Home Uncategorized These are common restaurant terminology you should know

These are common restaurant terminology you should know


There are some common terminology and terminology associated with restaurants. Besides the fact that it’s good to know them, it’s also good when you use them in the right context. Some of these restaurant terminologies are popular while some are not even known to everyone. i will unveil something cool restaurant Vocabulary that you can use the next time you go to a restaurant. Please feel free to use them at any time. To many, it may sound like another jargon. However, for the pro, these are not just some jargon. So you should know their meaning.

Restaurant Glossary or List of Common Words Used in Restaurants

These are common restaurant terminology you should know:


86 occurs when an item on the menu is no longer available. This also applies if the restaurant cannot fulfill an order because some of its ingredients are no longer available.

a la carte

A la carte is when you order a different dish from the menu. It can also include a side dish. A la carte is also used for freshly cooked food that you can order on request, as opposed to when you order pre-cooked food. A la carte is one of the most popular restaurant terminology.

happy r

This is another popular restaurant terminology. Happy hour is a marketing strategy to drive traffic to the bar. This is the time frame in which restaurants offer special discounts. You get special offers or free food and drinks on certain items during this period. They do this to drive traffic during off-peak periods.

front of house

Front of House (FOH) is the place in the restaurant where guests sit, eat, dine or wait. The front of house restaurant is the place where only the guest is allowed to stay. This can be either a restaurant or bar’s seating area. This is a popular restaurant terminology used by employees and restaurant owners.


Behind the house

Everywhere in the restaurant at the back of the house is out of bounds for the guest. For example, kitchen, store, office area, storage and staff quarters.

Kitchen, Cook, Restaurant Vocabulary

signature dish

The signature dish menu features a special dish that is available only in that particular restaurant. It can also be unique dishes for restaurants or chefs.

restaurant terminology

walk in

Walk-in often refers to a customer or guest who comes to a restaurant without a reservation.


Al fresco is a term used to describe the outdoor dining area of ​​a restaurant. It often consists of chairs, tables and sometimes giant umbrellas.


An appetizer is usually a starter or a small portion of a meal taken before a main meal. An appetizer, also known as starters, is a meal eaten before a main meal.


The bartender is in charge of a bar and is skilled in the art of mixing and serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at the bar. Bartender is also known as mixologist, barman barkeep, barmaid etc. It is also used for someone who mixes drinks like cocktails, mojito, etc.


A cook is a professional cook who is skilled in the art of preparing different types of food. It is an abbreviation for chef de cuisine. Most cooks have formal training.

Nuke it

This term is used to tell employees to microwave the food.


Virgin is a term used for drinks without alcohol. For example, pia colada is an alcoholic beverage while virgin colada is non-alcoholic.


Upselling occurs when a server or employee tries to influence or persuade a customer to add more side dishes to the menu. Sometimes they may offer other side dishes or promos. This is done to increase the overall bill of the customer.


A runner is the employee responsible for serving food in a restaurant. A runner is also responsible for clearing the table after the guests have eaten.


Corkage is the additional cost you pay for bringing your own food and drink. Some restaurants may allow you to bring food and drinks. In addition to your food, you will be charged a token for bringing food or drink. The extra money you pay is called corkage.

waiting list

This is a list of guests waiting to get a seat at the restaurant. This often happens when the whole house is there and guests are waiting to take the table.


VIP is the short form of Very Important Person. The term is used when important guests such as a celebrity, politician, a top businessperson or a special customer visit.

VIP area

The VIP area is the section of the restaurant reserved for VIPs. Sometimes it is often more expensive than regular. In cases where it is not, you may need to order a specific quantity of food once you are using VIP.


The term eat-in is used when you eat in a restaurant. This is a term used to describe when you eat in a restaurant. Eat-in means you plan to eat at the restaurant. If you are shopping to take home then its take out or takeaway as it is popularly known. This is a common restaurant terminology.

take out

Exit when you order food to take home. This is often called the takeaway.


The menu is the list that includes all the available food and drinks that you can order at the restaurant. It is often printed on a sheet of paper or written on a notice board. The menu is divided into sections like starters, main courses, desserts, side dishes, drinks, etc.

Drinkable item

Beverage is a liquid drink that you can consume. It can be milk, tea, coffee, soft drinks etc.

Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate is a hot drink made from processed cocoa powder or melted chocolate, milk and a sweetener.


A tip is extra money paid to waiters or employees in a restaurant for a good service. A tip is often not mandatory, however, so you should make it a good practice. It is not a fixed amount, it is advisable to always tip well. This is because some employees are paid less.


A dessert is the final course of a meal, it is sometimes made of cake, ice cream, biscuits, cheese, etc. It is consumed at the end of the meal. It is also the final part of a three-course meal.



These are high-end restaurants that combine culinary arts with beautifully designed dishes. Gourmet is another website terminology used to describe a restaurant that features aesthetically designed food.


Espresso is a type of coffee. It is made by allowing hot water to pass through a finely ground roasted coffee bean.


It is usually the name given to a small restaurant that serves food at a nominal cost. It is usually a small and cheap restaurant where you can get cheap food. Bistro is a general restaurant terminology that has been used widely by many restaurants.


A restaurant is a place that consists of a dining area and a kitchen where people pay to eat. Food is prepared in the kitchen while food is served in the main restaurant.

service tax

Service charge is an additional amount added to your bill, which is paid to employees for their service. The service charge is usually between 10 and 20 per cent.


These are menus that are only available at a specific time and are sometimes not included in the main menu.


A canteen is a restaurant provided by an organization, school, factory, etc., for its employees.

fast food

These are easy and quick to make foods that are usually made in large quantities.


Reservations are when you pre-book a table at the restaurant before you leave.


A bill is a document that lists the food and drinks ordered by you along with the total cost. When you have eaten or are about to leave, you can call the waiter/waitress to collect your bill. For example, a service charge of 10 to 20 percent may be included in your bill.


A cafe is a small restaurant that serves light meals and soft drinks. They are sometimes referred to as coffee shops.


A course is a portion of a whole meal. Some countries have a maximum of four courses. Mango is a three-course meal consisting of a starter, mains and dessert.

cum meal

These are meals that you can order in addition to the main meal. This is another common restaurant terminology.


A starter is a small dish that comes before a main meal. Depending on the type of restaurant, it could be spring rolls, pepper soup, bread, calamari, prawns, etc. It is sometimes referred to as an appetizer.

table reservation

Table reservation is when you call or reserve a table before going to a restaurant.


A mixologist is a person in a restaurant, bar or lounge who is skilled in the art of mixing drinks.

main course

The main course is usually the main dish that you can order. It is part of a three-course meal consisting of starter, main and dessert. The main course is the heaviest meal in the restaurant. It is also called main.


It usually consists of several dishes where the guest is allowed to serve himself. Buffets often consist of different meals arranged on a table. Guests are allowed to roam and take as many as they want. This is a popular restaurant terminology that you may have heard before.

host hostess

A host or hostess is the employee who welcomes the guest and shows them at their respective tables in the restaurant. This is another common restaurant terminology used to describe restaurant employees.


Your order is a list of food or drinks that you select from a menu.

waiter Waitress

A waiter or waitress is an employee who takes your order and also brings your food. The male is known as the waiter while the female is known as the waitress.

point of sale (POS)

have a point of sale computer system In the restaurant where the staff use to book orders. It is also used to keep a daily record of the food sold. It can also be used to track employee sales and day to day transaction records.


They are also known as Food Runners. A runner is the person who is responsible for carrying the food to the guest. In a small restaurant, a runner may also serve as a hostess and a waitress.


A cutler is a set of spoons, knives, or forks.

In the end, these are the words you should know if you want to pursue a career in the food industry. In other words, if you own or work in a restaurant, it will present you as a professional. Perhaps if you frequent the restaurant, you should be familiar with these terms as well.

Have you learned any new words? Share with us in the comments below. Maybe, did we miss any words, please comment below.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of knews.uk and knews.uk does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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