Restaurants are known to have service with a smile. From a coffee house to elite dining rooms, you will find a gracious staff waiting to take your order. Unless you have worked in a restaurant, it is hard to know what happens behind the scenes. From the time you enter the door to signing your payment slip, there are a multitude of steps that remain unseen from the table.
Front of House
The service team is generally the front of house personnel that has the most contact with the guests. When you are met by a greeter, they are usually known as a host or Maître D. They are in charge of seating arrangements and the appearance of the entry. Each server has a section of tables and it is up to the Host to set the pace for your waitstaff and the kitchen. If a server becomes overwhelmed with too many tables, it can lead to poor service and a traffic jam for the back of house operators.
The server is a liaison between the Chef, cooks and the consumer. They are encouraged to understand the menu and be able to help their guests have an enjoyable time. Once an order is taken, it is up to the waiter or waitress to do a lot of multitasking. Every establishment has their own routine. Salads and desserts are often prepared by the waitstaff to bring to their tables. They also maneuver beverages and appetizers for a timely meal. The server will retrieve any accompaniments that are required or requested. Watching for refills and cues are included in their service routine to anticipate the needs of the table.
Back of House
The kitchen and prepping areas is where the magic happens. The food items are ordered, stored and prep with a system to ensure availability and freshness. The kitchen staff will keep food safety procedures in place while using their culinary talents to prepare each delightful dish. Most kitchens have different stations that make it easier to efficiently organize the orders as they come in.
After the meal is plated it is turned over to an expeditor or sometimes the Server. This process checks for quality, adds garnishes, sauces and sides from other stations. Some restaurants have a physical expeditor whereas others leave it to the Servers to gather their orders. The prep staff work ahead of the cooks line slicing and dicing the many components that go into an entrée. Pastas and rice dishes can be worked by the prepper for a quick turnaround. Dishwashers and cleaning staff keeps the operation running smoothly. Managers maintain and manage the staff. They handle guest and employee service along with the fiscal and operational ends of the business.
There is a lot of happenings behind each order in a restaurant. The varied aspects throughout work together for every guest. From front to back, everyone has a key role in the success of each dining experience.