In the ‘back of house’, which is usually just the kitchen, but we like to also add the baristas in there because they don’t really deal with guests at FC and are mainly focused on production, there only exists black and white, yes or no, passable or not passable. It’s very simple. Is it delicious and aesthetically pleasing? Is it hot? Is it passable or not passable? Black and white.
There must be clear expectations and standards in place and upheld, which allows developments within the team. This development can be stressful, very stressful. There is a time limit to producing this aesthetically pleasing, delicious, hot food, but once you have your mis en place, and enough grit in your bones to (at the very minimum) maintain the minimum standard of your food then it can be simple - black and white, yes and no, pass or no pass.
The ‘front of house’ lives in a land of grey. Countless shades, barely perceivable sometimes. Blink, and you’re out of sync and need to catch up again to calibrate your sence of grey, where you’re at, what the hell is going on out here in the front!?
The grey is made up of the passable product that’s fed to you from the back of house mixing in with the countless expectations of what the restaurant could, should, would be.
Every single customer on the face of the earth has expectations when dealing with a restaurant, any business. They have read reviews, seen photos, heard pros and cons on the grape vine and from their friends, and all of these will inevitably and undeniably create expectations, biases and eventaully, opinions. It is these expectations walking in the front door that you need to mix in with the thing that you actually do, the yes, the white, the passable. Why? Because your business has integrity. What it does, it does, without exception.
It is the delivery of this that is often miscommunicated, and and also oftenly misread.
A restaunt does a thing, not everything, a thing (a Mexican restaurant doesn’t make pizza). To stick by this is to have ‘productional integrity’, not simply integrity. We have a brunch restaurant and often we find that our ability to communicate what we do as a business is often miscommunicated and therefore misinterpreted and misunderstood. It’s our fault.
The ideal scenario is that people stumble across your place, and the visual cues on the exterior tell a story and that is the story that your business wants to tell. The guest enters. Once through the door they once again see visual cues and information that tell them what this business is, what it values, and of course what it makes. The guest is at ease, as they have answers through visual cues - they havent spoken to anyone yet! Now they are though. A FoH member comes up to them and says ‘Hello, would you like to take a seat at the bar, or would you like a table?” and the customer feel a wave of relaxation wash over them as they know what the business is, and that the staff are going to guide them through the experience.
It is those two initial visual cues that calibrated the guest with the ‘what’ your restaunt does - the productional integrity. It is these two steps that lead to the grey scale being closer to the black and white, and therefore managable.