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7 Food Industry Terms You Need to Know

May 10, 2024
7 Food Industry Terms You Need to Know
Food Industry Food Industry TermsMak

Did you 86 those onions? What's the order for the 12-top? Is there anybody BOH? The food industry can sound foreign sometimes, with all of the acronyms, terms and slang used. But once you get to know this language, it seems natural and actually improves communication efficiency.

To give you a boost, let’s cover some common food industry acronyms you should know.

  1. BOH

First off, one of the most common terms out there: back of house, aka “BOH.” This is a reference to the people who work in the “back” of the restaurant, like the cooks and dishwashers. It can also be a reference to the area with equipment and inventory. Basically, if someone mentions “BOH,” they’re talking about the people or areas of the restaurant that have limited or no customer interaction.

  1. 86 / 68

You might have heard a server say something was “86ed” from the menu. This simply means that it was removed, whether due to selling out or a missing ingredient. But it can also be used as a term to throw something away, such as when you want to 86 those rolls from yesterday. The opposite is 68, which refers to adding something back to the menu or getting something.

  1. In the Weeds

Whether you’re an alcohol server or food handler, you can be “in the weeds” for a variety of reasons. This means you’re really busy or swamped, with your to-do list getting larger and larger. This gives your fellow employees a heads up about how busy you are and gives them an opportunity to help you out, if they’re available.

  1. 12 Top

This is a reference to a table with 12 diners and is similar to the term “4 Top,” which is, you guessed it, a reference to a table with four diners.

  1. On the Fly

A phrase sure to elicit some grumbling, “on the fly” means ASAP. Or, more accurately, while you’re doing what you’re already doing. This happens for a variety of reasons, like when a dish is undercooked or a server forgets to request an order.

  1. All Day

A term you’ll hear in the back of the house, “all day” refers to the number of dishes of the same type that the kitchen is currently making. For example, “five salads all day” means that there are currently five total salads among all of the ticket orders in the window.

  1. Expo

Expo is short for “expeditor,” the person who works between the kitchen and dining room. Consider them “middle of the house,” coordinating the servers and chefs and ensuring everything goes smoothly.

The food industry has a variety of acronyms, terms and sayings you should know, but food safety is even more important. To learn more about our food handler course and how it can help with your entry into the food industry, contact us at 972-800-8758.

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