Know your restaurant staff!
Server, Barista, MasterChef – These are casual words that we often throw around and we don’t blame you if you think they are all just the same. But of course, it is a no brainer that if there exist separate terms, there’s bound to be difference in what they refer to! That’s okay, you don’t have to have egg on your face anymore, Foodstheword is here to break it all down to you! :D
1. Waiter/ Waitress and Server – These two terms are often used interchangeably. However, in the politically correct sense, a server is someone who is in charge of serving you the food, while the waiter/waitress’s responsibility resides in just collection of the order from the customer. Once you enter the restaurant, it is the waiter/waitress greets you. They are supposed to have the menu and specials on their fingertips, as they’d be the ones suggesting food and interacting with the customers. A server, on the other hand, is supposed to set the table, serve food and clean up, once the customer is done.
2. Maître d'hôtel – The French translation of this term literally means “Master of the house”. And quite in line with its original meaning, a maître d’hôtel or simply referred to as maître d’ is the head waiter of the restaurant. A maître d’ is the manager of the all the waiter/waitresses and servers present in the restaurant. They are held accountable for supervising the staff, ensuring a conducive atmosphere for dining, for taking complaints from the customers and for the overall dining experience.
3. Barista - In simple terms, a barista is who serves you in a coffee house. (For all the F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans – Gunther!). Barista is an Italian word that originally means barman. However, over the course of time, barista came to be referred to a person who prepares and serves coffee and coffee drinks to customers.
4. Sommelier – A sommelier is a wine connoisseur. Often found in wine dining restaurants, a sommelier is a specialist who is involved aspects of wine service, such as pairing food and wine and suggesting the right drinks for the right time. However, now, sommeliers work not only with wines, but with all kinds of drinks – beers, cocktails, spirits and more. Becoming a professional sommelier requires you to pass the Certified Sommelier Examination, which costs close to a 1000$!
5. Bud-tender/Flower host - This is a profession that seems to picking up, with the legalization of recreational marijuana. In the way a sommelier helps you with wine-food pairing, a flower host helps you with weed-food pairing, and hence are also called ganja sommeliers! The pairing is done by taking your account various factors, like your level of experience and how high you want to get. How do you want o feel? Giggly and not anxious? Your flower host will suggest just the right option for that!
6. Bartender – What a chef is to a restaurant, a bartender is to a bar. A bartender is responsible for formulating, preparing and serving drinks, along with maintaining the inventory at the bar. A bartender is not to be confused with barman, who is just a person who works in the bar but has no hand in the concoction!
7. Cordon Bleu Chef – While a chef is a professional responsible for cooking in a restaurant or a hotel, a cordon bleu chef is what you could call “master chef”. Cordon in French means ribbon and Bleu stands for blue. The term goes way back into history to the 16th century, where wearing a blue ribbon was a sign of high distinction. A cordon bleu chef.is highly revered in a particular field and is supposed to be a know-it-all in the cuisine he/she masters in. They are experts in multiple culinary styles; they can be fed blind folded and yet they would be able to tell you the exact precision of ingredients present in the food; they can just look at the steak and predict the level to which it has been cooked.
8. Sous Chef – A sous chef is 2nd in hierarchy in a typical restaurant structure, reporting directly to the main/head chef. The word sous in French means under and we guess that makes sense! Some of the primary responsibilities of a sous-chef include structuring the final food presentation, providing guidance to the cooks and delegating tasks, and making sure the kitchen equipment is working fine.
9. Carhop – A fairly recent term, a carhop, is who serves you fast food in a drive-in restaurant.
And that gets us to the end of the debrief! How many of the above were you aware of? Let us know in the comments below!