Careers Business Ownership Glossary of Restaurant Business Terms Share PINTEREST Email Print Thomas Barwick / Getty Images Business Ownership Industries Restauranting Retail Small Business Real Estate Nonprofit Organizations Landlords Import/Export Business Freelancing & Consulting Franchises Food & Beverage Event Planning eBay E-commerce Construction Operations & Success Becoming an Owner By Lorri Mealey Lorri Mealey Twitter Lorri Mealey has nearly a decade of restaurant experience, including owning and operating her own restaurant in Western Maine. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 12/23/18 The restaurant business has a language all its own. If you've never worked in a restaurant before, some terms, like "in the weeds" may not make sense. Some common restaurant terms are handy to know whether you are considering working in a restaurant or opening your own. Glossary of Restaurant Business Terms Back of House: Refers to the area of a restaurant where guests are not allowed. The kitchen, dishwashing area, and wait station are the back of the house. Bar-back: An assistant to the bartender. A bar-back usually runs glasses through the dishwasher, stocks the coolers and liquor bottles, and pours beer, wine, and non-alcoholic drinks for the waitstaff. A bar-back can also double as a busser (below). Bussing: Term used for clearing off and resetting tables after guests have left. In busier restaurants, this is done by the busboy, also called a busser. Chaffing Dish: Typically used on buffets, they are a metal dish filled with water and kept warm with a candle or fuel cell underneath. Eight-Six: If the kitchen runs out of a particular dish, the dish is “86.” Expediter: The kitchen staff who group plated food together by table number for the servers to deliver. Front of House: Refers to the area of a restaurant where guests are allowed. The dining room and bar are the front of the house. Host/Hostess: The person who meets the guests and shows them to their tables. The host is also responsible for keeping track of reservations and waiting lines. In the Weeds: A term that means it is extremely busy. For example, if the kitchen has several orders across the board and are having a hard time keeping up, they are “in the weeds.” Line: The line is the area that divides the cooks from the waitstaff. It is where the food is placed to await pickup. Mise en Place: Refers to the set up of the sauté station. Essentially, it means everything in its place. Most cooks put certain ingredients in a certain spot each shift, like salt and pepper to the right, olive oil to the left. Plating: Arranging the food on the plate. This includes adding any sauce or garnish before handing over to the expeditor or the server. Point of Sale (POS): A point of sale system is a computer system that helps businesses track sales. It also tracks employee sales and which dishes are sold most often. On the Fly: When something unexpected has to be cooked urgently, like when a mistake is made in an order or additional items are needed. Sections: Most restaurant dining rooms are divided into sections, and each section goes to particular waitstaff each shift. Sharking: Luring an employee from one restaurant to another. Turnover Rate: How fast tables empty and fill during a shift. A high turnover rate means more people have eaten and gone, while a slow turnover rate means the same people have been at the tables for a long time, or the table is sitting empty.