Being able to effectively and succinctly communicate with your team while in the dining room with guests is an art in an of itself. To keep it quick and concise, familiarize yourself with these common terms:



Bev Nap

Small square paper napkin on which a beverage rests.


Table of a lot of people.

Bar Key

Bottle opener


To have the closing shift followed by the opening shift the next day.


When a server has been cut off from taking tables to do side work and finish the shift.


Server has put food on a table.

“Two salads down!”

Double/Triple Sat

When more than one table is seated in a particular station at the same time.


Signifies a table’s order is ready, and that any available server should take it out. Usually called out by cooks and chefs.

In the Weeds

Way behind, overwhelmed with work. Pertains to situations in both the front and back of the house.


A group of people at a table.


To promote a specific menu item in hopes of getting more orders. “Push the duck, we have 15 orders.”

Also refers to the busiest time of the night.
“The Push tonight is at 7:45 and 8:45”


Point of Sale - the hardware and software system used to send orders to the kitchen, cash out guests, etc.


Silverware rolled into a napkin.


Abbreviation for “reservation.” Can refer to either a reservation (e.g., “Customer wants a 730 resos tonight”) or the number of people dining in the restaurant on a particular evening (e.g., “350 resos on the books tonight”).


A person who visits several times a week or month.


When the amount of money taken in at the close does not match the money in one’s till.

Split ‘X’-ways

Usually referring to how a to divide a check.

“They want it split 5-ways.”

Set Up

A set of cutlery and napkins, sometimes glassware.

“I need 2 extra setups for table 4.”


The additional work given to front of the house staff to do after or before their shift (e.g., refilling salt and pepper shakers, polishing silverware).


Busy, but not as out of control as “in the weeds”.

See “In The Weeds”.


The specific tables waited on by a particular server.


Name given to the entire group of people dining.  

“What’s going on with Table 6”


To replace a finished party with a new party.


Number of times a table has had the full revolution of service from being seated to getting the check.

Turn & Burn

Turn a table quickly because the table is needed for a later reservation

Two / Three/ Any number-Top

The specified number of people at a table.

“The four-Top is looking for you.”


A job interview that lasts 8-12 hours, allows you get a firsthand view of what life on the job would be like by actually doing the job.


Three shifts in a row on the same day


To convince a guest to choose an option that costs more.


To tell a guest a menu modifications that is not printed.

“We’re going to verbal the change on the chicken tonight. Will be back potatoes tomorrow.”

Verbal Tip

Praises from a customer in lieu of actual money.

Well drinks

Well drinks are made from the inexpensive house liquors on hand.


The cheapest liquor of a certain type.

Weeded / In the Weeds

To be backlogged, overwhelmed, behind in your duties.

This compilation is a small sampling (and a work-in-progress!). If you'd like us to add one that you and/or your team use, please email us at [email protected]!

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