The Qualities of a Great Front of House Manager

The Qualities of a Great Front of House Manager

Your FOH manager can motivate your team and enhance employee morale.

When hiring you’re the person to manage your front of house staff, you want to hire with a strategy in mind.

To help you with the hiring process, take a look at the qualities of a great front of house manager. Use these qualities to find the perfect person for your restaurant.

First, let’s define the front of house.

What is the Front of House in Your Restaurant?

When looking at the front of house in your restaurant, we’re talking about all the areas and actions your customer runs into while in your place of business.

This includes the entry, lobby or waiting area, dining area, host/hostess station, the bar, restrooms, and any outdoor seating you may

You’ll find that the person you hire for front of house (FOH) manager needs to be well-versed in the fine art of customer service and making sure your diners have the best customer experience possible.

Your FOH manager should oversee all of your front of house staff and coordinates their activities.

Your manager should do the interviewing and hiring of new team members, make schedules, deal with employee conflict, and work to ensure you provide the best customer service.

This person might also take care of administrative tasks and end of shift duties like closing out the register and leaving the dining area ready for the next shift.

Let’s look at the front of house manager qualities.

Organization Skills

Because your FOH manager handles administrative tasks like employee scheduling, it’s important that he/she is organized.

Because the job is so hands-on, your FOH manager will find himself wearing many tasks, so being skilled at multi-tasking in an efficient way is key.

In addition, this person must be able to handle your wait lists in an organized fashion as well as waitstaff table assignments.

An organized FOH manager means you’ll have customers who get the best dining experience possible and a team of employees who functions well and easily together. (tweet this)

Listening Skills

A good manager is a good listener. The FOH manager must be able to listen to your employees as well as your customers and respond with empathy.

Nearly everyone from staff to diners will need something from your FOH manager during a shift. And, they often all need it at the same time.

Being a skilled listener makes it easier for your manager to handle everything at once.

In addition, being a good listener goes hand in hand with empathy. You want your FOH manager to be a strong leader who listens with empathy.

Empathy is not sympathy. It’s the art of listening to others, understanding their feelings and their point of view, and showing a sincere interest in solving their problems.

Leadership Skills

A good leader is confident in his/her decisions, but she is also able to listen to the suggestions from others and use them with applicable.

A good leader is also able to drive their teams forward with confidence. She is also able to inspire dedication and loyalty in your employees so the want to be more productive.

Leadership skills also include the ability to take charge, have a vision, and encourage employee engagement. A great leader can motivate a team and encourage collaboration. (tweet this)

Your FOH manager should have great leadership skills. If you’re promoting from within, do send your employee to leadership training for the best results.

front of house staff

Restaurants are high-paced environments, but run with a FOH manager with experience.

Working Knowledge of Restaurants

You also want your FOH manager to be well-versed in the world of restaurants.

Whether your manager is helping a customer, dealing with employees, trying to get the kitchen staff to move a bit quicker, or organizing the daily schedule, it’s beneficial for your restaurant if this person has worked in the food industry.

Patience with Staff

A good leader is also patient. This is an imperative skill when dealing with unhappy customers or unruly staff members.

You want your manager to be patient when handling conflict and to do it in a professional manner.

Customer Service Expertise

This is another vital function of your manager. Consider providing your manager with ongoing customer service training.

Remember this person is the public face of your restaurant who is also training your customer-facing staff.

The goal at your restaurant should be to provide the best customer experience possible. This is what sets you apart from the competition.

Your FOH manager is the leader in this arena. They should lead by example, welcoming every customer and encouraging the staff to treat diners like they would their own personal guests.

Good Communication Skills

Imperative in the list of qualities of your manager is communication skills.

Because this person is constantly interacting with your team members, you want him/her to be well-versed in the finer nuances of communication.

They should be able to communicate what needs to be done in an appropriate manner, instilling a great employee morale at your restaurant.

This is important because happy employees equal happy customers.

Your FOH manager is able to lead your team and inspire them to do better each and every shift. They need an open door policy that invites communication and is skilled at managing conflict.

The Ability to Develop Talent

Your great FOH manager can not only encourage your team, but her/she can see their strengths and weaknesses.

Knowing these qualities, your manager can bolster weaknesses and encourage strengths.

Your manager should be able to provide guidance to your team and give them the proper training tools to do their jobs.

You also want your manager to be able to recognize a team member’s potential and encourage it to grow. This will in turn help your restaurant thrive.

Final Thoughts

The front of house manager position requires someone skilled in leadership, knowledgeable about customer service, able to wear many hats at once, who has good administrative abilities.

Your FOH manager is a people-person, able to negotiate your employees and your customers with equal grace.

You want this person to have great organizational and leadership skills with a talent for conflict resolution on both the employee side and the customer relations side.

The FOH manager is vital to the continued success of your restaurant. It’s a position to be filled with great care as the FOH manager is the face of your restaurant.

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Images: Vishwas Katti and Van Thanh on Unsplash



One response to “The Qualities of a Great Front of House Manager”

  1. Lawrence says:

    Great advice

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