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Restaurant Lingo: FOH, BOH, FNG, 86 it and more

Restaurant Lingo: FOH, BOH, FNG, 86 it and more


So you just got hired at a restaurant and you have no idea what anyone is saying. It seems to be another language, and it kind of is; it’s restaurant lingo.

But don’t worry. You’ll be well versed in no time flat after reading all about the the special language of restaurants: restaurant terms, restaurant slang, or restaurant lingo; whatever you want to call it.

FNG: Fucking New Guy/Gal/Girl


Apparently made popular by the U.S marines and Army (1, 2) during the Vietnam war. It’s derogatory, but fun. Just like everyone is once a baby, they are also once an F.N.G.



Front of house.

When you walk in the front door to the restaurant you are greeted by a host who ushers you to a table or bar, there you are taken care of by a waiter or served by a bartender. Your food is delivered by a food runner and your dirty dishes are cleared by a busser.

All of these people work in the front of the house.



Back of House.

When you walk into the back of the restaurant you will find a chef who is talking to and orchestrating with different stations along the line:

  • Garde Manger: Garden manager/cold side
  • Saute
  • Grill
  • Prep
  • Fry

And once a pan, plate or anything is dirty, it does to dish to be cleaned by the dishwasher.

All of these people work back of house.

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