Back of House / BOH

What is Back of House / BOH?

Definition of Back of House / BOH in Construction

In retail construction, the back of house is the portion of the project that is behind the sales floor. This area could include storage for inventory, coolers, freezers, the back of display coolers, employee lounges, maintenance facilities, etc. In addition, the loading docks are normally located in the back of house and are not available to the public. The terms back of house and front of house are very commonly used in all retail projects.

The back of house or BOH,  is all of the space available to the employees and not the public.  Whether it is the majority of the space, such as in a dry cleaning store, or a minority of the space, such as a retail clothing  store, the back of house is normally the area that is less architecturally stimulating and inviting. 

The back of house, or BOH, is an important aspect of the employees comfort as well as an area for merchandise storage or repair.  There are normally employee bathrooms, janitor areas, rubbish removal areas, loading docks, etc. all in the BOH. 

In many instances, when a retail store is under a scheduling deadline, the BOH is the last area  to be completed. Insofar as the area is not in the public view, it does not directly influence sales and advertisement for the retailer.  The area can be partially finished to allow the store to open without any negative reaction by the customers. The BOH is much more important to the employee  than it is to the customer.   

Although the BOH is very important to the overall function of the store or service center, it is not required to be completed prior to opening.  The completion of the BOH can occur, even as the FOH or front of house is functioning with customers. The BOH is normally easy to complete, due to its proximity to service corridors as well as open exterior loading docks or exterior stairs.  All mechanical accommodations for the store or service areas are normally located within the BOH, and are easily accessible to service and maintenance, due to their location.