In many restaurants, and I suppose other businesses as well, orders are taken from customers and put into a location from which a pool of servers can pick one up and service the order.
Is there are word other than "queue" for this waiting area of orders? "Queue" seems to indicate first-in first-out behavior. "Buffer" and "priority queue" sound too technical. And any word indicating a particular implementation of the holding area (anything involving a carousel or magnets) would be too specific.
I'm wondering whether in the service business there is a good term that describes the holding area for orders waiting for an arbitrary worker to pick them up and service them.
The word would be used in a clunky sentence like: "In a restaurant, waiters take the order and put it into a ______, then when a chef becomes available, the chef picks up one of the orders and starts cooking."