Service Area | Back of House Layouts

A service area, also called a service station, rest stop, or travel plaza, is a public facility found along large thoroughfares that offers travelers a place to rest, eat, refuel, or use the restroom without needing to exit onto secondary roads. Service area layouts may include fuel stations, public restrooms, water fountains, vending machines, restaurants, convenience stores, and park-like areas. Service area layouts with no public facilities may simply consist of a road exit that leads to a safe place for vehicle and truck drivers to take a break from driving, use cell phones, or check a map.

What considerations should be made when planning back of house spaces?

Considerations to be made when planning back of house spaces include: physical connectivity to the front of house, maintaining privacy as its functioning should be hidden from diners, and space efficiency for all different stations and services. When designing the kitchen, a part of the back of house, the needs of the Head chef should be taken into account. All planning should focus on the maximization of an efficient workflow in BOH.

What is a back of house (BOH) space?

A BOH, or back of house, is the part of the restaurant that includes the kitchen, storage/maintenance spaces, and offices. This area, unlike the front of house, is typically unseen from diners. The staff of the BOH refers to any of the kitchen workers.

What are service areas commonly used for?

Service areas, as the name suggests, are used to service travelers coming right off of large thoroughfares. They can rest, use the bathroom, get food, etc. at these rest stops.

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