Bar and Restaurant Glossary

Below is a bar and restaurant glossary of 100 key terms to help owners, management teams, bartenders, servers and kitchen staff succeed in the bar and restaurant industry.

100 Bar and Restaurant Glossary Terms

  1. Alcohol and Gaming Commission: A government agency responsible for regulating the sale and service of alcohol and overseeing gambling activities.
  2. Alcohol inventory: A list of all the alcoholic beverages a bar or restaurant has in stock.
  3. Alcohol tax: A tax on the sale of alcoholic beverages.
  4. Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) laws: State laws that regulate the sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages.
  5. Back-of-house (BOH): The kitchen and other areas of a restaurant not visible to customers.
  6. Bar dump: A list of all the drinks that were not sold during a shift.
  7. Bar layout: The design and layout of the bar area, including the placement of the bar, tables, and chairs.
  8. Bar menu: A list of drinks and food available at the bar as opposed to a dining area.
  9. Bar operations: The processes and systems involved in running a bar, including inventory management, pricing, and customer service.
  10. Bar shift: A period of time during which a bartender works.
  11. Bar tab: An open tab that can be used to track a customers bill.
  12. Barback: A bar assistant who helps the bartender by restocking supplies and assisting with other tasks.
  13. Bartender: A person who serves drinks at a bar.
  14. Bottle service: A service offered at some bars and clubs where patrons can purchase a bottle of liquor and have it served to them at their table.
  15. Break-even point: The point at which a business’s expenses and revenue are equal.
  16. Capacity: The maximum number of people that a bar or restaurant can accommodate.
  17. Cash drawer: A tray or compartment in a cash register where cash is stored.
  18. Cash flow: The movement of money into and out of a business.
  19. Cost control: The process of managing and reducing the costs of operating a bar.
  20. Cost of goods sold (COGS): The cost of the ingredients and supplies used to create menu items.
  21. Cover charge: A fee charged by a bar or club to enter the premises.
  22. Credit card processor: A device that processes credit card transactions.
  23. Customer loyalty program: A program that rewards customers for their repeat business.
  24. Customer service: The provision of service to customers at your bar or restaurant.
  25. Daily specials: Menu items that are offered for a limited time or on a rotating basis.
  26. Draft system: A system for dispensing draft beer, including the kegs, taps, and lines.
  27. Drink specials: Drinks that are offered at a discounted price for a limited time.
  28. Employee handbook: A document that outlines the policies and procedures for employees.
  29. Employment tax: A tax on the wages and salaries of employees.
  30. Entertainment license: A license required to host entertainment events, such as live music or comedy shows, at a bar or restaurant.
  31. Entertainment schedule: A schedule of entertainment events (e.g., live music, comedy shows) at a bar or restaurant.
  32. Event planning: The process of organizing and coordinating events, such as live music or private parties, at a bar.
  33. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): A federal agency responsible for regulating food, drugs, and other consumer products.
  34. Food cost: The percentage of sales spent on ingredients and supplies.
  35. Food safety: Practices and procedures designed to prevent foodborne illness.
  36. Front-of-house (FOH): The area of a restaurant that is visible to customers, including the dining room and bar.
  37. Garnish: A decorative or functional addition to a cocktail, such as a lemon twist or cherry.
  38. Gratuity: A tip or gift given in appreciation of service.
  39. Happy hour: A period of time during which a bar offers discounted drinks.
  40. Health Department: A government agency responsible for regulating and inspecting food service establishments to ensure safety.
  41. Host/hostess: A person who greets and seats customers at a restaurant.
  42. ID check: The process of verifying the age of a customer before serving alcohol.
  43. ID rules: Regulations governing the identification required to purchase and consume alcohol.
  44. Inventory management: The process of tracking and managing the stock of goods and supplies.
  45. Inventory turnover: The rate at which a bar’s inventory is sold and replaced.
  46. Inventory: The stock of goods and supplies on hand or beer and food at a bar or restaurant.
  47. Last call: An announcement made at a bar that indicates the last chance to order drinks before the bar closes.
  48. Line cook: A kitchen staff member who is responsible for preparing and cooking menu items.
  49. Liquor liability insurance: Insurance that covers a business for damages or injuries caused by intoxicated patrons.
  50. Liquor license: A legal permit allowing a business to sell alcoholic beverages.
  51. Marketing plan: A plan for promoting the bar to drive more business.
  52. Menu design: The layout and presentation of a bar’s menu.
  53. Menu engineering: The process of analyzing and optimizing the layout and pricing of a menu.
  54. Menu planning: The process of creating and organizing a restaurant’s menu.
  55. Menu pricing: The process of setting prices for menu items.
  56. Mise en place: A French term meaning “everything in its place,” referring to the organization and preparation of ingredients and equipment in a kitchen.
  57. Mixologist: A bartender who specializes in creating and serving specialty cocktails.
  58. Noise ordinance: A law that regulates the level of noise allowed in a particular area.
  59. On-premises consumption: The consumption of alcohol on the premises of the establishment where it was purchased.
  60. Online ordering: The process of allowing customers to place orders and make payments online.
  61. Open bar: A bar where customers can purchase unlimited drinks for a fixed period of time or price.
  62. Open tab: An unpaid bill that a customer can add to over the course of a visit.
  63. Operating expenses: The costs of running a business, such as rent, utilities, and employee salaries.
  64. Plate presentation: The appearance of a finished dish when served to a customer.
  65. Point-of-sale (POS) system: A computer system that processes sales transactions and tracks inventory.
  66. Pour cost: The percentage of sales that is spent on alcohol.
  67. Pour: The act of measuring and serving a specific amount of alcohol.
  68. Prep cook: A kitchen staff member who is responsible for preparing ingredients and equipment for use in cooking.
  69. Profit margin: The amount of profit made as a percentage of the total revenue.
  70. Promotions: Special offers or discounts designed to attract customers.
  71. Recipe: A set of instructions for preparing a specific dish.
  72. Sales forecast: An estimate of future sales based on past performance and market trends at your bar or restaurant.
  73. Sales tax: A tax on the sale of goods and services.
  74. Server: A person who takes orders and serves food and drinks to customers at a restaurant.
  75. Service charge: A fee added to a customer’s bill to cover service or gratuity.
  76. ServSafe: A food safety training and certification program administered by the National Restaurant Association.
  77. Shift: A period of time during which a bartender works.
  78. Side work: Additional tasks that a bartender performs during their shift, such as restocking supplies and cleaning.
  79. Smoking ban: A law that prohibits smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants.
  80. Social media marketing: The use of social media platforms to promote a bar or restaurant.
  81. Sous chef: A kitchen staff member who is responsible for assisting the head chef in managing the kitchen.
  82. Specials: Menu items that are offered for a limited time or at a discounted price.
  83. Staff training: The process of teaching employees the skills and knowledge needed to do their job.
  84. Standard drink: A unit of measurement for alcohol, used to track and control alcohol consumption.
  85. Standard operating procedures (SOPs): Detailed instructions for the tasks and responsibilities of kitchen staff.
  86. Station: A specific area in the kitchen where a particular type of food is prepared (e.g., grill station, sauté station).
  87. Stock: A type of savory, seasoned liquid used as a base in soups and sauces.
  88. Table management: The process of organizing and managing tables, including seating, service, and payment.
  89. Table service: A type of service at a restaurant where a server brings food and drinks to the table.
  90. Tender: A form of payment, such as cash, credit card, or check.
  91. Tip out: The practice of sharing tips with other staff members, such as barbacks or bussers.
  92. Tip pooling: The practice of collecting and distributing tips among a group of employees.
  93. Tipping laws: Regulations governing the process and distribution of tips in the hospitality industry.
  94. Training program: A program that helps bar or restaurant employees learn the skills and knowledge needed to do their job.
  95. Underage drinking laws: Laws that prohibit the sale of alcohol to minors.
  96. Walk-in refrigerator: A large, commercial refrigerator used to store perishable food items.
  97. Weights and Measures Act: A law that regulates the sale and measurement of goods, including alcohol.
  98. Wine program: A selection of wines available at a bar, including the types of wine, vintages, and pricing.
  99. Worker’s compensation insurance: Insurance that covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job.
  100. Workers’ compensation: A type of insurance that covers medical expenses and lost wages for employees who are injured on the job.

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