Here's why back-of-facility areas deserve front-of-mind consideration when being designed, maintained or renovated
When it comes to any facility, the front-facing areas of your building or business are where you spend the most effort and money to keep them clean and pleasing in appearance. The mindset is that front of house is where the guests, patrons, or diners will spend their time (and money) … and evaluate it as part of their overall experience. No question … front of house is critical.
But, what about the back of the house – places like
- Service hallways
- Restroom areas (i.e. retail stores, restaurants, etc.)
- Employee lounges
- Administrative offices
- Loading docks
- Storage areas and the like?
That being said, here is why these unseen spaces should get some TLC!
The nerve center of your building
Depending on the size of facility and the time of day, these spaces can be a veritable beehive of activity. For example, in the largest resorts in Las Vegas, the back of house spaces are constantly buzzing with staff moving to and from the front of house – loaded hand-trucks are moving beverages or dishware, electric service carts carry maintenance staff to and from, and casino cash carts shuttle from the bank to the floor and back.
How staff members view your building
In spite of all the hustle and bustle, back of house is also the place where staff can go on break or go to eat their meals. These spaces can range from simple break rooms with a few tables and chairs, to elaborate dining rooms and lounges for the staff.
Employee satisfaction, happiness and their view of your company and brand is critical to business success … happy employees means happy customers. Treat them as guests; don’t make them stare at beat up break rooms and hallways that look like a scene out of a horror movie.
What happens when visitors or customers see these areas?
Employees have to be there, and guests and diners rarely if ever go into your back of house. So you may be thinking, who cares how our back of house looks? We would suggest that there may be a large number of folks you might be forgetting: Delivery, sales and service personnel who frequent these areas.
Maybe a real-world example will help. In speaking with a restaurant-supply delivery driver, he gave a clear indication of which restaurants he would – and would not – eat in. Why? Because when making deliveries, he sees the condition of dozens of restaurant kitchens. It’s like your parents said: You get only one chance to make a first impression.
It’s said everyone has a sphere of 250 friends and acquaintances. The idea is that a bad experience for one person can be shared and retold to as many as 250 people. Tallying up all the delivery drivers, plumbers, sales reps, inspectors, etc., who see your back of house and multiplying that number by 250 could add up to a lot of potentially bad PR … and lost revenue.
Back-of-House should be Front-of-Mind
We’ve already talked about how back of house areas are beehives of folks moving supplies, machines and carts to keep the business humming. Needless to say, in all that hustle and bustle, employees and others may not be the most careful in keeping hard edges and wheels from striking walls and corners.
Protect your brand image and investment by keeping these critical areas of your facility in tip top shape.