Front of the House: a Definition

There are two types of jobs in a restaurant: front of the house, and back of the house. Front of the house jobs are jobs that involve interacting with your customer or guest, from the time they walk through your door of your restaurant to the time they leave your restaurant, bar, or commercial kitchen. Front of the house jobs include your host or hostess, your waiters and waitresses, the bussers, the bartenders, and anyone else who might come into contact with your customer or guest. Your front of the house employees is a valuable employee to have! Let’s take a closer look at these important roles:


The host or hostess is usually the first face your client sees when they enter your restaurant. The host or hostess is typically responsible for folding napkins, seating guests, handing out your restaurant’s menus, and rolling silverware. While these tasks may seem easy enough, there are some important details that should be remembered.

Your host or hostess should seat your restaurant clients in a way that makes your waiters’ and waitresses’ jobs easier. This means seating your restaurant’s customers at tables that are spaced out enough to allow fluid and timely service. Putting too many hungry customers in one server’s station could cause unhappy customers due to a longer wait time.
The host or hostess is also responsible for folding napkins, rolling silverware (that is getting the knife, fork, and spoon together in a napkin), and handing out your restaurant’s menus. These tasks are small, but the end result leaves a lasting impression on your restaurant’s customer base.


The waiters and waitresses are by far, the face of your company. The customers that eat at your restaurant will interact with the wait staff far more than anyone else. The faces you select to represent your restaurant will make the biggest difference. Waiters and waitresses should be polite, engaging, and able to handle customer service. Being able to multitask, be detail oriented, and keep a smile on their face should be a must. The wait staff is responsible for taking orders, communicating with managers, the back of the house staff, and bussers. The wait staff is responsible for delivering any food that leaves your commercial kitchen to your restaurant’s guest’s table. They are responsible for refilling drinks and maintaining a positive energy. The wait staff typically is responsible for cleaning, refilling stations (salt and pepper shakers, sugar canisters, etc).
Bartenders get grouped under this category because they will also share a lot of time interacting with your clients. Bartenders are in charge of pouring drinks, checking IDs, and sometimes serving food. The same rules apply for bartenders that apply to the restaurant wait staff.


Bussers are the cleaners. When a client leaves your restaurant, the bussers are in charge of quickly clearing the table and making it acceptable for the next client. The faster the table is cleaned, the faster the table can be flipped, bringing in more income to the restaurant. Bussers interact with clients, though not on the scale of servers and hosts/hostesses. Bussers are also typically responsible for washing dishes.

So you see, every job is dependent on the other, and having the right staff in place can be the difference between making and losing money.