The Most Up-to-date Food Service Industry Glossary
Welcome to the most complete and up-to-date glossary about the food service industry. In this complete glossary, you'll find everything you need to know from A to Z on the terminology we use daily.
Learn how to speak the same language as your colleagues—or competitors.
Let's start with some basic definitions:
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AKA “Food Aggregator,” Also known as “Delivery channels” or “Third-party delivery platforms.” An Aggregator is the middleman between a customer and a restaurant/dark kitchen/business and uses technology as the bridge to connect people with your company. It gives you access to a broader audience through a website or app. Does UberEats, Deliveroo, Glovo, or TakeAway ring a bell? Well, they are Aggregators.
Application Programming Interface (API)
An API connects computers, programs, or services that need to interact for a specific purpose. It allows applications to talk to each other, facilitating a process.
Here is an example in our language:
Situation: You’re in a restaurant and have a menu with multiple options to order.
In this process, the kitchen is the part of the “system” that will prepare your order. However, we’re missing a critical link: the communication between what you want and the kitchen. That’s where “the waiter” or API comes in.
In this case, the waiter is the API that takes your request (or order) and tells the kitchen (the system) what to do. Then the waiter delivers the response back to you; in this case: the food!
Back of house (BOH)
The back of house is all the restaurant action customers do not see. We’re talking of everything behind-the-scenes, like everything that happens in the kitchen, breakrooms, and offices, but also everyone in those spaces: cooks and stewards, for example.
Removing an order from the cook’s kitchen display system screen once it’s made or sizzling in the oven. You can use “Bumping an order” to describe the same action.
"Brick and mortar" refers to the traditional business operating in a building and having a physical location to serve customers.
It is a term that describes the whole perception of your customers throughout the complete interaction with your restaurant, dark kitchen, or (virtual) brand. It takes into account all interactions with the customer from beginning to end. One of your top priorities should be toprovide a top-notch customer experience to create loyalty toward your restaurant.
A means of serving guests without interpersonal contact that utilizes tech like smartphones, SMS texting, and QR codes for ordering and updates.
Is this something you’re interested in? Check How do QR codes reinvent the customer journey in restaurants here!
A different way to name the dark kitchen model.
The concept of dark kitchens (or cloud kitchens) revolves around selling meals exclusively through delivery. Thus, they are kitchens optimized for food delivery and are fully equipped with everything the staff needs to produce food. Typically, these kitchens are located where there is high demand for food delivery, but there is no dine-in area.
Check our complete Guide to Dark Kitchens for a more extended dive intoDark Kitchens: Everything you need to know here.
Commercial Kitchens are spaces where chefs can go to cook without investing in the equipment, as these kitchens are already fully equipped and functional. Chefs only need to focus on what they know and love: outstanding food!
Like takeout service, curbside is a “contactless” pickup meal that is being delivered to their vehicle. It was brought to life during the challenging times of COVID-19 and is often offered at restaurants with no drive-through services.
The concept of dark kitchens revolves around selling meals exclusively through delivery. Thus, they are kitchens optimized for food delivery and are fully equipped with everything the staff needs to produce food. Typically, these kitchens are located where there is high demand for food delivery but don’t provide dine-in services.
Note that there are other forms to call this business model: cloud kitchens, ghost kitchens, or virtual kitchens, all referring to the same.
Do you want to explore Dark Kitchens, their pros and cons, and the best ways to start one? We got you! Check our complete Guide to Dark Kitchens: Everything you need to know here.
That’s us! Deliverect is a fast-growing SAAS scale-up that connects third-party delivery platforms and food businesses around the globe. It is neither a delivery provider nor a POS system - Deliverect bridges the gap between them by integrating third-party food ordering platforms into the restaurant’s point-of-sale system. Deliverect turns rekeying orders and costly errors into operational efficiency, saving restaurants time and money, and ramping up customer satisfaction.
Get to know the full power of Deliverect and what it can do for your business here!
Deliverect's Dispatch empowers restaurants to scale their delivery operations effortlessly while providing customers with a great experience. It connects any order, whether from a large channel (ex. Uber Eats, GrubHub) or a direct online ordering channel, and matches the best delivery option by comparing offers from several delivery providers to select one for an order. Deliverect Dispatch reduces the manual work needed to communicate with third-party delivery providers and allows restaurants or dark kitchens to grow their delivery footprint while reducing their effort.
Does your business need Deliverect Dispatch?Find everything you need to know about it right here!
Deliverect Kitchen Display
Deliverect Kitchen Displayallows restaurants to quickly view and manage all online orders on a screen in the kitchen. Acting as a single source of truth eliminates miscommunication and errors and ensures food is ready for pick up when the drivers arrive.
Deliverect Online Ordering
Deliverect’s solution to enable your customers to order online directly from your website. Deliverect Online Ordering allows you to create a seamless online ordering experience for pickup and delivery, so your customer can easily order and pay directly from your online store. It gives you control of the customer experience by selling direct-to-consumer (D2C) to generate additional revenue streams and eliminate third parties’ commission fees.
A first-of-its-kind online ecosystem of food industry partners. It connects hospitality players such as stock management, kiosk, POS, pay & order, and now virtual brands, so restaurants can streamline costs and efficiencies, generate incoming leads, boost sales, and more.
Deliverect Marketplace puts the best tools and digital-only providers in the industry in one place for you to build your restaurant’s interconnected system.
You find what you need or discover valuable alternatives, license them and use them.
Deliverect Pickup Manager
Deliverect’s way to ease communication between your business and delivery drivers to avoid interruptions, save time, and speed up delivery times.
Increase your restaurant's efficiency with Deliverect Pickup Manager.
Short answer: It is the transfer of something from one place to another. But it is also our industry’s quick way to refer to food delivery, a fast-growing sector where a restaurant, store, or third-party courier service delivers food on demand.
A delivery driver is responsible for collecting, transporting, and safely delivering an order.
Delivery Management Software (DMS)
It is a tool used to streamline online orders. It helps to plan, manage, optimize, and execute delivery operations.
It refers to the online business acting as an intermediary between consumers and multiple food facilities to submit food orders from a consumer.
Direct-to-consumer or D2C is a business model based on selling a manufacturer’s products to the end customer without intermediaries. Both in offline channels and e-commerce.
Learn how you can use D2C delivery to grow your business with the help of Deliverect Online Ordering.
Ecommerce or e-commerce, also known as electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet.
Fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG)
Fast-moving consumer goods, better known by the acronym FMCG, refers to highly demanded products that sell quickly and cost relatively low. Think of dairy products, fruits, bread, drinks, and alike. We’re sure you get the idea!
A fee is the price charged for a specific service. Fees are applied in various ways, such as delivery fees, costs, charges, commissions, and penalties.
Food + Technology = FoodTech. It is the use of cutting-edge technologies to develop, manufacture, or distribute food products. It is also a way to describe the companies and startups working within those areas. e.i. Deliverect is a FoodTech company.
Front of house (FOH)
FOH is the front of the restaurant –The dining room, waiting area, and bar. This is where the customer-facing employees are: the servers, hostesses, bartenders, etc.
Gig workers are independent contractors or freelancers who typically do short-term work for multiple clients. Think about a delivery driver that works for three different companies on demand.
An alternative way of naming the Dark kitchen business model. A type of food service that sells meals exclusively through delivery.
New definitions coming soon!
It is when your business has an internal, dedicated delivery department. Own staff and delivery vehicles to get orders to the customers. The opposite of third-party delivery.
Is in-house delivery something you’re interested in? Learn more about Deliverect Dispatch and manage your own delivery experience without relying on a 3rd-party delivery partner—that means increased margins and greater profits.
A clear and deep understanding of something that explains why a situation or behavior is happening the way it is.
Integration is when two or more systems or processes work together. For businesses, the term integration refers to software or system integration, which means bringing together multiple business systems to operate as a collaborative unit.
For example, Deliverect integrates with POS, DSPs, and other technology partners to help restaurants and dark kitchens everywhere to streamline their operations.
Inventory management is the administration of stock that allows optimal management by considering storage, cost, usage, and availability of goods. It is a vital function in the supply chain.
Inventory Management System
A system that combines hardware and software to help you manage healthy and optimal stock management. An inventory management system can simplify the process of ordering, storing, and using inventory by automating supply operations.
New definitions coming soon!
Kitchen Display System (KDS)
A KDS is a system in kitchens that displays orders on a screen to chefs and staff. It’s typically integrated with the restaurant's point of sale (POS) so that orders get pushed to it as soon as they’re taken.
Last-mile logistics, also known as last-mile delivery, describes the transportation of goods from a distribution hub to their destination. In the restaurant biz, it refers to the final miles of the delivery process where the order travels from the restaurant to your customer's front door. The goal of these logistics is to get that delicious dish to your customers as quickly, efficiently, affordably, and accurately as possible.
Plain and simple: Location is where the restaurant or business is located physically.
A menu builder is a tool that helps manage and synchronize your digital menu.
For example, the Deliverect Menu Builder connects your online sales channels to a management overview, giving you more control over menus, promos, and stock.
Off-premise: The shorthand for any order that isn’t prepared for in-house consumption, includes curbside service, takeout, and delivery.
Online food ordering is the process of ordering food through delivery apps, online websites, or any other online service.
Are you looking for an Online Ordering solution? Check Deliverect Online Order and create a seamless online ordering experience for pickup and delivery, so your customer can easily order and pay directly from your online store.
If your restaurant receives an order requested through a digital channel like your online store, a delivery app, or even WhatsApp, that’s an Online Order.
A managerial term about ensuring everything runs smoothly, from your FOH to your BOH.
A point of sale system (POS) refers to the time and place a sales transaction is completed. A POS can streamline your internal operations, connect all the personnel involved in making your restaurant run smoothly, and automatically track sales, labor, and inventory metrics.
Learn more about POS in our blog about the Top 5 values of POS integrations for restaurants.
Q-Commerce (Quick Commerce)
Quick Commerce (Q-Commerce) takes speed and convenience to a new level, allowing retailers and FMCG brands to offer hyper-local, hyper-fast, on-demand delivery.
Rather than waiting a few days for products to arrive after ordering online, you can expect it within half an hour –or as fast as 10 minutes.
Want to learn more about Quick Commerce? Take a look at these resources:
A Quick Response Code or QR Code is a type of two-dimensional bar code that can be scanned by a digital device and stores information. In the restaurant industry, QR Codes are used to share digital menus, promotions, or customer experiences.
Read more on how QR Codes reinvent the customer journey in restaurants.
Quick Service Restaurant (QSR)
New definitions coming soon!
Staff (Restaurant Staff)
From those who serve to those who cook, all the talent working for your restaurant operation is “the staff.” The staff plays a significant role in shaping the customers' dining experience, and it is the cornerstone of the Food Service Industry.
Staff shortage or labor shortage means there are enough qualified workers to cover a job demand. Deliverect helps save time by eliminating the manual work involved with delivery technology, which helps when dealing with staff shortages.
Read our Food For Thought series to get an insightful view of staff shortages.
Takeout food are all the orders prepared to be consumed away from the place of sale.
Ticket (Restaurant Ticket)
When an order is entered into the restaurant POS, it prints out a ticket that alerts the kitchen of the order. A ticket should indicate the most relevant information for an order to be processed, cooked, and delivered.
Food orders meant for off-premise delivery, whether that’s curbside service, takeout, or delivery.
A third party is someone who is not involved in an operation or transaction. You and your client are the “first and second party.” The third party would be an external delivery provider (not run directly by your business) that supplies services to connect the two of you.
Your restaurant — (Third-party) —- Your client
Aggregators or DSPs are third-parties.
A sales technique used to get customers to purchase more expensive items so that your average order basket increases.
“Do you want fries with that?”
“Do you want to upsize your meal?”
“Would you like wings and rings to start?”
A virtual brand is a food service provider that only exists digitally. Virtual brands can support restaurants’ online deliveries with anything from branding, supply management, recipes, scaling, and more. Virtual brands can be run from a current restaurant kitchen or a dark kitchen.
W - X -Y - Z New definitions coming soon
86 or 86ing is restaurant slang. It is used when an item is no longer available (AKA out of stock) to be served to guests. A 86 command will indicate that a dish must be taken out of the POS and online order menus.