FOH People Intrude Into BOH People’s Turf

February 12, 2017

in Kitchen & Chef & Boss Stories

At my last job, my boss would yell at you as if someone had just spat on his mother’s face or something if one of the front of house (FOH) people crossed the fine line of the holy back of house (BOH) territory. Just try and dare to reach over and grab that plate of soufflé before it passes on over to the pick-up window. He would have cut your freaking head off. I never had to worry about impatient, grubby server hands getting all handsy on my turf.

Fast forward to now, at my current job, with a much lax boss and less enforced rules on boundaries, it’s a different story. When I first started, there was a runner (we’ll call him “D”) that made me miss my old boss, wishing he was here to yell at these handsy FOH people. I’d be getting my orders together and I’d suddenly notice one of the orders is no longer there. “I thought I made it. Am I losing my mind?” I’d think to myself. I’d turn around and D had grabbed it off my station. And the plating wasn’t even finished. It still needed finishing touches. I seriously wanted to strangle him for crossing boundaries. Like, dude, you don’t even know which table it’s for. What if it was (verbalized) for a table that had a nut allergy and the one you just grabbed had nuts as it usually does? And what if they die all because you got all handsy and crossed over into the BOH turf where you don’t belong and you messed up our flow and order? Yeah, you are not always going to know what orders have special requests. Let the BOH people do their thing and don’t mess with their plates until it has crossed into your territory.

In the middle of a rush, I’d be plating five million things, tickets in order, have plates set up in specific order, keeping track of what table is getting what and which ones are going to be sent out first, like machinery. Then comes along a server who says, “I’m sorry. I made a mistake. Can I take this (grabs the same item plated for a different table that is in the middle of getting all the orders together)?”

“No, I’ll make you another one,” I tell them.

“The rest of their table already got their food and they’re waiting,” they plead.

Arrgghh… when something like this happens during a crazy rush, I get the urge to start throwing plates at FOH people. If whatever the item that the server took takes a long time to make, that means the compromising of the time that another table gets their order (while other things that the table ordered have a higher chance of getting cold, melted, deflated, etc.).

And don’t even get me started about when they put their hands on your ticket board…


My blog: Behgopa

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lindsey February 20, 2017 at 6:30 am

A great post I worked many a year ago as a waitress and know the importance of picking up the right ticket. But you have to make allowances for human error, especially on a Friday night


Jeana Walz February 20, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Yes, boundaries are very important to establish and respect. I can't even imagine working in that chaos you describe but it would be even more important to have well established boundaries. Maybe it's time for a come to Jesus meeting?


Ana De-Jesus February 20, 2017 at 1:54 pm

I have worked in hospitality before and it can be a nightmare especially when A. people don't know their boundaries and B. mess things up for you. Good luck x


Rebecca February 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm

I have worked alongside people in the hospitality trade in the past at an old job of mine and I remember being in awe of how hard people worked…. so many things I couldn't possible understand or cope with, haha!


alisonrost February 20, 2017 at 11:08 pm

Oh man can I ever relate. I was a waitress for a number of years in my early twenties. Looking back I'm amazed I did it .. there were a million things to remember and you're right .. boundaries was a big problem.


nbosken February 21, 2017 at 9:38 pm

As someone with a nut allergy, I appreciate this! Sometimes things need to be run in a very exact way.


thestyletune February 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm

i always wonder one really has to be super human to do everything perfectly at each service! looks so stressful specially on weekends!


Been there September 25, 2018 at 4:14 am

Hey, I've been a chef for over 8 years and transitioned to the dreaded FOH management team. Only thing I have to say, #1) HOH crushes (almost) everytime, #2 unless you have a well rounded leader running your restaurant shit will never be fair for HOH team. Industry segregation is real and a REAL leader needs to bridge the gap. Know why? Guests pay ALL our fucking bills. Get 'er done.


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