Last Updated on August 25, 2023 by Shari Mason
Kitchens are one hell of a busy area. You’ll encounter a symphony of sizzling pans, clinking utensils, and an intriguing language that flows effortlessly among the culinary team.
Fortunately, kitchen codes help each staff communicate comprehensively despite the rush and hassle.
You may have heard of it a couple of times when you dine at an open kitchen restaurant and wonder, “What does All Day mean in a kitchen?”.
To get to the bottom of this kitchen code, we had insightful conversations with chefs and kitchen staff to uncover the true significance of “all day.”
All-Day Definition in a Kitchen
“All Day” is a chef slang used in restaurants and cooking shows, which means a total number of orders needed to prepare. 
As the tickets are coming in, the chef will shout the orders needed, followed by “all day,”—which means “total orders at present.”
“I think pressure’s healthy, and very few can handle it.”
– Gordon Ramsay, Multi-Michelin Awarded British Chef
For example, if there are four orders of salad on one ticket or table and five on another table, they’ve got nine orders of salad all day or nine orders of salad at the current ticket rail.
Origin of “All Day”
There is no etymology of “All Day,” but chefs believed that some older kitchen slang may have been used by cooks and kitchen staff as early as the 1880s.
Restaurants in that decade started to boom, and a wider variety of food was introduced to people in the city.
As language progressed through the decades, the slang words you often hear in a restaurant evolved, adapted, and developed.
Some older kitchen slang was tongue-twisting, but they’re all key to back-in-the-house communication customers have heard in a busy restaurant.
Is All Day a Kitchen Slang?
Yes, ‘All Day’ is kitchen slang used in a busy restaurant with many tickets or orders.
Chefs primarily use it after sorting all the tickets on a rail to make quick commands in a restaurant. The restaurant staff and Chef only use kitchen slang.
They are codes that help chefs and staff communicate quickly on a hectic day.
How To Use It In A Sentence
Every kitchen boasts its own secret language, and one phrase that holds a special place is “all day.” A customer often hear these sentences before the chefs prepare their dishes:
- “We’ve got two salmon at table two, three at table five, and one at table six. Therefore, we have six orders of salmon all day.”
- “Three parmesan eggplant all day, two antipasto salads all day, three lemony tuna with extra sauce all day, Chef.”
- “I need four mac and cheese all day!”
- “Yes, chef. There are four chicken caciatore all day, three garlic pasta all day, and two ribeye steak all day.”
Synonyms for All Day In A Kitchen
The “all day” synonyms in the kitchen are total, overall, combined, complete, entire, whole, sum, or gross orders. All Day means the total number of the same orders in a ticket rail.
“All Day” in the kitchen doesn’t mean you’re spending the whole day in the kitchen. It means the total number of one particular order in the ticket rail.
“Kitchen harmony: ‘All day’ weaves orders into a culinary symphony.”
–Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice
It is the simplified term of the combined orders of the same menu at the moment.
In what situation should you use “all day”?
You should use “all day” if you’ve got multiple orders of the same menu item from different tickets in the current rail.
It is to simplify the command so the cooks will be clear about the number of orders. All day and on fire are the most used chef slang in the kitchen.
Is there an incorrect way to use “all day”?
Yes, there is an incorrect way of using “all day” in the kitchen. Adding “all day” at the end of every ordered dish is forbidden as it may confuse cooks.
For example, “Two salads at table 2 all day and three salads at table 4 all-day, Chef.”
Generally, “All Day” is part of the restaurant lingo or kitchen slang used to communicate freely and comprehensively inside the kitchen in the restaurant industry.
All Day slang combines the same orders in a ticket rail to simplify the commands and speed up the preparation.
Kitchens in most restaurants are always hectic, and using chef’s slang like “all day,” on the fly, on fire, a la minute, pick up (to be served), and mise en place (everything in its place) in a busy kitchen is the key to kitchen communication .
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