The restaurant business has its own set of terminologies and jargon commonly used in the industry.

The restaurant business has its own set of terminologies and jargon commonly used in the industry.

eating out in restaurants
  • Front of House (FOH): Refers to the restaurant area that is visible to and interacts with customers, including the dining room, host/hostess stand, and servers.


  • Back of House (BOH): The area of the restaurant where food is prepared and cooked, including the kitchen, prep areas, and dishwashing stations.


  • Host/Hostess: The person responsible for greeting and seating guests, often customers’ first point of contact.


  • Server: The staff members who take orders, serve food and beverages, and assist diners during their meals.


  • Chef: The head of the kitchen, responsible for menu creation, food preparation, and kitchen management.


  • Sous Chef: The second-in-command in the kitchen, often responsible for supervising food preparation and kitchen staff.


  • Menu: A list of dishes and beverages a restaurant offers, descriptions, and prices.


  • Specials: Dishes or promotions not part of the regular menu are offered for a limited time.


  • Table Turnover: The rate at which tables are cleared and reset for new customers, affecting a restaurant’s capacity and revenue.


  • Reservation: A booking made by a customer to secure a table at a specific time and date.


  • Waitlist: A list of customers waiting for a table to become available, often used when the restaurant is fully booked.


  • Cover: The term for a diner or guest at a restaurant.


  • Tipping: The practice of leaving a gratuity or tip for the server, typically a percentage of the total bill.


  • Corkage Fee: A charge the restaurant imposes for customers who bring their bottle of wine.


  • BYOB: “Bring Your Bottle,” a policy allowing customers to bring alcoholic beverages.


  • Kitchen Ticket: A printed order from the server to the kitchen.


  • Expediting: Coordinating and ensuring orders are prepared and delivered to tables promptly.


  • Front-of-House Manager: The person responsible for managing the dining room.


  • Back-of-House Manager: Oversees kitchen operations, including food preparation, quality control, and kitchen staff management.


  • Food Cost: The expense incurred by a restaurant for the ingredients and materials used in preparing dishes.


  • Beverage Cost: The expense incurred by a restaurant for the beverages it serves, including alcohol and non-alcoholic drinks.


  • Profit Margin: The percentage of revenue that represents a restaurant’s profit after accounting for all expenses.


  • POS System: Point of Sale system, which includes hardware and software for processing orders, payments, and tracking sales.


  • Turnkey Restaurant: A fully equipped restaurant ready for operation, often for sale or lease.


  • Fine Dining: A restaurant known for its upscale ambiance, service, and cuisine.


  • Fast Casual: A dining concept offering higher-quality food than fast food but quicker service than traditional sit-down restaurants.


  • Quick Service: A dining concept where the food is served quickly directly from the kitchen to the customer.

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