” Mean?

In the restaurant industry, “back of house” and “front of house” are used to distinguish between distinct parts of a restaurant. The kitchen and other support employees operate in the back of the home. The front of house is where diners are seated.

Different sorts of employees work in each department, and rivalries can arise between back-of-house and front-of-house employees, especially in large, popular restaurants.

What do the Terms "Back of House" and "Front of House" Mean?

In general, the back of house is a staff-only location, however tours may provide limited public access. The rear of the house is where food is stored and produced, and generally contains additional staff rooms such as a break room and a changing area.

Cooks, expediters, and dishwashers typically operate behind the scenes, unnoticed by the general public. In the majority of kitchens, the back of the house maintains a rigorous structure, with each employee performing a designated duty.

Waiters, waitresses, and hostesses engage with visitors in the front of house. These employees are considered “on the floor” since they are the restaurant’s visual representatives. Floor personnel are expected to be kind, knowledgeable, and well-groomed, as their demeanor impacts whether or not guests enjoy themselves.

Some employees frequently go between the rear and front of the home. Bussers and runners, for instance, transport food and plates between the kitchen and the floor. As they must respond to requests from the kitchen and the floor workers, their duties may be quite stressful.

In addition, they engage in client interactions, as restaurant patrons may not always recognize the distinction between waitstaff, runners, and kitchen staff.

In some restaurants, the public may be able to view a portion of the kitchen. As cooking may be a dirty and tense endeavor, not all kitchen employees find this enjoyable. Diners, on the other hand, appreciate being able to observe food preparation, especially when stations such as the grill and sauté are frequently visible.

In addition to being distinguishable by their tasks, restaurant staff members are frequently distinguished by their uniforms. Staff members in the kitchen often wear chef’s trousers, complete coats, protective hair covers, and closed-toe shoes.

Their attire is intended to be comfortable and functional throughout lengthy shifts of cooking, rather than fashionable. The majority of front-of-house workers wear restaurant-issued uniforms or attractive personal attire to improve the restaurant’s ambiance.

Bussers and runners frequently wear aprons and attire that is more indicative of the kitchen than the dining room.

What do the Terms "Back of House" and "Front of House" Mean?

How to Manage Back of House

The management of a restaurant must lead by example. This requires equal management of the front and back of the house. Consistently providing customers with a pleasant eating experience, which eventually results in improved profitability. Keeping the kitchen staff’s supply of ingredients stocked begins with a system for inventory management.

Additionally, it will reduce food waste during manufacture and subsequent purchases. Ensure that the kitchen is organized for functionality and efficacy. It must be well-organized, with separate preparation stations for meats and vegetables to prevent cross-contamination.

also makes sense to place products within easy reach of the line cooks or chefs. Above all else, the kitchen must be kept clean. To minimize misunderstanding, it is important to have a clear line of communication with the dining room employees when handling the back of the house.

What do the Terms "Back of House" and "Front of House" Mean?

Technology Used in Back of House

Restaurants of today rely heavily on technology. Every year, new and innovative technologies are introduced to enhance working environments and eating experiences. This includes the following: Applications for digital inventory Profit margins are dependent on accurate inventory levels.

A computerized program will produce a more precise figure than a manual count when it comes to counting products. Mobile apps and handheld devices are capable of scanning barcodes and transmitting the data directly to the main inventory software.

Additionally, voice-activated apps are on the increase. Temperature measurements for meals that are digitized As food rotting may lead to foodborne diseases, it is crucial for a kitchen to maintain the proper food temperature.

Digital food thermometers, which are safer and more accurate, have supplanted their analog counterparts.  Using their mobile smartphone in conjunction with a digital food temperature reader, a chef may receive automatic food notifications.

Automated task administration A significant portion of the kitchen staff’s jobs include multitasking. No matter how minor, errors may have significant repercussions.

What do the Terms "Back of House" and "Front of House" Mean?

Keeping track of tasks with automated task management solutions reduces errors. Each employee’s responsibilities are recorded and tracked more precisely than with paper checklists. A bonus use for an automated work list is health inspections.

Computerized handling of food recalls FDA food recall notices may not always reach restaurants in a timely manner. This may result in consumer disease if the food has expired. Now, restaurant operators have fast access to food recall notices. When food has to be recalled, computerized food recall systems deliver alerts and explain methods.


Every restaurant has a front of the house (FOH) and a back of the house (BOH). Both are important for doing well in the food business, but they work in very different ways.

Most of the time spent with guests takes place in the front of the house. It has the front desk, the area where people wait, the dining room, and, of course, the servers who take orders.

The food is prepared, cooked, and stored in the back of the house. Back of house is where almost everything that goes into making the meal for the guest happens.

Food runners, bussers, and even management, who keep an eye on everything in the restaurant, connect the front and back of the house.

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Pat Moriarty
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