restaurant jargons

11 Must Know Restaurant Jargons

Ever heard a restaurant employee shouting about al-a-carte or al-dente and wondered what the hell they were speaking? Turns out these terms are very meaningful in restaurant lingo and used daily. So if you have been curious to know what such commonly referred restaurant jargons means, go ahead:


It is separately priced items for a menu, unlike buffet. It is French term being used widely all across the world.

restaurant jargons

All day

It is basically the total number of orders. In table 3 orders 3 orders of Quesadilla and table 5 order 2 orders of Quesadilla, that is expressed as “5 Quesadilla, all day” in the kitchen.


A term used for the ticket received by the kitchen for each table, indicating what they have ordered.


It is basically the number of tables a restaurant served during a service. If 20 bills are generated for the restaurant one evening, that makes it 20 covers for that night.


A table with only 2 seating spaces in termed as deuce.

restaurant jargons

In the Weeds

When there are too many guests lagging to serve, and you are behind, you are “WEEDED” or “in the weeds”


This is typically heard by the customers very frequently. It is used by the staff when you are carrying something hot or heavy and are exactly behind another staff member or at a blind corner.

The Dance

It is the way chefs or serving staff moves in a line where the space is very less. With utmost care of not touching, burning or stabbing others the staff moves. It comes with practice and it literally feels like you flow together, like a dance.

On the fly

When an order is forgotten or someone sends a dish back or anything that causes the order to be done right now, server will tell the kitchen they need it on the fly.


It just means regular, nothing different from the one available on the menu. So “Cappuccino Reggae” means a regular cappuccino with no add-ons like cream or flavor.

restaurant jargons


Either the restaurant has run out of something or a particular order is supposed to be served without an ingredient. Often in Chinese restaurant people prefer food without use of MSG. That is “full order, 86 MSG”.

There are so many others terms used in Restaurant lingo which keeps us wondering what it means! The jargons listed above are some most commonly used.

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