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Back of the house in restaurants

'Back of house' (or 'back of the house') is a rather archaic term, having survived over the centuries. It was first used in the Middle Ages in England to describe the area of an inn where food was prepared, which was normally located outside and to the rear, and therefore was called the back of house area. Its modern interpretation is similar, as it is commonly used to describe the areas of a restaurant, which are normally off limits to the guests, e.g. the kitchen. The term also applies to hotels where the areas include laundry and other support areas.      

Back-office systems

Back office systems are the IT business applications that support the internal business functions of hospitality organizations. Like the customer facing (front office) ones, these applications are instrumental in the fulfillment of the hospitality or tourism enterprise's mission from product to service and everything in between.

Backflow prevention

All water distribution systems are designed to keep the water flowing from the distribution system to the customer. However, when hydraulic conditions within the system deviate from the 'normal' conditions, water flow can be reversed. When this backflow happens, contaminated water can enter the distribution system. Backflow can be prevented by the installation of a device or assembly, which uses valves, in different configurations, to prevent, polluted, or contaminated water from reversing direction and flowing backward.      

Balance sheet

The balance sheet is a statement showing a business's financial position at the end of an accounting period. It portrays the financial position of the organization at a particular point in time. The balance sheet lists all the assets, liabilities, and owner's equity of an entity as of a specific date. It is classified into major groupings of assets and liabilities in order to facilitate analysis, for example, current assets, fixed assets, current liabilities, non current liabilities. The balance sheet is like a snapshot of the entity.

Baldrige Award

The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is an internationally recognized prize given by the United States Commerce Department to businesses in manufacturing, services, small businesses, education, and health care for excellence in quality. The Baldrige Award is highly prestigious. Applicants are subjected to rigorous review of their performance in areas such as leadership, strategic planning, customer and market focus, information and analysis, human resources management, process management, and the business’s results.      


In electronic communications, a channel is an important component that serves as a path through which information, in the form of electrical signals, passes between the sending and receiving ends. Bandwidth is basically the width of the communication channel, and the amount of data that the channel can transmit at one time is directly proportional to the size of the band width. More accurately, bandwidth is the available capacity of the transmission channel, which is expressed in bits per second (bps) or its multiples (e.g. Mbps) for digital data, and hertz (Hz) or its multiples (e.g.

Banquet event order

The banquet event order (BEO) is sometimes referred to as simply an event order or the function sheet. It is the basis of a property's internal communication system between the various departments and the catering department. It is also the basic building block upon which the catering department's accounting and record keeping systems are constructed. A BEO is prepared for each meal and beverage function, and copies are sent to the each department that will be directly or indirectly involved with the events.

Bargaining power

This refers to the relative power that either a guest or supplier has over the firm and its ability to negotiate transactions. Buyers have power if they buy in bulk and can therefore dictate terms, or if the product represents a large percentage of the buyer costs, making the buyer highly price sensitive (Porter, 1980). In such cases, the firm's bargaining power is weak. It may have to concede terms and/or conditions.

Barriers to entry

Barriers to entry block new hospitality competitors from entering the local industry. The barriers can be external to the industry, such as general environment factors of the condition of the local economy, the availability of land or capital, taxation rates or government regulations, etc. Barriers can be internal to the industry, driven by competitor or firm action. Since new hotels or restaurants bring additional capacity and the desire to gain market share, the result often reduces profitability for existing firms.

Barriers to exit

Exit barriers are economic, strategic, and/or emotional reasons that keep hospitality firms competing even thought they might be earning low or even negative returns on investments (Porter, 1980). Such costs are viewed to outweigh poor performance. Examples of such barriers include specialized assets with high costs to transform or with limited other use (such as a hotel or aircraft), fixed costs (labor agreements), or strategic relationships that attach high importance to being in the business and would significantly impact image, marketing ability, access to capital, etc.