A top-notch restaurant front-of-house staff is essential to a successful restaurant. They ensure that the restaurant runs smoothly and that guests leave happy. Finding the right people for your front-of-house team (FOH) is crucial to success.
Each front-of-house employee must have the technical skills to operate the restaurant’s point of sale. They should also be friendly, outgoing, and customer service-oriented. Each role comes with its own set of responsibilities. Let’s take a closer look at these front-of-house positions.
Front-of-house standard positions in a dining establishment
A general manager will be hired to act as the voice of the owner and to serve as a link between the owner and the rest of the staff.
The general manager’s daily duties include:
- Delegating tasks and roles among employees
- Create schedules for your staff
- Hire and train staff
- Customer service protocols: how to establish them
- Making administrative decisions
- Set up business technology
- How to create a good flow in a restaurant
- Front of house Guest Services
- Ensure exceptional guest experience
- Reporting issues and progress to the restaurant owner
Qualifications: Most restaurateurs want to hire GMs who have at least a bachelor’s degree in hospitality, management, or business and also 5-10 years of experience in the restaurant industry. GMs must have a high level of expertise in driving sales, meeting targets, and excellent customer service.
It’s impossible for a general manager to always be on site because many restaurants operate long hours. A shift manager can take on certain managerial duties. They usually have to do the following:
- Supervisory duties for front-of-house employees and operations
- Ensure that the restaurant staff performs all required tasks.
- Mediation of staff disputes and conflicts that affect service
- Handling guest complaints
- Train front-of-house staff and provide feedback.
- Reporting to the General Manager
- Qualifications: Shift supervisors should possess at least a high-school diploma or its equivalent, as well as leadership and industry experience. Their interpersonal skills and customer service should be excellent, and they must be goal-oriented. They will need to be capable of doing double duty and helping the front-of-house staff at peak times.
- Servers are the FOH staff that is most visible in a restaurant. They are responsible for making sure guests have an excellent restaurant experience. To prevent servers from becoming overwhelmed, most restaurants assign them a specific station. Server tasks include
- Take orders for food and drinks from guests.
- Always fill water glasses.
- Giving guests insights into the menu and daily specials
- The dining room: Setting up and closing it down
- Serving as a liaison between the guests and the kitchen
- Paying for the restaurant
- Qualifications: Servers need to be friendly and accommodating, with excellent customer service skills, because they spend so much time in front of guests. Many servers have previous experience as food runners or hosts or in retail and quick service.
- Bartenders maintain the bar, manage and replenish inventory, make and serve drinks, check IDs to ensure guests are of legal drinking age, and provide safe alcohol service. The tasks of a bartender include:
- Set up the bar before their shift begins.
- Restocking and taking inventory of wine, beer, and spirits
- Guests seated at a bar can be served.
- Making drinks to serve to servers
- Ensure that the bar is clean and tidy.
- Bar Billing and Payment
- The bar should be closed at the end of the night.
- Qualifications: Bartenders need to be knowledgeable about wine, beer, and cocktail recipes and have the same skills as servers when it comes to dealing with customers. Bartenders must know how to serve responsibly, how much alcohol is being consumed by guests, and how to identify signs of intoxication. To keep guests safe, they must have excellent communication and problem-solving skills.
- The host is often the first person to contact guests. They play a vital role in establishing the guests’ expectations and needs and then communicating that information to the server. The host also has the responsibility of:
- Making reservations for guests
- Organizing seating charts
- As guests wait to be seated, accommodate them.
- As soon as there are available tables, guests can be seated.
- Ensure that the server is aware of any allergies or food restrictions.
- Let servers know when guests are celebrating special occasions.