How Important The Back of the House Is For Hotels
By Korosh Farazad, Founder and Chairman of Farazad Group of Companies
The hospitality industry brings boundless opportunities globally, providing millions of jobs to people. In December 2019, Eton College's research showed that hospitality is one of the fastest-growing industries and accounts for 10% of the world's GDP, generating over $550 billion in revenue annually. In addition, UK Hospitality ORG 2018 claimed that hotel is the 4th biggest employer in the UK, accounts for 3.2 million and 2.8 million, direct employment, and indirect employment respectively in 2016.
What is the Back of the House in Hotels?
Back of the House, also known as BOH keeps things to run efficiently behind-the-scenes. They have minimal guest contact and personnel that often invisible to guests, mostly found in the kitchen area, employee area, storage room, business offices, laundry room etc.
Common BOH positions are as follows:
- Marketing: The team is responsible for maintaining the hotel's public image and brand. Coordinating marketing and promotional activities to meet customer needs. Marketing strategy is critical to building a brand, attracting new customers, and maintaining loyalty.
- Housekeeping: The team is responsible to ensure rooms are clean! Housekeeping tasks range from cleaning rooms, doing laundry, cleaning public areas
- Finance: The team is responsible for managing day to day operations, from accounting to payroll. Overseeing all activities relating to financial aspects such as preparing hotel financials budgets.
- General Manager/Spa Manager
- Executive Chefs/Head Chef/Sous Chef
Unlike BOH, Front of the House, also known as FOH is dealing with guests face-to-face. The positions that make up the FOH include Front Desk Agents, Concierge, and Bellman. These days, a lot of money is invested in the design and presentation of the FOH to meet customer satisfaction whereas the money spent on a better appearance of the back house is being neglected. Working in the hospitality industry is a challenging job with a lot of pressure and a certain requirement for flexibility. Hoteliers are suggested to take into consideration to renovate/design new proper break rooms for their employees to bring back the charm of working in a luxury hotel.
Alexander Datz 2014 cited that "The research showed that the implementation of a well-designed back of the house has an impact on the whole work environment in the hospitality industry and therefore influences employees, employers, and guests positively. A better work climate, work attitude and well-being on the employee's, higher satisfaction on the guest's and a higher profit on employer's side are only some benefits from a newly designed back of house". He also noted that "It was indicated that most hotels do not pay any attention to the conditions of break rooms for their employees even though they consider them as the most important assets. Employers know employees are responsible to provide service excellence to the guests every day and that a hotel is running successfully. However, as appreciation to their employees, most employers only offer benefits which are not different from others instead of thinking to be really staff- centric."
A well-equipped employee break room can be a place to rest, relax, and to motivate them. A break room that complements in all aspects of room design might be a possibility for employers to enhance the overall employee's satisfaction and therefore increase guest satisfaction and maximize profit.
In conclusion, the Back of the House is a crucial factor in a hotel's success. A positive environment of BOH is advisable and should not be ignored. The establishment of a break room is a fresh and innovative way and is beneficial for the practical significance in the hospitality industry.
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