The total amount. E.g., if table 1 orders 2 burgers and table 3 orders 4
burgers, that's 6 burgers, all day.
A pre-shift meeting, usually with FOH staff. Also "Pre-Shift" and "Curtain
Back of the House (BOH)
All parts of the restaurant behind the kitchen doors. Usually synonymous with
See "In the weeds".
A party that stays at a table for a long time.
Check back, check down
Bringing the check with the first instance of checking if the meal is
satisfactory--usually at lunch so doesn't have to wait for the bill.
Cook's Best Friend
Manager's term for a spatula (good for food cost).
Refers to a person; any cheap or "early bird special" type
A customer in a seat at a top. "We did 500 covers tonight."
A slice of meat. Or, to reduce staffing level. (See "phase")
A segment of the day associated with a meal period. E.g., "Breakfast" is a
Food that's been sitting around too long to be served.
An empty or near-empty restaurant
A table or party of two.
Dine & Dash
Eat and leave without paying the bill.
Seating two parties concurrently to a single server. An order of magnitude less
stressful than being "triple-sat".
Smother in sauce.
An instance of being sat. "I have a new down on table 3." Or, "I just got 5 new
Items not ready with the rest of the order. "I'm dragging the fries with that
Start cooking the accompanied item. ("This burger's cremated, better drop those
Food that's been sitting around but not yet dead.
1. To refuse to serve (an unwelcome customer) at a bar or restaurant.
2. a) To throw out; eject; b) to throw away; discard.
History of "86" in November's "Ask Dave" column.
Person in charge of organizing food from kitchen and sending to the dining room.
"Who's on expo tonight?"
Same as "cook" but as in "cook it now!"
A table of four. Also "6-top", "8-top", etc.
Front of House (FOH)
The part of the restaurant from the kitchen doors to the lobby. Any area the
customer might normally see.
Management-speak for a "customer".
See: "Check from...", "Order From". Also, any number of variations (day from,
guest from, manager from, server from, chef from...).
A well done hamburger.
In The Weeds
In way over your head, and to even mention that you need help would take more
time and energy than you can afford because three more tables were just sat in
your section, and the cooks are screaming at you to grab the two orders that
just came up and you still need to stop at the bar to pick up table 5's drink
order because the bartender is giving you the evil eye.
Adjective describing a very busy restaurant: e.g., "This joint is jumpin!"
Health Inspector. "Wash your hands, The Man is here!"
No Call/No Show
Employee who does not show up and does not call.
Reservation that does not show up and does not call.
On a Rail or On the Fly
Something needed quickly. "I need table 29's food on a rail!"
Give me a well done Ribeye...on the fly!"
A group of people at a table.
Offensive name for a dishwasher.
Cut staff. Also, "phased". "It was dead, so the manager phased 3 servers."
Usually the dish area. Also, any area that no one wants to work.
"What section are you in?" They put me in the pit!
Burnt outside, rare inside.
The length of time being told that the next available table will be available.
"What's the quote?" "15 min".
The non-tipping public (see "stiffs")
Silverware rolled into a napkin, usually linen but can be paper.
A designated person who does not pick up a section but just takes food to the
tables. Also, anyone taking food to a table. Kitchen manager's favorite thing to
An instance of bringing a party to a top. "I'm sorry I can't take your order
right now, the manager just triple-sat me!"
Separate Check Hell
A version of "Special Order From Hell". More
Work performed by hourly restaurant workers other than serving guests (e.g.,
Leaving without doing sidework.
See "In The Weeds". Perhaps not as out of control as "in the weeds".
Pick up a table not in one's section, without permission from management or
server to whom the table belongs.
The wine expert.
Special Order From Hell
Parties of 4 or more who special order you to death. More
Station or Section
A group of tables assigned to a server/busser, usually numbered. (As in, "I'd
help you but you're not in my section.")
The non-tipping public (see "redneck")
Still Moving (or Still Alive)
To make four orders of vinaigrette last through an entire shift by "stretching"
with whatever is available and edible. T
Seating three parties concurrently to a single server. "Whip me, beat me,
One cycle of seating, serving and clearing a party at a table. "I've only had 2
turns on that table."
Under like a rock
Way in the weeds.
Suggest a higher priced item. "I'd like a Gin & Tonic, please." "Tanqueray?"
What we used to call "servers"
Coined in late '80's to avoid using "sexist" terms "Waiter/Waitress". Nearly
every server working back then claims inventing the term. Lost favor in '90's to
Someone who leaves without paying the bill. (See "stiff" or "redneck")
See "in the weeds".
The area in the kitchen where food is placed when it is ready to be delivered to