Like the Back of House, the Front of the House also has an established chain of command that is entrenched in French History and designed to help the restaurant floor run as smoothly as possible. The names of these positions and daily responsibilities may vary depending on where you work.

Role

Alternative Position Title(s)

Description

Owner

Restaurateur

CEO

Often times restaurant owners take multiple roles in a restaurant, however most commonly the owner is responsible for setting up the business and creating the brand as well as handling all financial and legal responsibilities.

General Manager

GM

The general manager of a restaurant is responsible for all of the day-to-day operations of the business and is often the voice and face of the business owner.

 Assistant General Manager

 AGM

Maître d’hôtel

 The AGM holds the most responsibility for the front-of-the-house operations and aids the general manager in coordinating, directing and planning everyday restaurant operations. The AGM creates weekly shift schedules, helps with training all service personnel, and deals with restaurant-related issues as needed. During service, the AGM organizes seating, oversees wine selection, and ensures service goes smoothly.

Restaurant Manager 

 

The restaurant manager is responsible for assisting the AGM with the overall operations of the restaurant, hires staff, purchases food and stock, and makes sure everyone is trained on kitchen safety and health standards.

 Captain

Head Waiter

Manager

Floor Manager

Service Manager

Shift Leader

Chef de Salle

The captain is generally in charge of the service for an entire dining room and also acts as the alternate or backup for the manager since one person typically cannot be at the restaurant at all times and isn’t able to take on every role at once.

Banquet Captain

 

Banquet captains manage event, ensure decor, food presentation, and service execution in hotels, banquet halls, and private restaurant parties.

Sommelier

Wine Steward

Chef de Vin

Somms

Somms are responsible for all aspects of restaurant wine service, including purchasing wines, preparing a wine list, assisting guests in wine selection, and serving wine properly. The wine steward may also be responsible for the service of liquors, beers, and other beverages. From big jammy reds to whites with subtle hints of peach, sommeliers spend years trying to achieve the 4th level from The Court of Master Sommelier to increase their knowledge and understanding of wine.

Server

Waiter

Waitress

Chef d’étage

Servers deal directly with the guests once they are seated. Part sales(wo)men, part friend over the next two hours, servers have an in-depth knowledge of the menu, explain the specials, take the order, answer questions on ingredients used, answer questions the kitchen may have about a table and have an affinity for tableside Dad-jokes.

Counter Attendant

 

Counter attendants are most commonly found taking orders and serving food behind the counters of fast casual and quick service restaurants.

Cocktail Server

 

A server who brings drinks to patrons of drinking establishments such as bars, cocktail lounges, casinos, comedy clubs, jazz clubs, cabarets, and other music venues.

Banquet Server

Cater Waiter

Private Event Staff

Banquet servers are the wait staff at big events (e.g., weddings, galas, etc...) These servers pass appetizers, deliver food, keep drink glasses filled, and bus plates.

Backwaiter

Server Assistant

Chef de Rang

While backwaiters do deal directly with the table, they generally do not answer guest’s questions.  Usually, a junior position to the waiter the backwaiter ensures that the table is properly set for each course, punches in the finished order, delivers drinks from the bar, refills water glasses, and will monitor the tables if the waiter is busy with another table.

 Busser

Demi-chef de Rang

Commis de Rang

The busser is generally the first, entry-level position assigned to new FOH staff. Bussers maintain the cleanliness of the tables and dining area. Bussers clear plates when guests are finished, restock the dining room and side stations with tableware, flatware, utensils, condiments, and linen.

 Expeditor

 

The expeditors ensures orders are being cooked in a timely fashion so that all orders for a table are ready to be brought to the table at the same time.

 Runner

Food Runner

Runners take food from the kitchen to appropriate seat number at the table. It is a crucial restaurant position whose responsibility is supporting both servers and kitchen staff.

Delivery Driver

Delivery Person

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night keeps these couriers from delivering you food when you don’t feel like going to get it. Delivery drivers are the unsung heroes of major cities everywhere can be found, usually on bicycles, in reflective vests battling cars and pedestrians.

 Bartender  

Bartenders prepare alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for bar and restaurant patrons. They interact with customers, make recommendations and often serve as therapists for guests.

Barista

 

Baristas are early morning heroes, essentially bartenders of the AM. These caffeine consumption promoters sell, grind and brew coffee drinks.

Barback  

Barbacks are responsible for backing up bartenders, maintaining stocks, changing kegs, collecting empty glasses, keeping the premises clean, ensuring there is plenty of clean glassware and re-stocking ice.

Host

Hostess

Coat Clerk

A host is the first person guests see when they arrive and the last person to say goodbye. Hosts and hostesses greet guests, take reservations, check coats, and will seat your party once everyone has arrived.

 Bouncer

 

 A type of security guards who works the front door at clubs, bars, and music venues. One of the best people to get to know as he is the only thing standing between you and the best night ever.

 Maintenance

Handyman

Handyperson

Like the entire HGTV network rolled into one person and can fix anything in the restaurant. The maintenance person is essential for keeping the facilities running smoothly.

 

This compilation is a small sampling (and a work-in-progress!). If you'd like us to add one that you and/or your team use, please email us at [email protected]!