Five tips for navigating communication between front and back of house employees in the food and beverage industry

Five tips for navigating communication between front and back of house employees
By Jordan Knox
February 7, 2013

Exploring the dynamic relationships that occur on the other side of the kitchen door between front of house and back of house employees can be a very treacherous and intimidating proposition. But does it need to be this way?

Why some chefs and culinary team members appear difficult

There is a reason that working with food is called “culinary arts,” and if a chef is truly dedicated to their craft the kitchen can be a self-sacrificing often pride swallowing endeavour. The food and beverage industry is like no other forum where critics are given the chance to voice their opinions instantly and often with harsh criticisms. It is commonly understood that the harsher the criticism, the more likely it is that a portion if not all of a patron’s meal will be taken care of. In fact, most reputable restaurants take the standpoint that they like to hear criticisms because it helps to lessen the likelihood of future issues.

When you factor in server errors, accountability to food cost, and pressure to perform during high volume nights, it is no wonder that culinary team members may find it hard to keep their emotions from bubbling over from time to time. The focus of this emotion commonly ends up centred on whoever is in front of the pass-through window.

From a server’s standpoint

The food and beverage industry is a common first job for many young people trying to earn extra money while going to school or trying to pursue other careers. According to a Canadian government Statistics sheet from March 20121, 38.6 per cent of service staff in Canada are under 25 years of age, and just under 80 per cent of the work force is under 44.

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