Restaurants are typically divided into two major management areas: back of house (including kitchen, storage, and dishwashing areas) and front of house (the dining room, lobby, and any lounge or bar areas.) The person who oversees the latter area at a dining establishment is the front of house manager.
Front of house managers oversee the interview and hiring processes for positions such as servers, hosts, bussers, and bartenders. They also oversee, direct, and actively participate in the training of personnel in these positions. Additionally, front of house managers supervise the cleanliness and upkeep of the dining room and guest contact areas, including restrooms and any closet/coat check areas. Finally, the front of house manager supervises individual shifts, helping ensure that dining guests are served in a manner that meets the standards set by the restaurant.
In addition to these supervisory roles, a front of house manager typically assists with budget forecasting as it applies to labor cost and operating supplies. Some front of house managers in locations with bars or lounges may also be tasked with inventory and cost control regarding liquor costs as well. Front of house managers must always look for opportunities to minimize waste and maximize sales.
The educational background required for front of house manager positions varies. Some employers prefer applicants with a postsecondary degree in hospitality or customer service, although practical experience may be given equal or greater weight in many institutions. Previous experience in a restaurant environment is generally required, and prior managerial experience may be required or preferred.
Front of House Manager Tasks
Ensure compliance with safety and health regulations.
Hire, train, and supervise front of house staff, making sure they meet customer service and sales objectives.
Manage daily operations of the public areas of a theater, restaurant, or concert hall.
Oversee preparation of public areas before guests arrive, and maintain cleanliness during business hours.