Even if you’ve never worked in a restaurant kitchen, you may have heard waiters or expediters shouting “all day” on some cooking competition TV show.
For example, you might hear “I need four salmon all day!”
What does all day mean in restaurant slang?
All day is simply a readjusted verbal count that means the same as altogether.
For example, in the aforementioned salmon scenario, it may be that there have been two different orders involving salmon, that were called one a time. The cooks have received orders for one salmon, then two salmon.
Then, a few minutes later another order for salmon comes in. This can be confusing as when so many different orders for the same dish come in. It is even possible, in a busy or disorganized kitchen, that the third order may be confused as a repeat of the last order. Or, the kitchen may lose track of how many in total are needed.
So, the head cook may ask “How many salmon all day?” Or, to stave off any confusion, an expediter (or waiter) may follow these individual orders with “That’s four salmon all day.”
If a waiter was waiting on 4 orders of a mushroom appetizer, and now they need two more on top of this, they may say, “I need two more mushroom apps. That’s 6 all day!”