Restaurant Banter

The lingo that is slung around in a restaurant is foreign to many people who’ve never worked in a restaurant. I decided out of boredom to make a list of terms so I don’t have to explain them every time I use them in here. This won’t be in alphabetical order because putting them in alphabetical order would be much more work than it’s worth. Here goes.

Apps – Appetizers.

Set Up – To give a table their menus and silverware.

Campers – People who continue to sit at a table long after their meal has been finished and paid for. Sometimes I don’t mind them, other times I mind them – it really just depends on the situation.

Stiff/To Be Stiffed – You don’t get a tip for some reason.

Weeded/In The Weeds – You’re up to your eyeballs in tables and things are slowly raging out of your control.

Regulars – People who come to the restaurant very frequently. You may even have their drinks and possibly even their meals memorized.

Sidework – Work that servers do other than, well, serving. Polishing and/or rolling silverware, cleaning, and restocking the dining room are examples of sidework.

The Pass – That heated shelf you see in the kitchen where food is set before it’s taken out to the customer.

Still Mooing – Very rare (as in a steak).

Well Liquor – The cheap shit that you’ll get in your drink if you don’t specify that you wanted your gin & tonic made with Tanqueray.

86/86’d – This is one that a lot of people know, but I’ll put it up anyway. To have something taken off the menu, to remove an item from a menu, or to ban someone from the restaurant.

Top – The number of people at a table. For example, if you have four people at a table, that would be a four-top, eight would be an eight-top, etc.

That’s all I can really think of right now – there are plenty of others. Besides, like I said, I really just did this out of boredom.


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