True Restaurant Guest Focus Starts in the Kitchen

Nothing happens in a restaurant dining room until someone creates a recipe, orders the food, preps and cooks the food, and an expediter puts the order together. 

The best successful multi-unit independent restaurant companies create enthusiasm and loyalty with their back-of-house personnel by constantly telling them – through shift meetings, staff meetings, or just one-on-one dialog during the shift – that the restaurant is successful because the food they make is fantastic, people love it, and it makes people happy.

Everyone knows that people do better work and are more loyal to their employer when they have more meaning in their work.

They give their back of house personnel a sense of achievement, pride, and accomplishment.

That spurs them on to do better, care more, and to want to stay where they are – banishing thoughts about working somewhere else.

Show Your BOH Team As Much Love and Attention As Your FOH Team

Without the people in the back of the house, there would be nothing to serve.

So why is it that most restaurateurs spend so much time encouraging and praising front-of-house people – servers, bussers, and hosts – and then conduct mystery shopping and telephone surveying until they have a pile of data?

The reason is simple: we are focused on the fact that the front of the house is where the guest is, and, if we have a proper amount of guest focus, we know guests will return over and over, become evangelists for our brand, and revenue will flourish.

But in a highly competitive labor environment, we know how important it is to retain great people who work in kitchens.

We know how important it is that the food they create for guests is up to standard and as wonderful and perfect as humanly possible.

4 Most Productive Ways to Engage Your BOH Team

  1. Take stock of how you communicate success to your back-of-house team.
  2. Create feedback loops through shift meetings, staff meetings, and one-on-ones to make sure your kitchen people hear about why their jobs are important and the food they make is appreciated and stellar.
  3. Measure what this does for employee morale, commitment, and retention.
  4. Watch your quality levels, guest satisfaction, and guest counts rise.

The people in the kitchen probably hear more about exceptions – something that went wrong – than they do about all the times things went right.

That is why kitchen people often fall into a production mode, where they think about what is good for them, how to be more efficient, and forget the guest.  

The best restaurants keep them out of production mode, and focus them on the guest.