I have worked in my share of restaurants. 10 to be exact. One thing I have often noticed is that the kitchen can feel left out from time to time. It’s no wonder that so many places end up with front-of-the-house vs. back-of-the-house conflicts.
The front-of-the-house folks get to see the look on a customer’s face after they have put a bite of that wonderful food into their mouth. The back-of-the-house doesn’t get to see that look. The back-of-the-house usually doesn’t get to hear it when a customer goes on and on about the scrumptious (yes, I did just use that word–my mind went blank for a second; If I think of it, I will go back and change it later) food. And often, servers are guilty of not going back and sharing that information/praise with the kitchen.
So, I say, tell the kitchen. If the server tells them about all of those compliments, maybe the kitchen will be more open to some of those criticisms when the come up…Well, let’s not get carried away.
It doesn’t stop there
It’s not just about compliments and criticism (ooh–alliteration!). There are many other things that should be shared or communicated with those folks back in the kitchen.
Is there a show tonight? Warn the kitchen about the big rush. In fact, many places I have worked would give a break down of the reservations every half hour for the night. That way the kitchen can mentally prepare for what is in store. It also works on the other end. If there is a popular show or concert down the street, you might want to warn the kitchen about the potential late rush. If there is a show that might get out late, it would be a shame if the kitchen had cut one of the line cooks and sent them home.
Is there a big party tonight? That can back things up in the kitchen. Might want to warn them a bit. Is someone coming in with special dietary needs? A food allergy of some sort? Vegetarians? Vegans? Someone on the Paleo diet? Throw that kitchen a bone (I just love those food puns). Just like with the front-of-the-house, any information shared gives the back-of-the-house a leg up.
The ol’ scout motto. In the restaurant biz we call that mise en place. Why not give your employees every single chance to succeed? It will only mean that you succeed.
One more time
I say unto you: Help that kitchen out. Any way you can. This will help them to see more of the whole picture. To feel like a part of the team. Remember, they are the heart and soul of the place. They are the reason you exist in the first place. Besides all of that, it will all lead to happier employees on both sides of the line. And as we know, happy employees leads to happy customers.