The 5 Most Important Skills for FOH (Front of House) Restaurant Workers

Working in the FOH takes a special set of skills to be successful–after all there are a lot of demands being placed on you!

You’ve got to deal with guests, handle special requests, fetch this and refill that, and you’re always, always on the move!

With so many demands, you have a to have a diverse skill set.  While these skills may not come naturally to you, the good news is that all 5 of these skills are learnable.

Here they are:

Interpersonal Skills 

Perhaps the one skill that will take you the furthest in life is knowing how to deal with different people in different settings and circumstances.

As a FOH team member you will be the ambassador of the establishment, the advisor of the guest, and the representative of the guest to the kitchen.  

Playing so many roles demands that you know how to communicate effectively, clearly, and diplomatically. 

For example, a mistake made by the kitchen can either upset a guest or be well received by the guest–depending on how you communicate that mistake and the possible solutions to the patron.  

If you feel like you are lacking in this area, don’t sweat it!  Communcation and grace are learned skills.  And, the best part of a restaurant is, you can learn on the job!  This is one skill in particular that you can learn best in a restaurant!

On-the-Spot Decision Making

Restaurants are dynamic environments where you will often have a solution to a problem or customer request pre-set for you.

But other times, there will be situations that are outside of the ordinary and you’ll have to decide the best course of action.

Being able to make the right decision in the moment is a skill that will set you apart from your coworkers now and in the future.

In fact, the reason businesses will always need people and can’t simply replace them with robots, is that people make decisions–they can think critically.

That said, some people are better at this than others.

So, what’s the difference?  What makes one person better than another at this segregating skill?


And in a restaurant, you will have plenty of practice to hone this skill for current and later use.

The Ability to Move Fast

Most of the time there are no strict demands placed on our time in life.  (Or that’s how it seems at least).  So we can take our time accomplishing whatever task we’re working on, whether it’s homework, chores, running errands, or simply going from one place to another.

Restaurants are the opposite.

In a restaurant, guests come all at once in big waves.  There might be 50 or 100 people in a restaurant and only three or four people to serve them–from taking their order to preparing the food to cleaning up afterwards.

With that sort of volume of work, the only way to keep up is to know how to hustle (i.e. move fast).

The ability to move fast is so useful in life because by moving quickly in all the things you do you are literally giving yourself move time.

The problem is that this skill takes practice!  You won’t learn it if there isn’t a clear reason to make you move quicker.  But you will have all the practice you need in a restaurant!


The Ability to Make People Feel Good

As Maya Angelou said, “People will never forget how you made them feel.”

Knowing how to make people feel understood, accepted, and cared for is a skill in life that will bring you compounding returns over and over.

In fact, most people don’t know this one vital skill with dealing with other people.

So, if you can learn this–and it is learnable–then you can move ahead of the crowd in all areas of your life.

And the best part?  You can learn this at a restaurant, because restaurants aren’t really about food, they’re about people.

Being Able to Continue to Put Forth Effort When You’re Tired

Let’s face it, everyone gets tired and everyone has days where they feel like they just don’t have the drive to keep going.

What separates those that are successful among us from those that are not, is the ability to keep pushing and putting forth effort even when it feels like you don’t have an ounce of energy left.

What most people do when they get tired is to throw in the towel–to call it quits.  But no matter what endeavor you’re undertaking, that is a guaranteed path to failure.

There will be times in your life when you are running on fumes but you’ve got to somehow keep going.  This might be for a day, a week, a month, or a year–but it’s going to happen at some point in your life.

How do you learn this skill?

Most importantly you must realize that this skill is really more of a “muscle” than a skill–it’s something you have to practice and build up; it’s something you have to make strong.

And where are you sure to get plenty of practice building up this special muscle?  You guessed it–at a restaurant!

If these sounds like skills you want to learn, join our team now!