Dernière mise à jour :
April 11, 2024

Inside Look at the Back-of-the-House in Restaurants

Explore the vital role of the restaurant's back-of-house operations in delivering seamless dining experiences.
Inside Look at the Back-of-the-House in Restaurants
Angelo Esposito
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The Backbone of the Restaurant: Back of the House

In the bustling world of the restaurant industry, the back of the house serves as the vital backbone that keeps operations running smoothly. This behind-the-scenes area is the heartbeat of any establishment, especially during peak hours when the restaurant is extremely busy. While the front of house is where guests experience the ambiance and hospitality, it's the back of the house where the real magic happens.

Restaurant employees working in the back of house (BOH) are responsible for various critical tasks, primarily centered around food preparation and delivery. From chefs and line cooks to dishwashers and food runners, each member of the kitchen staff plays a crucial role in ensuring that the restaurant runs like a well-oiled machine.

One of the most significant aspects of the back of the house is that it's where the majority of the action takes place. It's a chaotic place where orders are shouted, pans sizzle, and plates are swiftly assembled before being sent out to awaiting diners. Despite the chaos, there's an undeniable sense of camaraderie among the kitchen staff as they work together to meet the demands of a busy service.

In addition to food preparation, the back of the house is also responsible for maintaining cleanliness and organization in the kitchen and other areas. This includes tasks such as inventory management, equipment maintenance, and adherence to food safety standards. Without a well-functioning back of the house, the front of house would struggle to deliver a seamless guest experience.

In essence, the back of the house is the engine that drives the restaurant's business. While it may not have the same level of guest interaction as the front of house, its contributions are no less important. Without the hard work and dedication of the kitchen staff and other back-of-house employees, the restaurant would struggle to make sense of the chaos and deliver on its promise of exceptional dining experiences.


How the Back-of-the-House Functions

The back-of-the-house operations in a restaurant are vital for its overall success. Led by the restaurant manager and management team, this area is the hub of activity where house jobs such as food preparation and cooking are carried out. The kitchen staff, including chefs and line cooks, play a pivotal role in ensuring that meals are prepared efficiently and to the highest standards.

They work closely together, following recipes and guidelines to prepare dishes that meet the restaurant's standards. The back of house is where the magic happens, as ingredients are transformed into delicious meals that delight guests.

Efficient coordination among the back-of-house team is essential for ensuring that the restaurant run smoothly during service. The management team oversees the restaurant operations, ensuring that tasks are delegated effectively and that each member of the kitchen staff knows their responsibilities. From preparing ingredients to cooking and plating dishes, every step in the process matters. The kitchen staff's ability to work together seamlessly and communicate effectively ensures that meals are delivered promptly and that guests have a positive dining experience.

Ultimately, the back of house is the engine that drives the restaurant forward, ensuring that everything runs smoothly behind the scenes.


Why is the Back of the House as Important as the Front of the House?

What Back of House Staff Members Do?

Most interaction in restaurant BOH operations revolves around the staff members who work diligently behind the scenes. These BOH staff members encompass a diverse team of kitchen personnel responsible for various tasks essential to the smooth functioning of the establishment. At the helm is the kitchen manager, overseeing BOH operations and ensuring efficiency throughout the shift.

Line cooks, prep cooks, and sous chefs work together to prepare ingredients, cook meals, and plate dishes according to the restaurant's standards. Dishwashers play a crucial role in maintaining cleanliness by washing dishes and utensils promptly to support uninterrupted meal service.

In addition to these roles, BOH staff members may also include specialized positions such as pastry chefs, butchers, and bakers, depending on the restaurant's cuisine and menu offerings. Each team member contributes to the overall success of the kitchen, working collaboratively to ensure that every meal meets the restaurant's quality standards.

While their work may not be as visible as that of the wait staff in the front of the house, BOH staff members play an integral role in delivering exceptional dining experiences to guests.

Where to Find Back-of-the-House Areas

No matter the size or type of the restaurant, there are a few common back-of-house areas that can be found in almost any establishment. These include:

  • Kitchen: The main hub where food preparation and cooking take place.
  • Pantry/Storage Room: A designated area for storing dry goods and non-perishable items such as flour, sugar, and canned goods. This area is typically monitored closely by the kitchen manager or designated BOH staff member.
  • Walk-in Cooler and Freezer: These large, temperature-controlled spaces hold perishable items like produce, dairy, and meats. The walk-in cooler is usually kept at a slightly higher temperature than the freezer to keep food fresh without freezing it.
  • Dishwashing Area: Typically located near the kitchen, this area is where dirty dishes, utensils, and cookware are washed and sanitized.
  • Employee Break Room: A designated space for BOH staff members to take breaks and store personal items.


Team Dynamics: Collaboration and Support

The back of the house is very much about team dynamics: collaboration and support are the cornerstones of a successful restaurant operation. A strong team culture is essential for both BOH and FOH staff to work seamlessly together, ensuring that everything makes sense and runs smoothly. High turnover rates are common in restaurants, but fostering a positive team environment can help improve communication and reduce turnover.

Within the kitchen, teamwork is crucial as chefs, sous chefs, and line cooks collaborate to prepare food efficiently and deliver dishes to customers in a timely manner. In the dining area, FOH employees rely on each other to ensure that guests have a pleasant dining experience. Servers share tips and support each other in managing customer complaints or addressing any issues that arise. Delivery drivers collaborate with kitchen staff to ensure that orders are prepared correctly and delivered promptly.

An expeditor acts as a liaison between the kitchen and the waiting area, ensuring that food is sent out from the food window in the right order and that each dish meets the restaurant's standards. By fostering a culture of collaboration and support, restaurants can create a positive work environment where employees feel valued and supported in their jobs. This not only benefits staff morale but also enhances the overall customer experience.



BOH positions are typically organized hierarchically, with each role having specific responsibilities and duties. Some common roles in the back of the house include:

Kitchen Manager:

Oversees all BOH operations, supervising staff and ensuring that tasks are delegated effectively.

Sous Chef:

Assists the kitchen manager in managing daily operations, including menu planning and ordering supplies.

Line Cook:

The line cooks work together to prepare food, cook meals, and plate dishes according to the restaurant's standards.

Prep Cook:

Assists line cooks by preparing ingredients, such as washing and chopping vegetables, marinating meats, and making sauces.


Keeps the kitchen area clean and organized by washing dishes and maintaining a tidy work environment.

Pastry Chef:

Specializes in creating and preparing desserts, pastries, and bread for the restaurant's menu.

Head Chef:

Head Chefs oversee all BOH operations and are responsible for creating and managing the menu, ordering supplies, and training staff.

Executive Chef:

Executive chef is a top-level position, typically responsible for multiple restaurants within a larger establishment or chain. They oversee all culinary operations and work closely with management to ensure the success of the restaurant.


Responsible for preparing and cutting meats for use in dishes.


In conclusion, the back of the house plays a crucial role in the overall success of a restaurant. From preparing and cooking food to ensuring that dishes meet quality standards, BOH staff members work together as a team to deliver exceptional dining experiences to guests. By fostering a positive team culture and providing support and collaboration among staff members, restaurants can create a harmonious working environment that benefits both employees and customers alike.

So the next time you dine out, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication of the back-of-house staff who make your dining experience possible. Let's give them a round of applause for their efforts! Thank you, BOH staff members, for all that you do. Keep up the fantastic work!


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