So You Want To Be A Waiter

The best book on waiting tables that you have never read – yet

Daily Archives: June 26, 2010

A few more waiter’s terms

Comp – an item taken off of the bill because of some service issue. This item has been served to the guest; therefore it counts against food costs.

Void – this is an item taken off of the bill that was never prepared or served (for instance, a mis-ring that’s caught before the kitchen prepares it, or a double-ring). This type of “comp” doesn’t count against food costs.

Double Ring – no, it’s not a wedding band and engagement ring. It’s an item that’s accidentally rung in twice.

Re-ring – just like it sounds. It’s an item that has already been rung in that has to be rung in again for some reason. The most common reason for this is if an item needs to be comped because of some service issue.  You have to ring in the new item as “Don’t Make” if you’ve already verbally told the kitchen to start making the item. This keeps the inventory count correct because, even though you’ve replaced one filet of fish for another (even if it’s exactly the same), the kitchen has “consumed” 2 pieces. You don’t want them to be making a third piece. This can happen if the line cook isn’t paying close attention. For all he or she knows, you need another fish made for another guest. They are cooking food from tickets and, unless they are following along, they might not realize that this is the same fish that the chef asked them to make a couple of minutes ago.

Don’t Make – as described above, this is a modifier that is added to an item when ordering. It obviously tells the kitchen not to make the item, that it’s only being rung in for inventory purposes.

Close To Open – a management philosophy whereby most of the main sidework is done at the end of the shift instead of at the beginning. By doing most of the sidework at close of shift, the restaurant can be more easily opened in the event of multiple callouts by staff. Many restaurants operate in reverse, front loading  the sidework at the beginning of the shift. Both methods have their pluses and minues.

Callout – calling to inform the restaurant that a waiter won’t be making a scheduled shift.

No Call No Show – as it sounds, the situation when a waiter forgets to callout or forgets that they have a scheduled shift. Or perhaps they’ve slept through their alarm. A callout can be acceptable if it’s done for health or legitimate transportation issues such as a dead battery, the latter can be cause for dismissal.

Here are some previous glossaries: