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One of the most important Social dialogues in English is ordering food when you go to a restaurant. There exist basic forms and questions associated with eating out at restaurants, as well as food vocabulary that you can use in places where people speak English
As a whole, learning and understanding the restaurant vocabulary is of primary importance to language learners who intend to master the English language.
Here are some useful words and expressions with their meanings to talk about restaurants.
At the Restaurant Vocabulary: Useful Restaurant Phrases & Expressions
The following list compiles the frequently used phrases and expressions customers might say at the restaurant:
What customers say:
- We’d like a table for two, please.
- I have a reservation under the name of Jones.
- Could you bring us the menu, please?
- Do you have a set menu?
- Could you bring us the salt/ pepper/ketchup/vinegar, please?
- I’ll have the soup as a starter.
- I’ll have the steak for the main course.
- I’ll have it rare / medium rare / medium / well done, please.
- Where’s the toilet/ bathroom/restroom (US English), please?
- Could I have the bill, please?
The following list illustrates phrases and expressions customers might hear at the restaurant:
What customers hear:
- Do you have a reservation?
- Smoking, or non-smoking?
- Can I get you a drink while you’re waiting?
- Are you ready to order yet?
- What would you like for a starter?
- What do you want for the main course?
- What would you like to drink with your meal?
- What would you like to drink?
- How would you like your steak? Rare, medium or well-done?
- Would you like any dessert?
- Would you like any coffee?
Other words and expressions related to restaurants:
- How do you take it? (Sugar/Cream/Milk)
- What side dish would you like?
- How would you like that cooked? Rare, Medium-Rare, Medium or Well-Done
- Service is included
- What size drink would you like? Small, Medium, Large or XL
- How do you like your eggs? Scrambled, Fried, Over Easy, Poached, Sunny-Side Up
- Can I get that without ketchup, mustard, mayo, nuts, hot sauce
- May I have a fork, spoon, knife, napkin, straw, creamer, salt, pepper
- Combo Meal
- Will that be all?
What Are Restaurant Words? At the Restaurant Words List
At the Restaurant Vocabulary: Useful Language Related to Restaurant
|Waiter / Waitress|
|Taking notes about the order:|
Would you like to order?
Can I help you?
Are you ready to order?
Are you going to try any of our…?
Would you like a / an / some…?
What about a / an / some…?
Can I get you a / an / some…?
Won’t you go for a / an / some…?
|Asking about preferences:|
Do you prefer…?
How would you like it?
|Asking about drinks:|
What would you like to drink?
Anything to drink?
|Ordering a meal:|
Excuse me, waiter, we’d like to order.
We are ready to order now.
I’d like a / an / some…and…
I want a / an / some…and…
I’ll go for a / an / some…
Please bring me a / an / some…
|To accept/refuse the offer:|
No, thanks. I’d like/ prefer a / an / some…
|Deciding about drinks:|
Could you bring me.., please?
|Asking about the bill:|
Could I have the bill, please?
Could you bring me the bill, please?
How Do You Talk to a Waiter in a Restaurant? at the Restaurant Conversation
The following is an example of Camela’s conversation ordering some food at the restaurant:
- Waiter: Good afternoon, ma’am.
- Camela: A table for one, please.
- Waiter: Certainly. Come this way, please. (she sits down.) Here’s the menu. The waiter gives her the menu. Our special today is mussels in white vinegar sauce, and roast beef with sautéed potatoes.
- Camela: OK.
- Waiter: (After a few minutes the waiter returns.) Are you ready to order now?
- Camela: Yes, thanks. For a starter, I’ll have the prawn cocktail.
- Waiter: And for the main course?
- Camela: I’ll have the steak, please.
- Waiter: And how would you like your steak?
- Camela: I’ll have it medium, please.
- Waiter: Would you like anything to drink with your meal, ma’am?
- Camela: I’ll have orange juice, please.
- Waiter: OK. Your food will be with you in just a minute.
- (Half an hour later Camela has finished.) Was everything OK?
- Camela: Yes, that was delicious thank you. Could you bring me the bill, please?
- Waiter: Right away.
At the Restaurant Vocabulary Exercises
1. These are sentences commonly used in a restaurant when ordering a meal. Put the words in the correct order.
- pay / can / with / I / a debit card?
- course / the salmon grill / for / I’d / main / like / my
- to drink / what / like / you /would?
- the menu / have / please / we / can?
- have / please / can / the bill / we ?
- a table / we’d / like / for two.
- have / the soup of the day / first / I’ll.
- vegetables/ what / like / you / would?
- coffee / like / some / you /would?
2. Fill in the gaps. Use the words that are missing from the box below:
|Same to you- – Here you are – – I would like (x2) – Would – Like –– How much- Bill – Anything – Welcome – Please (x2) – Help|
- Waiter: Hello, Can I ________ you?
- James: Yes, _________________ to have some lunch.
- Waiter: _____ you _______ a starter?
- James: Yes, I’d like a bowl of chicken soup, __________.
- Waiter: And what ______________ for a main course?
- James: I’d like a grilled cheese sandwich.
- Waiter: Would you like______________ to drink?
- James: Yes, I’d like a glass of Coke, ___________.
- Waiter… After Kim has her lunch.: Can I bring you anything else?
- James: No thank you. Just the ___________ .
- Waiter: Certainly.
- James: I don’t have my glasses. ____________ is the lunch?
- Waiter: That’s $7.35.
- James: ______________. Thank you very much.
- Waiter: You’re __________. Have a good day.
- James: Thank you, the ____________ .