Restaurant Industry Safety & Health - Front of the House


Woman reaching over a long restaurant table placing napkins down. Caption: Avoid over-reaching across tables or booths.

Avoid over-reaching across tables or booths.

Photo Courtesy of OSHA

Information for:

  • Hosts/Hostesses.
  • Servers/Wait staff.
  • Bar tenders, Bar staff.
  • Runners, Server assistants.
  • Bussers.
  • Cashiers, Counter service workers.
  • Drive-through attendants.
  • Dining Room Managers/Supervisors.
  • Caterers, Mobile food service workers.
  • Closeup of a person's hands grabbing a hot bowl off of a counter with a napkin. Caption: Protect your hands while carrying hot plates. Photo courtesy of OSHA.

    Protect your hands while carrying hot plates.

    Photo Courtesy of OSHA

Front-of-the-house food and beverage service workers are on their feet most of the time and often carry heavy trays of food, dishes, and glassware.  Serving food and bussing tables, especially while assuming awkward postures, may lead to back, neck, and shoulder strains and sprains.  Workers in drive-through stations face additional hazards such as vehicle exhaust and loud headset background noise.

In addition, during busy dining periods, workers are under pressure to serve customers quickly and efficiently.  Injuries from slips, cuts, and burns often result from hurrying, spilling or touching hot dishes, or mishandling knives, utensils, and sharp tools.

If you also routinely or occasionally perform back-of-the-house taskswhen cross-working help is in need, make sure you view that section as well.

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