Back of House (BOH)

The operational area in a restaurant where food is prepared, cooked, and plated, typically including the kitchen and staff areas, not visible to customers.

What is Back of House (BOH)?

The Back of House (BOH) is a critical sector of restaurant operations, referring to the areas where customers do not have access. This includes the kitchen where food is prepared, storage areas for ingredients and supplies, dishwashing stations, and staff-only spaces such as break rooms and administrative offices. The efficiency and functionality of the BOH directly impact the quality of food and service a restaurant provides.

Types of Back of House Operations:

  1. Kitchen: The heart of the BOH, where chefs and cooks prepare and cook menu items. This area is equipped with cooking appliances, prep stations, and possibly a separate pastry section for desserts.


  1. Storage and Receiving: Includes dry storage, refrigerators, and freezers where food and other restaurant supplies are kept. A well-organized storage system helps maintain food safety and inventory control.


  1. Dishwashing Area: Separate from the cooking and food preparation area, this includes industrial dishwashers and areas for cleaning cookware, utensils, and dishes.


  1. Employee Areas: These spaces may include locker rooms, staff bathrooms, and break rooms. They are designed to offer staff a private area away from the customer-facing parts of the restaurant.


  1. Administrative Offices: These areas are used for managerial tasks, scheduling, payroll, and other administrative functions essential to restaurant operations.

Benefits of Effective BOH Management:

  • Efficiency and Productivity: A well-run BOH ensures smooth operation, timely food preparation, and overall operational efficiency, which are crucial for meeting customer expectations.
  • Food Safety: Proper organization and management of the BOH help maintain high standards of hygiene and food safety, critical to a restaurant’s success and compliance with health regulations.
  • Staff Satisfaction: A well-designed BOH can enhance workflow and ergonomics, leading to better job satisfaction and lower turnover among kitchen and support staff.
  • Cost Management: Efficient BOH operations can lead to significant cost savings through better inventory management, waste reduction, and optimized labor usage.
  • Quality Control: The BOH is where the culinary standards of the restaurant are upheld. Proper management ensures consistent food quality and presentation.

The Back of House is essentially the backbone of a restaurant’s operations, supporting the seamless delivery of service that customers enjoy at the front of the house. Its importance cannot be overstated, as it significantly influences the overall dining experience, operational efficiency, and business sustainability.

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