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Detailed Guide To Front of House (FoH) In a Restaurant


Find out what makes your front of house staff shine in your restaurant. This guide explores FOH operations, staff roles and tips to help your staff.

For any dine-in restaurant, the front of the house is the beating heart of the operation. It is the welcoming smile on arrival, the attentive service during your meal, and the swift farewell. Only by perfecting your restaurant's Front Of House (FOH) can you perfect your dinner experience and achieve satisfied customers, good reviews, and a successful restaurant.

Functions of the Restaurant's FOH

The front of house is where guests enter your restaurant. This includes the waiting area, dining room, and bar. It's where customer journeys start and end and where your front of house employees play a pivotal role. 

They act as a link between the kitchen and the customer, ensuring clear communication and service delivery. Major functions of front of house include:

  • Guest Reception & Seating - Warmly greet and welcome the guests, handle the reservations, and seat the patrons at the restaurant in an efficient manner that allows for a steady flow of visitors in and out of the premises.
  • Order Accuracy & Efficiency - Taking accurate food and beverage orders and communicating them precisely to the kitchen staff. Being aware of any special requests or dietary concerns that the guest might have.
  • Exceptional Customer Service - Providing the best possible customer service. Being attentive and engaging throughout the dining process, answering all the guest’s questions regarding food, offering food recommendations, keeping the water glasses filled, and ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable atmosphere.
  • Payment Processing - Servers should be well trained and capable of handling guests’ bills and using the restaurant POS system (Point of Sales System) to receive payments through any and all payment methods a guest might use to offer a complete dining experience.
  • Maintaining a Clean & Inviting Environment - Regularly bus tables, clear used dishes, maintain cleanliness in the dining area, and ensure a visually appealing restaurant space that reflects your brand identity.

Essential Staff Roles Within the FOH

A successful and well-structured FOH team is composed of several various staff members, all of whom work together to keep the restaurant operating smoothly. Key positions in front of the house and their job descriptions include the following:

Floor Manager

The restaurant manager, or general manager, is the most important member of the front-of-house team and has a customer facing role. As a leader, the manager manages Front Of House operations, including staff scheduling, developing in-depth training programmes, and maintaining a high level of commitment to customer service skills. Furthermore, they are the go-to authority for addressing any customer complaints or concerns, swiftly resolving issues to maintain the restaurant's reputation for excellence. 


The host is the first point of contact for guests and is, therefore, responsible for establishing the atmosphere and expectations for the rest of the dining experience. Their responsibilities include everything from efficiently managing reservations to accurately overseeing wait times and seating arrangements. In simple words, a host’s job is to ensure a seamless flow of movement and ensure that dining service is running smoothly.

Servers/Wait Staff

Waiting staff is the soul of all restaurants and they do much more than serve food. Their responsibilities go beyond taking orders; they are trusted and knowledgeable ambassadors of the restaurant's menu and kitchen. They can make or break customer's experiences based on their recommendations. Attention to details and responsive to guest needs is the essence of true hospitality. 


Next comes the role of bussers. They support the servers in setting up a clean, well-maintained dining area. Their duties include clearing used plates, ensuring tables are spotless for incoming guests, and making sure essential items such as water and cutlery are in place. This behind-the-scenes support makes a considerable contribution to the restaurant’s appeal and functionality.


Within the FOH staff, bartenders are responsible for overseeing the bar area and brewing a variety of beverages with precision. They are responsible for catering to the diverse tastes of the guests while upholding responsible alcohol-serving procedures.

Building a High-Performing FOH Team

Your front of house, FOH experience for customers will only be matched by the level your restaurant staff exude. When hiring, look for candidates with excellent customer service skills, a positive outlook, and the capacity to work quickly and efficiently under pressure. Be sure to invest in extensive coaching that ensures, at a minimum, the following:

Investing in Comprehensive Training Programmes

Establishing a solid customer service requires extensive training of front of house staff focused on customer communication skills, psychological skills, and maintaining a positive attitude under stressful conditions. 

Besides, it is also essential to cultivate a high level of product literacy among the wait staff. It includes providing up-to-date, knowledgeable menu items, their backstories, ingredients, preparation protocols, and proper wine pairings. 

This is to ensure that the waiter is capable of answering any and all customer inquiries regarding menu items and offering suggestions. Finally, it is absolutely crucial to provide staff with knowledge of restaurant policies, service procedures, and emergency protocols to ensure smooth and professional operation.

Fostering Effective Communication & Teamwork

A well-oiled FOH team must prioritise communication. This can be achieved by setting up clear lines of communication between the kitchen and the front staff. It will help you better organise your FOH, ensure smooth operations, and minimise errors and delays. The team should be thoroughly updated on menu changes, specials, and customer feedback on a daily basis.

In addition, team spirit must be cultivated. This can be done by fostering a helpful and encouraging work environment, ensuring work-life balance, hearing the team's concerns, and providing instant solutions. All these efforts will help you set the front of house team murals at the highest levels!

Cultivating a Customer-Centric Approach

Ultimately, a strong FOH team is based primarily on a customer-centred approach. All staff members need to be trained to provide outstanding customer engagement and service based on an active listening approach. Besides, it's also important for staff to perfect upselling and suggestive selling techniques in such a way that they enhance the dining experience without coming off too aggressively.

Furthermore, outstanding communication skills and a thorough understanding of human nature make it possible for the staff to build immediate relationships with customers. This not only allows you to deliver the highest levels of customer satisfaction but also helps you build a returning customer base. 

Closing Down

An impeccably managed FOH team is the foundation for a prosperous restaurant. Optimize Front of House staff to improve efficiency and profits. 

Restaurant owners can improve customer experience by investing in great customer service. Create a perfect dining experience to attract repeat customers. Train skilled staff to enhance the overall customer experience. 

Remember, FOH is the heart of hospitality; make sure it keeps beating and providing unforgettable dining experiences to the guests.

For almost 20 years, 3S POS has offered one of the most flexible EPOS systems to international brands such as Caffe Concerto, Maroush, Comptoir Libanais, Pepe’s Piri Piri, GDK and thousands more delighted customers.

If you are looking for an EPOS system for restaurants that will not just help you accept payments but includes inventory management, loyalty programs, and much more, speak to our sales for a free demo.

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