We’re all aware of the beef between the back of house and the floor staff. Most of the time it’s purely comical, but sometimes it can boil over. Most of the time, it’s a breakdown in communication. Whatever it may be, it’s important to recognise when something is a joke, and when something is more personal. Misunderstandings happen every day, but in the world of hospo and all its intensity, it’s important to be mindful of all your workmates no matter their role.
Now we don’t want to take all of the fun out of it! The banter between both sides is often much needed comic relief. But it is important to bring the two groups closer together for the sake of the business. As much as the two groups hate to admit it, there’s such a dependency on each side to do their jobs that it’s essential they support each other.
If you’re still not convinced that a truce is in order, here are three reasons why you should consider squashing the beef:
1) You win and lose together
With the exception of dark kitchens, chefs need the floor staff to deliver the food. Much like the floor staff need them to cook it. Putting egos aside along with any questions of who is more important to the service is a crucial first step. Successful businesses will focus on the overall experience, rather than everyone’s individual performances.
Critiques on an individual level are great for one’s personal growth, but bringing the entire team together at the end of a service to discuss the good and bad as a group will only strengthen your bond as a team.
2) Communication is key
Hospo is fast-paced, frantic and at times a little overwhelming. Which means that communication needs to be sharp and clear, so the message isn’t lost along the way. If there is an error it often comes down to a breakdown in communication, like a poorly written docket instruction. Finding a clear path of communication between the front and back of house will resolve issues and bring the two parties closer.
Having the two parties communicating outside of a busy service is one way to grow in this area. Plus, make sure whoever is communicating the pass has been properly trained and knows the floor staff well.
3) Be open to learning
Chances are you’re going to know your section better than anyone else (or at least boast that you do) but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be open to learning. For instance, chefs know more about the ingredients and cooking techniques involved in a dish which is invaluable knowledge when informing a table. And vice versa, where floor staff have a direct line to the customer and any feedback they might have.
Respect your workmates enough to give them a chance at enhancing your craft. You never know what information you might miss if the person on the other side of the wall resents you.
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