The Back of House is the most important area in a restaurant. This area includes the kitchen, the office, storage areas, and the employee lounge. Most people don’t consider the Back of House to be important because all the glamour is dedicated to the Front of House, but it’s the area where most of the action takes place. The Front of House attracts and entertains the customers, but the Back of House provides them with everything they need.
Although the Back of House is arguably the lifeline of the restaurant, it is often the forgotten area. Most people, including potential restaurant owners, often don’t consider what’s in back. Even customers don’t give much thought to what’s in the back unless their food order is late, incorrect, or unacceptable.
Recently, the Back of House has made itself more relevant with the popularity of Food Halls, Ghost Kitchens and Open Kitchens. Ghost Kitchens are “kitchen only” restaurants that serve third party delivery or takeout only services. Restaurants with Open Kitchens incorporate the kitchen from the Back of House into the Front of House Design, allowing customers to experience some or all the food preparation and the cooking. Some restaurants incorporate the Back of House into their services by offering Kitchen tours and Back of House seating. On occasion, while dining out I have asked to tour the kitchen and I always enjoy the opportunity to see a working kitchen.
When planning your restaurant, bar, or café, always consider what’s in the back. My advice is to consider your menu first as you plan the design of your space. Always keep in mind:
What’s in the back of your restaurant will ultimately affect what’s out front. A well-planned kitchen, comfortable space for employees to rest and store their personal items, and an area for professional operations can be very important to what’s in back.