Chapter 3 : Front Of The House Functions

General Manager
Open seating
Booking a reservation
Residence time
Call-ahead seating
Point-of-Sales System
The general manager (GM) is responsible for the
overall operation of the restaurant
Often, the owner of the restaurant is the general
They are accountable for:
o The entire restaurant operation
o Front-of-the-house employees
o Back-of-the-house employees
o Supervise the other managers in the restaurant
If the restaurant is apart of a corporate chain, the
GM will be responsible for communications with
the corporate headquarters
Front-of-the-house refers to the
area in a hospitality business that
guests usually see
In a restaurant, the front-of-thehouse usually includes:
o Lobby or entrance
o Hostess/ Host stand
o Dining Room
Front-of-the-house employees
work directly with guest
The front-of-the-house is responsible for the following six
o Seating guest
o Selling food
o Transmitting orders to the kitchen
o Serving customers
o Bussing tables
o Obtaining payment form customers
Seating is the process of finding seats for customers in a
When customers enter a restaurant, they are seated by a
host or hostess
Customers should be seated as soon as they enter the
Customers should be seated so that they will be served in the
most efficient way
A specific server is responsible for the tables in
his or her station
The host or hostess must evenly distribute the
guests so that one station is not filled while
another is empty
Many restaurants have a computerized table
management system
If there are no tables available when the guests
arrive, the hostess will give them a pager
The customers will be paged when the
restaurant has a table available to sit them at
A reservation is a promise to hold
something for a customer until the
customer needs it
In the restaurant industry, a
reservation is a promise to have a
table available for them
Customers call ahead to reserve a
table for a specific number of
people for a particular date and
Walk-ins are customers who arrive at a restaurant but have
not made a reservation
These customers walk in the door and expect to be seated
Open seating is when a restaurant will not accept
Customers are seated on a first come, first served basis
The process of taking a reservation is called booking a
Reservations have advantages and disadvantages
The main advantages include:
o Tables are ready when the customer arrives
o The restaurant will have an accurate account of the people to expect
The main disadvantages include:
o Guest may not show up for the reservation
o The restaurant will lose money
To avoid losing money when guests do not show up, some
restaurants make more reservations than there are tables,
this is called overbooking
Residence time is the time that it takes a party to eat a
meal, pay the bill, and leave the restaurant
90 minutes are usually needed for a party of four people to
eat a complete meal that includes appetizers, beverages, the
main course, and dessert
Call-ahead seating is a fairly new seating method
It is also called priority seating
Call-ahead seating is when a customer calls the restaurant
and have their names added to the waiting list
o It does not guarantee the guest will have a table
o It guarantees them a place in line
The sales function occurs when the server takes the customer’s food
Servers use a process called suggestive selling
Suggestive selling is recommending menu items that the customer
may like
Suggestive selling also increases sales for the restaurant and usually
increases tips for the server
Ways restaurants use suggestive selling:
o Include wineglasses in the place setting
o Sitting wine on the table
o Offering additional items to an entrée
o Offering dessert
o Offering an after dinner drink
A critical part of the restaurant business is getting the
customers’ orders to the kitchen, then getting the correct
orders back to the customers
This process can be broken into five steps;
Taking the order
Transmitting the order
Preparing the order
Checking the order
Retrieving the order
The server takes the orders from the guest
Each table in the restaurant has a number
At each table, the guest have a number
Each restaurant has their own way of filling out checks for
the guest
The server must ensure that each order is recorded
Taking Orders
Many restaurants use computers to improve the process of
taking orders and transmitting them to the kitchen
This computerized system is called a point-of-sales system
A point-of-sales system (POS) is a computerized system for
recording an order at the place where the order is taken
Once the orders are accurately recorded, they must be
transmitted to the kitchen
There are two basic methods of transmission:
o Computerized
o Non-computerized
In the non-computerized method, the server goes to the
kitchen, places the order on a spindle, cook prepares the
In a computerized system, there is at least one printer in the
kitchen. The orders are entered and sent to the proper printer
The POS also improves ordering and transmission accuracy
It will calculate and print out all the checks
Other capabilities of the system include:
oTrack the number of menu items sold
oAlert servers of items that have sold out
oKeeping track of inventory
oCredit/debit card processing
oEmployee time clock
oEmployee schedules
oFrequent diner loyalty programs
oSales reports
Once the orders are in the kitchen, the
culinary staff takes over
Culinary means related to kitchens and
The culinary staff consists of:
o Chefs
o Cooks
o And other staff involved in preparing food
While the main course is being prepared,
the server can serve appetizers, soups, and
Timing of food preparation is a
critical skill in the restaurant business
All guest of the same party should
be served their main courses at the
same time
However, different courses take
different amounts of time to prepare
In many restaurant a team member
called an expediter will organize the
timing of the food
After an order is done, but before it is packed up and served,
it should be checked for accuracy and appearance
The order should first be checked against the original order,
either on the POS or the guest check
The portion sizes must be correct, and the food must be
properly cooked and arranged on the plate
Food should be served as close to the time that it is finished
cooking as possible
Most restaurants will have a special area equipped with heat
lamps to keep the food hot until served, this area is called the
pass-through or the window
Restaurants have various ways of alerting the staff that the
food is ready
Neon Number Board
POS Alert at Computer Terminal
Wireless Paging System
Serving food and beverages is a major function of the frontof-the-house
Regardless of style of service, quality service is the primary
responsibility of the front-of-the-house staff
Quality service takes place when guests in a restaurant never
have to ask for anything
Guest often do not realize that they have received excellent
service until after they have left the restaurant
Bussing is:
 Setting the place settings on the table
Clearing the dirty dishes from the table
Assisting the servers whenever needed
After dessert and additional beverages are served, the check
should be given to the customer
If the server cannot determine who the host of the party is, the
check should be placed face down in the center of the table
Actual handling of payment is done in several ways:
Customers take payment to a cashier
Server takes payment
Many restaurants only accept cash
Others will accept credit and debit cards
Restaurants within hotels will often allow
hotel guests to charge restaurant bills to the
House Functions

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