How to Develop Front of House Training

Front of the house staff members are often some of the most important employees in a business; here is how to ensure optimal training for your team.

Published on 24 July, 2017 | Last modified on 2 June, 2022

Front of the house staff members are often some of the most important employees in a business; here is how to ensure optimal training for your team.

Front of house staff members are often some of the most important employees in a business. You know the saying: you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your front of house team is responsible for making that first impression count.

These employees are the ones who greet your customers at the door, deal with their day-to-day orders, and are generally responsible for the bulk of business-to-consumer interactions. The retail industry – particularly hospitality and restaurants – are most familiar with this term. Waiters, hostesses, bartenders, cashiers, and sales associates all fall under the umbrella of ‘front of house’.

“Personality is key for front of house team members.”

Tips for Front of House Training
Such an important position requires adequate training. Incoming team members need to become fluent in interpersonal skills, company protocols and appropriate customer interactions. Approaching the creation of front of house training materials is of the utmost important in order to ensure an optimal consumer experience. Let’s check out some top tips for constructing these training documents.

Verse Your Staff in Company Culture: So, you’ve hired a strong team. Regardless of the business, personality is key for front of house team members. Training materials need to be clear about the kind of culture the business is trying to cultivate.

Is it a hip and young new restaurant with lively employees? Or is it a refined dining experience with more formal interactions? The same concepts can be applied to hotels. The underlying question is “What kind of business are we?” The answer to this question is crucial and will dictate the tone of employee-customer interactions. Be sure to nail this down early on.

Nail Down An Effective Structure: Consistency is important in any industry’s training materials. You want your customers to have a fairly similar experience across the board, regardless of the employee at hand. According to Restaurant Owner, this is why front of the house training instructions should be borderline ritualistic in nature. A clear set of standards should be laid out for training heads.

When there is no solid structure in place, training leaders can emphasis different key points, which can then cause a difference in customer experience. Every training session should include specific and valuable information without overloading the attendees. Try structuring your training into bite-sized sessions to ensure your staff are absorbing all of the relevant information. Make sure that, as a business leader, you are paying close attention to the outcomes of training sessions. Is there variation? Does the structure need to be tweaked?

Training should include a variety of different activities for your front of house staff.Training should include a variety of different activities for your front of house staff.

Combine A Variety of Training Methods: Training needs to accommodate a variety of learning abilities. When creating materials, there should be a mixture of approaches, from interactive group sessions to training manual distribution. Front of house employees aren’t limited to a specific age range, and, as such, the training methods should accommodate both older and younger generations.

Provide traditional methods like PowerPoint presentations and written tests for those accustomed to those types of materials, but mix that approach with some interactive exercises. The combination of methods will set your whole team up for success. Marriott provides its front desk staff with a two-week computer-based training course, followed by an in-person shadowing process to physically practise trainees’ new skills, explained the Hotel Business Review. Keep these various options in mind when drafting up your front of house training.

Be Consistent across Training Areas: Front of house employees require a unique blend of skills. They need the technical prowess to handle various operating systems. They need the hospitality skills to deal with customers face to face. They need to be well versed in company products. Trust us, the list goes on. Training for each of these crucial skills should be consistent and thorough. Whether this means extending training periods or deploying a variety of methods as mentioned above, training leaders need to be prepared to ensure that each necessary skill is developed fully and effectively.

“Front of house employees require a unique blend of skills.”

Provide The Tools Necessary for Continual Training: There is no true finality to training. It is an ongoing process, especially for front of house employees. There is always more to be learned on the job. As a leader, it is important to arm your team with the tools necessary to continue learning, to reference what they have learned and above all to keep improving.

Here at Mimeo, we provide businesses and their training leaders with the tools necessary for continual training. With unlimited editing access to current documents, leaders can make changes as necessary and distribute them to the relevant locations and team members. Our printing services also allow for speedy and error-free delivery of your most necessary training documents. When it comes to front of the house training, Mimeo has the capabilities necessary to ensure your staff is equipped with the tools necessary for success.

Mimeo Marketing Team

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