Front of house staff ensure a seamless and quality customer experience for guests at venues including restaurants, bars and gastropubs.
They manage bookings, greet guests, escort them to tables and are there to resolve any customer issues or complaints.
Front of house managers and supervisors are also responsible for overseeing teams of staff with tasks including rostering and performance appraisals.
This detailed guide offers everything you need to know about front of house roles, including a job description, information about current salaries and essential qualifications and skills needed.
What does a front of house staff member do?
To translate the job description into simple language, here is a list of the tasks and responsibilities that front of house staff will deliver in an average working week;
- Greeting customers on arrival – Manning the entrance to the venue and welcoming guests as they arrive, before showing them to their seats
- Delivering exceptional service – Exceeding the expectations of customers throughout their visit, including taking orders, providing recommendations and responding to queries promptly
- Resolving complaints – Handling customer complaints directly or escalating to supervisors when needed
- Managing reservations – Receiving and recording incoming reservations in person, by email and telephone
- Liaising with other teams – Working closely with team members in other areas of the business, to create a seamless experience for the customer, e.g. kitchen staff
Front of house staff skills
Aside from industry experience such as specific food or beverage knowledge, the following are the softer skills required for front of house staff.
- People skills: Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to make guests feel welcome and well cared for
- Teamwork: The ability to work closely with other team members during a shift, and, if in a management position, to manage a group of staff
- Negotiation: Addressing guest complaints efficiently and effectively to ensure overall customer satisfaction
- Organisation skills: Being able to multi-task and juggle competing priorities throughout a shift
- Food and beverage knowledge: Detailed knowledge of a specific food or beverage function related to the role, for example cocktails or wine
- Restaurant/bar operations knowledge: Understanding of how hospitality venues run on a day-to-day basis including staff rostering, opening and closing routines, and cleaning protocols
- Software knowledge: Knowledge and application of industry software and systems including taking bookings, orders and payments