What?

  • This is a plague in almost every, single restaurant
  • Departments are naturally siloed
  • Very much like a sibling rivalry

Why?

  • While ultimately interdependent, they are incredibly independent in their operations.
  • By nature, there is a line drawn between departments
  • The plight of misconceptions in a sales organization:
  • FOH deals with customers, makes promises and gets the credit for success (tips/commission)
    • BOH gets no say on what is promised but has to fulfill them yet gets no credit for success, tends to be expected
  • FOH makes more money and stays clean
    • BOH makes much less money and has a very dirty job
  • FOH enjoys flexibility in schedule and less hours
    • BOH gets ground down via long weeks and inflexibility
  • BOH is an artistic playground with snacks and freedom to be themselves
  • FOH is an airconditioned beauty pageant full of smiles, loads of cash and no stress

….on and on

  • The reality?  Both jobs are very hard
    • FOH has to perpetually put on a show, wear a fake smile and tolerate tough customers in real time, face to face. 
      • Constantly running food, clearing tables, and dealing with the interpersonal dynamic
      • Has to tolerate surly speech from leadership, especially BOH
      • Not treated as integral aspects of the organization
      • Money is not guaranteed
      • Has to be accountable for any BOH mistakes while doing a song and dance
    • BOH works in a very hot pressure cooker-type environment
      • It’s dangerous – burns and cuts are constant
      • Hours are long and grinding
      • Environment is greasy, smelly and grimy at times

How to Fix It. 

  • Exemplified EMPATHY
  • The worlds are joined at the ticket machine on the expo station
    • The expo is the bridge that connects the two worlds
      • The bridge needs to be wider, more accessible
  • Training
    • Education on how the machine requires all gears…and that EVERY gear is integral
    • Cross-training (Passing the Plate)
  • Mandated behavior
    • Real-time corrective action
  • Communal meals; daily activities
  • Team building (Cheesy, I know)
    • Holiday parties
    • Retreats
    • Outings
  • It’s a culture thing and the leaders are the examples
    • The Chef/KM sets the tone for BOH on when and how to talk to FOH
      • Walk it, talk it and uphold it
    • The Dining Room Manager sets the tone on when and how to talk to BOH
      • Walk it, talk it and uphold it
  • The divide is fundamentally created or bridged at the top of any organization! 


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