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In the restaurant business each location is typically divided up into three different areas. The business office is where the general manager and bookkeepers perform the daily administrative tasks. The back of the house includes the kitchen and loading docks where the chef is generally in charge. The front of the house is the place the public sees, including the dining room. This portion of the restaurant is usually under the direction of the front-of-house manager.
Coordinating Staff and Guests
The front of house manager coordinates all the activities going on in his designated portion of the restaurant. The coordination of staff includes assigning sections in which servers work, ensuring adequate staffing for the anticipated meal count and adjusting staff levels when dining traffic is less than expected.
Coordinating Restaurant Sections
The FOH manager may also work with hosts to help regulate the flow of customers during busy periods, estimating wait times and helping to ensure that timeline. The FOH keeps in constant contact with the back of the house to ensure they are working together effectively.
Meet and Greet
The FOH manager is the face of the restaurant. He often called upon to hear both complaints and compliments about the dining experience. The manager is responsible for helping to resolve issues with unhappy customers, as well as reinforcing the positive experience to encourage repeat visists. Table touches, or walking around the dining room to check on everyone, are important to many diners even when there is no issue. The FOH manager's presence makes diners feel well cared for.
Restaurant Standards Check
The front-of-house manager is responsible for enfocing all restaurant standards. The manager will check employee uniforms to ensure they are dressed for the shift. He will randomly check for clean lines, and he is often the last line of quality control for food coming from the kitchen to the table.
The FOH manager may be responsible for writing schedules for front-of-house staff. This includes scheduling hosts, servers, bartenders, bus people and anyone else working in the front.
Fill In Where Needed
The FOH manager is the emergency back-up when staff are unable to handle demands or when someone is unexpectedly absent. The front-of-house manager should be familiar with every job in the front of the house to allow him to step in anywhere he might be needed.
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.