“86”

Well I have to admit I’m glad I kept my Friday night hosting job at Windward Passage because I always seem to learn something new and last night was no different.

Back in the kitchen we have a board that’s called the “86” board. This board is your typical marker board and it is used when we run out of items, especially our fresh fish or daily specials during the lunch or evening sitting. The kitchen staff writes any and all items up on the board so the wait staff can see it and quickly spread the word to the rest of the wait staff including the hosts. Our kitchen staff at Windward is very creative and they have taken the significance of the board a step further by listing celebrities on the board when they pass on because they are considered “gone” and are “out”.

At the end of the night when we gathered in the bar to enjoy our shift drink I asked the question where did the “86” phrase come from ? Most of the staff working last night were younger and have been in the restuarant business for all of their working lifes so there was a wide variety of answers.

With the internet at my disposal I thought I would do alittle research to see if I could find out where the term came from. Here is an interesting article that mentions most all of the responses I received last night and I also checked out the definition of “86” on Wikipedia. Very interesting !

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