Front Of House (FOH) staff are a vital component of a thriving theatre. They’re the first port of call for visitors and are key to ensuring that visitors enjoy accessible, hospitable and entertaining experiences in theatre establishments. FOH staff ensure a smooth audience experience in areas such as the bar, restaurants, conveniences and lobbies.
We took some time out of Catherine Nolan, our Front Of House Manager’s busy schedule to have a chat about our important staff. We recently had a social and awards ceremony to say a huge ‘thank you’ to them for all the hard work that they deliver. So, what does Catherine want to achieve with her awards?
“We run a big social approximately four times a year and invite all the office staff, the box office, the bar, the duty managers, and the volunteers. This is a great chance for staff to interact with others that they may not see on a regular basis. I run these events as a chance to say ‘thank you’ and to celebrate what we have achieved. I also like to take a moment to focus on individuals who have gone above and beyond since the last social and showcase that to the wider team.
I work closely with the Executive Director (Simon Francis) on the business plan for the FOH team. The plan includes targets such as key performance indicators, sales per hour and gross profit. What I then do is translate these indicators into what the team are doing over the course of a show and the indicators then become sales challenges. So, this might translate into; who sold the most of a particular item, or which team made the most on a single show. It’s a fun competition amongst the staff and gives the duty managers a chance to push them when they are close to hitting said targets.”
Catherine then went on to tell us about what makes her FOH team fab.
“I love my FOH team! I think the thing that I like most about them is the people that make up the team. A lot of them have been with me for the full two years that I have been at Greenwich and I honestly couldn’t do my job without them. They make me smile when they come in, and they are all so efficient at their job that it means I don’t have to worry about them all the time. They’re also really great when we have new team members!”
Catherine explained the importance of FOH staff and their contribution to making the business of the theatre run smoothly.
“The FOH team are vital to the business! Just like we couldn’t have shows without the actors and the technicians, we couldn’t have shows without the FOH team. The duty managers are my representatives in the building when I am not there. Whatever they say goes and I trust them fully. The bar staff are vital to making sure everyone gets a drink and the income from this is vital to us being able to keep our doors open. The ushers aren’t just there to check tickets and sell ice creams (although both are vital), they’re also the people who interact most with our customers. They know everything that happens in the auditorium and make the duty managers aware of any problems.”
Thanks for your time Catherine!