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Restaurant Slang

Q. When I worked in restaurants as a server, busy chefs were said to be “in the weeds.” What other chef slang might civilians not be familiar with? – Robert, Appleton

A. Most vocations have their own unique jargon that is common to their industry, but may not necessarily be understood by the public. The phrase “in the weeds” means overwhelmed and help would be appreciated. If a food item is “86’d” it means it has sold out and is no longer available. If someone calls “all day” that is the total number of a specific menu item that is still available. “Fire” is a term used by servers to let the cooks know it is time to prepare the food for a designated table. When orders are ready to go to the guests, cooks put them “in the window” for the servers. If a server needs something “on the fly” that means to please rush the order.  Saying “behind” is a courtesy for coworkers to make them aware that you are behind them and to help avoid a collision. “Campers” usually implies impolite or oblivious customers that, even though they are finished eating and have their guest check, are not in any hurry to leave even though other guests are waiting to be seated. 

 

 

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