What Does a House Supervisor Do?

A back-of-the-house supervisor oversees the culinary staff.
Front of house supervisors ensure servers adhere to the dress code.
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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: C. Wilborn
  • Last Modified Date: 09 December 2014
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The duties performed by a house supervisor can vary greatly. This is because the term "house" is used in many industries to describe the establishment where business takes place. Both nursing homes and restaurants are often referred to as a house. Some duties, such as supervising staff and striving to maintain customer satisfaction, will generally be performed across all industries.

In a nursing home, a house supervisor can be responsible for managing the coordination of personnel. A registered nurse (RN) may be required for certain medical procedures. A certified nurse’s assistant (CNA) may bathe and groom a resident. Then, a member of the housekeeping staff may clean the resident’s living area. A house supervisor could be responsible for coordinating the times that some of these services are rendered to best accommodate the residents.

Complaints from those residents regarding the staff or the facility may be directed to the house supervisor. She may have the responsibility to resolve some of them or she may have to direct the complaints to the appropriate person. The house supervisor is also generally responsible for making sure that staff members perform their duties according to the facility’s and government’s regulations.

In restaurants, supervisors are often separated into two groups. Front-of-the-house (FOH) supervisors normally deal with staff and issues that directly involve the customers. Back-of-the-house (BOH) supervisors generally deal with staff and issues that involve the kitchen.


An FOH supervisor is generally responsible for FOH staff appearance. Most restaurants have an image that servers are required to adhere to. The supervisor normally must inspect these people who deal with the public to insure that their uniforms meet the standard. If their earrings are too big or they do not have name tags, the supervisor may refuse to allow them to work until the problem is corrected.

The FOH supervisor normally is the person who must also deal with staff members who are late or who will leave early. If a staff member is late, sometimes she is penalized with a warning that may have to be written by the supervisor. In the restaurant business, it is common for staff to gradually be sent home as business declines. A house supervisor usually decides who gets to leave when.

A BOH supervisor is generally concerned with the culinary staff. One of his primary concerns will be to ensure that these people adhere to health and food codes. When a health inspector finds fault in a restaurant or if a person gets sick from food sold in a restaurant, the BOH supervisor is one of the first people who is likely to be blamed.

The BOH supervisor may also be responsible for ensuring proper measurements are used. In many restaurants, portions of food are carefully weighed out to try to maximize profits. Likewise, he may also be responsible for allotting the amounts of non-food items that can be used, such as cleaning detergents, towels, and uniforms.

In most industries, a house supervisor will be responsible for ordering or submitting order requests for supplies that are used by his staff. He is also likely to be responsible for finding replacement staff for those who do not come to work. When a person cannot be found to work in another’s place, a house supervisor may have to perform that job himself.


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