I thought of something funny a few days ago, while at Middlesex Community College, teaching my Intro to
Food and Beverage Management class.
(Which must be the toughest “Guaranteed B” ever. The students don’t just have to show up, they actually have to listen to me! No cell phones, no texting, no sleeping…I WILL wake your ass up!)
I digress. That’s not the funny thing I was thinking.
We were discussing “cross utilization”, one of the many keys to success in the restaurant business, and how the Specials Board serves as one of our greatest outlets to “move” product before it becomes unusable
“cash in the trash”.
Characterizing a conversation between Chef and Owner, what came out of my mouth was; “I’m sitting on some Haddock”. And the image simultaneously occurred in my head, of me actually sitting on a pile of fish.
(Not filets mind you, but in the World that occurs in my head, they were whole, spikey, floppy, scaley, mean and ugly Haddock…)
And it occurred to me, that aside from the nature of my own personal images, we say some weird shit in our business!
A server who was “triple seated” and can’t keep up with guest demand expresses that he or she is “In the weeds”. (I think that’s akin to not being able to “see the forest for the trees”)
“On the fly” translates to “I am in the weeds and forgot to ring in this ladies Haddock and she is PISSED…please cook it faster”. At which point the Chef may place it “under the Salamander”
“I just got stiffed” is the same as “The lady who waited so long for her Haddock did not compensate me with a generous gratuity”
The “reach in” refers to a refrigerator that you reach in, as does the “refer”, which may also refer to the “walk in”, and not a 70’s term for what the waitstaff may be referring to later, once they have “been cut“. Of course the “walk in” may also refer to a guest that arrives without a “rezzie”.
And none should be confused with “the reach around”, which suggests a suggestive action when you were really just reaching for more lemon, from “behind you”.
(A term used to warn others not to turn around fast with that late piece of fish because I am “behind you” with a hot pot of coffee)
“Fire it” means ready for “pick up”, and when the Chef too is ready, he “sells it”
Unless you requested that he “burn it”, which is not relevant to the hot coffee warning,
as everyone knows that well done just takes longer.
And when the cooks are “slammed” finding themselves in the weeds as well, not sure how many Haddocks they should actually be sautéing, they may ask the “expo” for “an all day”.
Finally, when the “front of the house” has done their job well, because they “upsold” Haddock, to their many “4-tops” of “Q-Tips”, the Chef will eventually shout “86 Haddock”…
…meaning, image wise, I am now sitting on solid “Turf”.