Webb Sanderson launched BOH • FOH, a quarterly newspaper "Dedicated to the Restaurant Professional," in Knoxville in 2009. He's since expanded into other cities, including Nashville, Chattanooga, Little Rock, Savannah, and Memphis.
BOH • FOH stands for "Back of the House, Front of the House," and while it is a relatively new endeavor, Sanderson says he's kicking around the idea for years.
Sanderson, who has a background in both restaurants and advertising, says that the cooks, bartenders, servers, etc., who work at restaurants are a "different breed."
"I always thought it would be a great idea to print stories that we tell each other after work when we're getting a beer, " he says. "It's very entertaining."
BOH • FOH is available to restaurant personnel only. Sanderson struck a deal with liquor distributors who deliver them to restaurants. Circulation in Memphis is around 10,000.
The articles are written by the newspaper's readers, i.e., restaurant employees. In the spring issue, there's a story on workplace romances and one on "Feeding People Lines." There's also jokes and a comic strip featuring BOHFOH the Clown.
The Memphis edition recently acquired an editor, Maya Heegel, who formerly worked at Restaurant Iris.
Sanderson says that BOH • FOH is a tribute to a workforce that is often overlooked. "People don't consider it a real job," he says. "They don't get shown any love.
"[BOH • FOH] is not setting the world on fire," Sanderson continues. "But readers love it, and that gives me motivation to keep doing it."