Those with experience working in a restaurant know that part of the job is learning the unique (and sometimes hilarious) terms and phrases of service. Restaurants seem to develop their own personal language, as each one grapples with their particular mishaps, crazy set of regulars, menu items, and daily hour of chaos.
Sure most of us are familiar with the universal term, “in the weeds” (if you do need a definition, this term describes when a server or the kitchen gets backed up during service), but some restaurants get creative with their terminology, at times offering some comic relief during those moments of insanity. For example, “Balls to the wall” at The Meatball Shop means that the restaurant is packed, while at “Riding the Pony” at Gotham Bar & Grill indicates a severe “in-the-weeds” situation.
Recently featured in the New York Times, is a list of some of New York’s top restaurant’s “Terms of Service.” Whether it’s gearing up for “The O.G’s” at Daniel or “popping the clutch” at Kin Shop, staff everywhere are speaking the language of restaurant life.