Dear Back of House: A Note from Front of House
In a previous post, the back of house gave the front of house a few tips on how to work better together. At the end of the day, we are all trying our best to make as few mistakes as possible and ensure that food comes out and guests leave happy! So, here is a little note from the front of house.
We have different jobs, different duties, and different schedules. Some nights we come in and kill it. Other nights we are sent home after only two hours. We take that hit for the team. We do our best to stack and scrape plates, to ring orders correctly, to be on our game. We know that some requests are annoying, but we’ll do whatever possible to keep guests coming back. And, we rely on you to help us with that.
2. Ticket stacking
Sometimes we get double sat, and then double sat again. Then, by some twist of fate, all four of our tables are ready to order all at once. We’ll let you in on a little secret—we’re going to ring them all in at once, too. It must be done. We’re very sorry. And by the way, table 12 is in a rush.
3. Please read tickets carefully
If we are doing our job, we carefully take orders, carefully ring them in, and always review them before firing. Please actually read the ticket before making the order. It’s easy to be in autopilot, making the same dish over and over, but when a customer says no greens, it actually means no greens.
4. We take the blame for your mistakes, too!
Sometimes, mistakes happen, and we take the brunt of the blame. When food is running long, it’s our fault. If food is cold, our fault.
The more issues in one night, the more time we spend putting out fires and clogging the line with free desserts. Good servers capture the heart of a table despite mistakes, but that takes a little flexibility with the kitchen. Sure, maybe someone will try to abuse the privilege. Fine. Cut them off. But, when we ask for additional ice cream on the fly to please the customer, just do it. We are trying our best to cover BOH mistakes, not make your life hard.
5. Keep in mind the guests can hear you
We work hard to keep up appearances for the guest. We dress nice, speak politely, and smile. We laugh at good jokes, bad jokes, and ones that we didn’t even here. Please do your part to maintain this atmosphere. Loud, inappropriate conversations, loud music, and loud arguments often emerge from the kitchen. Guests sitting near the kitchen are subject to a list of horrors. Let’s try to be aware of that.
6. Let me trust you on allergy tickets
Allergy tickets are a big deal. Know the common allergens, and take care to ensure the dish is safe. Imagine how humiliated you would feel if you put your reputation on the line for an item with no dairy, and then it came out with cheese on top. Now imagine the refire coming out with cheese, again. It happens more than you’d imagine.
7. I can get you soda when you’re thirsty
Yup, we can do it. Any soda you like. We can make it a regular thing. Like, you don’t even have to ask. We’ll just see you sweating your tail off back there and get you a soda. Your favorite kind. Lots of ice and a refill too. If you’re nice!
You guys work super hard, and nothing is possible without you! Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for coming in earlier and staying later. Thank you for not making family meals super spicy every day! We love you!
My first restaurant job was working the graveyard shift washing dishes at a truck stop. I’ve since worked in every position in every type of restaurant. My three favorite things about the industry are the people, the contagious energy of hospitality, and the stunning views.
This profession can take you anywhere. I have passed my nights in quite lakefront restaurants and watching stunning ocean sunsets. But, my favorite of all was working just below Yosemite Falls, in Yosemite National Park.
I’ve always been a writer, and this industry has allowed me to travel, stay home with my son, and go to school, all while making good money. It is by far the best paying part-time gig! I am currently finishing a Masters in Technical Communication.