Restaurant English: Useful Expressions Used at a Restaurant (2023)

Learn Useful Restaurant English for Restaurant Staff and Common Expressions Used at a Restaurant. We’ve divided the lesson into six sections: making a reservation, being seated at the restaurant, ordering, dealing with problems, making comments on food, getting the bill.

Table of Contents

Restaurant English: Useful Expressions Used at a Restaurant

Restaurant English: Making a Reservation


  • I would like to make a dinner reservation for two.
  • I need to make a dinner reservation.
  • We will need the reservation for Tuesday night.We will be coming to your restaurant on Tuesday night.

English for Restaurant Staff

  • We will have a table for you.
  • I can seat you at 7.30 on Tuesday, if you would kindly give me your name.
  • We don’t have anything available at 8.30. Is 7.30 OK?
  • I have a table for four available at 7.45, please just give me your name.

Restaurant English: Being Seated at the Restaurant


  • I booked a table for two for 7pm under the name of John Thomas.
  • A table for two, please.
  • May we sit at this table?
  • We have a dinner reservation for two at 7.30.
  • Our reservation is under the name of Thomas at 7.30 for two people.

English for Waiter/ Waitress

  • Of course. Please come this way.
  • Your table isn’t quite ready yet.
  • Would you like to wait in the bar?
  • We’re fully booked at the moment. Could you come back a bit later?
  • If you wait, there’ll be a table for you free in a minute.
  • Would you follow me, please?
  • If you would please be seated over in the waiting area, our hostess will be with you in a moment.

Restaurant English: Ordering

English for Restaurant Staff

  • Can I take your order, Sir/ Madam?
  • Are you ready to order?
  • Can I take your order?
  • Are you ready to order yet?
  • What would you like to start with?
  • What would you like for a starter?
  • Anything to drink?
  • Do you want a salad with it?
  • How would you like your steak?
  • Do you want vegetables with it?
  • Why don’t you try the pizza?
  • Can I start you off with anything to drink?
  • May I get you anything to drink?
  • What would you like for dessert?
  • Do you want a dessert?
  • What would you like to drink with your meal?
  • Would you like any wine with that?
  • Can I get you a drink while you’re waiting?
  • Would you like any coffee?
  • Would you like an appetizer?
  • Can I get you anything else?
  • Would you like to order anything else?
  • Would you like to try our dessert special?
  • What did you want to order?
  • Would you like coffee or tea with your dessert?
  • Would you like dessert after your meal?
  • What would you like to drink?
  • Would you like to see our dessert menu?
  • Would you like to finish your evening with us with some dessert?


  • Could you bring us the menu, please?
  • Yes, can I see the dessert menu please?
  • No, thanks. I am full after the meal.
  • The menu, please.
  • What’s on the menu?
  • 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.
  • That’s all, thank you.
  • May I have some water, please?
  • May I get an order of barbeque wings?
  • That’ll be all for now.
  • Yes, please. May I get a glass of lemonade?
  • I would like a Coke.
  • I would like to order my food now.
  • We’d like to order a cheeseburger and some fries.
  • We’ll have the chicken with vegetables and the vegetable pasta, please.
  • Just some water, please.
  • Let’s have four coffees, please.
  • We would like two coffees and two teas.
  • We’d like a little longer, please.

If there are problems with the order, the waiter/ waitress can say

  • I don’t think we have anymore steak left. I’ll check with the kitchen.
  • I’m sorry, but the king prawn soup is finished.
  • Sorry, the hamburgers are off.

Restaurant English: Dealing with problems


  • Excuse me, but I didn’t order this.
  • I’m sorry, but this is cold.
  • Can I change my order please?
  • I’m sorry, but can I change my order?
  • I am sorry, but I think I ordered waffles.

English for Restaurant Staff

  • Let me take it back for you.
  • I am so sorry!
  • I am sorry that I misheard you.
  • Let me change it for you.
  • I am so sorry, Sir!
  • I’m so sorry. I’ll change it for you straightaway.

Restaurant English: Asking about the menu

  • Is this served with salad?
  • What do you recommend?
  • Does this have any seafood in it?
  • Is that shrimp in the soup?
  • Is the soup a shrimp soup?
  • What is in this chicken dish?
  • Is there anything you recommend?

Restaurant English: Making Comments on Food

  • What a wonderful dinner!
  • I especially like the wonderful chicken dish.
  • I really love this meal.
  • My salad is very soggy.
  • The vegetables are kind of mushy.
  • My fish has good seasoning but is a little dry.The cake is too sweet for me.

Restaurant English: Getting the bill/ check

When you want to pay, you can say

  • Could I have the check, please?
  • Can I have the check, please?
  • We’ll take the check.
  • Can I have my bill?
  • Can we have the bill, please?
  • Could we get the bill?
  • Could I have the bill, please?
  • I am ready for my bill.
  • Could we pay please?
  • I am ready to pay the bill.
  • I would like my check, please.

Sometimes, you may also want to say

  • Do you accept credit cards?
  • Can we have separate checks?
  • We’re going to split the bill.
  • Are you paying together?

Restaurant English:At the Restaurant Conversations

Restaurant EnglishConversation 1: Making a Reservation

Restaurant staff:This is Emma Restaurant.

Customer:Hi, I would like to make a dinner reservation for 2 people.

Restaurant staff: What night will you be coming?

Customer:We will need the reservation for Sunday night.

Restaurant staff: What time would you like?

Customer: 8.30.

Restaurant staff: We don’t have anything available at 8.30. Is 7.30 OK?

Customer: Yes, that’s fine.

(Video) English expressions used at a restaurant - Advance English lesson

Restaurant staff: Please just give me your name.

Customer: My name is John Thomas.

Restaurant staff:Thank you, Mr. Thomas, see you this Sunday at 7.30.

Customer:Thank you. Bye.

Restaurant EnglishConversation 2: Being Seated at the Restaurant

Waiter: Good evening. Welcome to Emma Restaurant.

John: I booked a table for two for 7.30 under the name of John Thomas.

Waiter: Yes, Mr. Thomas. Please come this way.

Waiter: Here is your table.

John: Thanks for your help!

Restaurant EnglishConversation 3: Ordering

Waiter: May I get you anything to drink?

John: Yes, please. May I get 2 glasses of orange juice?

Waiter: Sure. Would you like an appetizer?

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John: I’ll have the tomato soup to start.

Lisa: I’ll have the shrimp soup.

Waiter: Would you like to order anything else?

John: That’ll be all for now.

Waiter: Let me know when you’re ready to order your food.

Waiter: Here is your potato soup, Madam.

Lisa: But I ordered shrimp soup!

Waiter: I’m so sorry. I’ll change it for you straightaway.

Lisa: I would appreciate that.

John: Excuse me. Could you bring us the menu, please?

John: We’d like to order a cheeseburger and some fries.

Waiter: Sorry, the fries are off. Why don’t you try the steak? It is excellent

(Video) At the Restaurant Conversation

John: I’ll trust your taste and take one order of that.

Waiter: Do you want a dessert?

Lisa: The chocolate mousse cake sounds great.

Waiter: Would you like coffee or tea with your dessert?

John: Just some water, please.

Waiter: Can I get you anything else?

Lisa: That’s all, thank you.

Restaurant EnglishConversation 4: Making Comments on Food

Lisa: John, is your steak OK?

John: The steak tastes wonderful!

Lisa: How is your cake?

John: My cake is too sweet for me.

Lisa: So is mine. I think they put too much sugar in cakes.

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John: The food here is usually good, so I think that we should mention this to the waiter.

Lisa: You’re right. Maybe they can bring us some better food.

Restaurant EnglishConversation 5: Getting the bill/ check

Cashier: Can I help you?

John: Yes, could I have the bill?

Cashier: Of course. Here you are.

John: Thank you. I am ready to pay the bill.

Cashier: Of course, Sir. How would you like to pay, cash or card?

John: By cash, please.

Cashier: That will be $80, please.

John: Here you are.

Cashier: Thank you. Here’s your change and your receipt.

John: Thank you.

(Video) RESTAURANT VOCABULARY | Expressions used at a Restaurant | English Lessons | Maths Daddy

Restaurant English Video

Last Updated on September 5, 2022


Restaurant English: Useful Expressions Used at a Restaurant? ›

What did you do with your friends today? What were two great things that happened today, and one not-so-great? What superpower would you have for life and how would you use it for good? If you could work in any career for one week, what would it be? What's your favorite song on the radio at the moment and why?

What phrases are used in the restaurant? ›

Learn these restaurant phrases for the next time you go to a restaurant.
  • Table for (number) , please. ...
  • What are your specials? ...
  • I would like the … /I'll have the… ...
  • Could I please have an extra napkin? ...
  • Could we see a dessert menu, please? ...
  • Could we have the bill/check, please? ...
  • Can I pay by card?
Jan 29, 2023

What are 5 popular phrases? ›

Top 10 English phrases and sentences you need to know
  • Good morning. Sometimes, all you need to start the day right is a good coffee and someone greeting you smiling. ...
  • Good afternoon. ...
  • My name is Mondly. ...
  • I'm pleased to meet you. ...
  • How are you? ...
  • Fine, thanks. ...
  • I'd like a beer. ...
  • I'm sorry.

What are the 5 food idioms? ›

  • Piece of cake.
  • To go bananas.
  • Bring home the bacon.
  • Hard nut to crack.
  • Like two peas in a pod.
  • Have bigger fish to fry.
  • Walk on eggshells.
  • Eat like a horse.
May 8, 2014

How do you say hello in a restaurant? ›

Restaurant greeting scripts:
  1. Good: Hello, welcome to {restaurant}, how many people will be dining today?
  2. Bad: "table for two?"
  3. Good: “Hello, may I have the name on the reservation?”
  4. Bad: “Do you have a reservation?”
  5. Good: “I'll take you to your table”
  6. Bad: “Follow me”
Aug 16, 2022

How can I talk like a professional in English? ›

7 tips on speaking English fluently and confidently
  1. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Your goal is to deliver a message, not speak perfect English, with the right grammar and vocabulary. ...
  2. Practise, practise, practise. Practice makes perfect. ...
  3. Listen. ...
  4. Celebrate success.

How do you start a conversation as a waitress? ›

Here are a few examples.
  1. Prepare an introduction. Immediately upon meeting your guests, you should introduce yourself by name. ...
  2. “How's your day/evening so far?” ...
  3. “What other exciting plans do you have this evening?” ...
  4. Preparing Your Server Conversation Starters. ...
  5. Your next hospitality job is right in front of you.
Mar 26, 2019

How do you talk to staff in a restaurant? ›

How to Improve Team Communication in Restaurants
  1. See how your team member is doing. Are they happy with the way things are going in the restaurant and their role? ...
  2. Answer any questions they might have. ...
  3. Encourage them to share ideas they might have.

How do you start a conversation with etiquette? ›

5 Dos of Conversation
  1. Listen more than you talk. ...
  2. Come to an occasion armed with topics at the ready. ...
  3. Tailor the conversation to the listener. ...
  4. Take your turn. ...
  5. Think before you speak. ...
  6. Don't interrupt. ...
  7. Don't talk to only one person when conversing in a group.
Sep 24, 2010

How do you order food phrases? ›

How to Order Food in English
  1. Could I have the (dish name), please? ( polite)
  2. I'd like the.../I'll have the... ( polite)
  3. The (dish name), please. ( neutral)
  4. I want the (dish name). ( informal)
  5. Give me the (dish name). ( informal)
Jun 24, 2022

What is polite dinner conversation? ›

What did you do with your friends today? What were two great things that happened today, and one not-so-great? What superpower would you have for life and how would you use it for good? If you could work in any career for one week, what would it be? What's your favorite song on the radio at the moment and why?

What are useful expressions in English? ›

Common English idioms & expressions
Good things come to those who waitBe patient
He has bigger fish to fryHe has bigger things to take care of than what we are talking about now
He's a chip off the old blockThe son is like the father
Hit the nail on the headGet something exactly right
55 more rows

What is a slang expression for food? ›

“Grub” is a slang word for food. “I'm hungry. Let's get some grub!” Two other slang words for food are nosh and chow.

What is the idiom for a good meal? ›

Finger Licking Good:

This phrase is an expression of good food. When people eat any delicious food and they like it so much that they feel like licking their fingers to get the full extravagance of the taste.

What is a metaphor for food? ›

Food can serve as a metaphor for family, religion, sex, gender, social position, and group identity, among other things. These principal metaphors appear across cultures, but are organized locally as different peoples speak of different foods and equate them with specific elements of their lives.

How do waitresses greet? ›

Server Greeting Examples

[Howdy, Hiya, What's hangin'?], I'm [first name]. Let me know if you have any questions during your meal, I'm here to help. Hi folks, my name is [first name]. Can I start you all off with our specials? [Dish] is my favorite, I just tried it recently.

How do you say hello in a classy way? ›

Formal Ways To Say “Hello”
  1. Good morning/afternoon/evening. These are classic, formal phrases to use when greeting someone, whether it's the first time meeting them or if you've already met them before. ...
  2. Pleased to meet you. ...
  3. It's nice to meet you. ...
  4. It's good to see you. ...
  5. How are you? ...
  6. Hey. ...
  7. What's up? ...
  8. What's new?

How do you say order in restaurant? ›

When the waiter asks “Are you ready to order?” or “Can I take your order?” If you are ready, you can give your order. Use “I'd like…” or “I'll have…” to introduce your order and expression “for starter/appetizer” to talk about the first course and “for main course” to talk about the second course of food you will eat.

How can I speak more fancy English? ›

What are the best tips and hacks for speaking with eloquence and sophistication?
  1. Know The Power Of Silence. Whenever you hear people speak, you hear music. ...
  2. Eliminate uhm, uhh, etc. Replace with “Well; you see; now…” ...
  3. Jargon Isn't Impressive. ...
  4. Eliminate Curses. ...
  5. Be Descriptive and To The Point.
Jun 24, 2015

How do you professionally say things? ›

These 15 phrases can help establish you as a positive force in any office environment.
  1. "Let's touch base."
  2. "Our state-of-the-art technology."
  3. "I appreciate your attention to this matter"
  4. "Should you have questions, please feel free to contact me"
  5. "I look forward to hearing from you soon."
Aug 14, 2015

What do you say when welcoming guests? ›

Some suggested Some suggestions include; Hello, welcome; Welcome, good morning; Hello, good afternoon, welcome. Introduce yourself by name making sure your communication is professional, yet personal. “Great to meet you, I'm Nikko”. If occupied with another guest, it is important to acknowledge arriving guests.

What is the English expression be my guest? ›

something you say when you give someone permission to do or use something: "Can I try out your new bicycle?" "Be my guest."

How do you say talk in a formal way? ›

Synonyms of talk
  1. speech.
  2. lecture.
  3. address.
  4. sermon.
  5. oration.
  6. declamation.
  7. presentation.
  8. harangue.

How can I be a fun waitress? ›

21 server tips and tricks
  1. Write “thank you” on your guest's checks. ...
  2. Speak to your guests, learn their preferences and suggest drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts. ...
  3. Always stay positive and approach guests with a smile.
  4. Offer recommendations to guests based on their preferences and your experiences.

What makes a good waiter or waitress explain in 3 sentences? ›

Good manners are an important trait for every good waiter. Such manners include making eye contact, smiling, being polite, pulling out chairs when appropriate, listening, and always putting the customers' interests before their own.

What is a simple sentence for waitress? ›

serve as a waiter or waitress in a restaurant.
  • A waitress arrived with the wine they had ordered.
  • The waitress refilled our coffee cups.
  • The waitress received a handsome tip.
  • She took a job as a waitress.
  • The manager of the restaurant has trained the waitress to serve correctly at table.
Jul 24, 2020

Who greets you in a restaurant? ›

A Host or Hostess is responsible for greeting, welcoming and seating customers as they enter a restaurant or dining area.

Who greets you at a restaurant? ›

A hostess is the first person to meet a guest when they enter a restaurant, and they're in charge of the beginning part of the dining experience. Typically only sit-down, dine-in restaurants have hosts, as their main responsibilities are seating guests and managing reservations.

What are the 3 conversational rules? ›

Keeping a conversation going is something of an art, and one which many of us now seem to lack.
The Rules of Conversation
  • Conversation is a Two-Way Street. ...
  • Be Friendly and Polite. ...
  • Respond to What They are Saying. ...
  • Use Signalling to Help the Other Person.

What is the golden rule of conversation? ›

Say the right thing, or say nothing.”

What are the five rules of etiquette? ›

Rules of Etiquette
  • Be yourself – and allow others to treat you with respect. Let this one sink in, ladies. ...
  • Say “Thank You” ...
  • Give Genuine Compliments. ...
  • Don't be Boastful, Arrogant or Loud. ...
  • Listen Before Speaking. ...
  • Speak with Kindness and Caution. ...
  • Do Not Criticize or Complain. ...
  • Be Punctual.

How do you ask for food nicely? ›

Second, it makes you sound more polite to the person you're ordering from. Here are a few examples.
1. Ask If You Can Get Something
  1. “Can I get a drip coffee, please?”
  2. “May I have a drip coffee, please?”
  3. “Do you have drip coffee?”
  4. “Can I order a drip coffee?”
Aug 16, 2022

What should a waiter say to a customer? ›

I hope you enjoy your meal:

(phrase) A waiter/waitress would say this phrase to customers to sound polite and professional.

How do you ask for the menu in English? ›

Can I have the menu? Can I have the wine list? Can I have the bill please? You can ask the same question even more politely by replacing can with could or may.

What expression is said before meal? ›

'Bon appetit' is one of the many French phrases adopted by the English language. Using this phrase is a very popular way of telling someone to enjoy their meal. And you can also use it if you're a guest.

What do chefs say when an order is ready? ›

Pick up, table two” is an indication that the food is ready for the servers to take it to the guests.

What are buzz phrases in restaurant? ›

So here are ten over-used restaurant buzzwords.
  • Lite.
  • Homemade.
  • Generous.
  • Healthy.
  • Signature.
  • Premium.
  • Artisanal.
  • Sun-Grown.
Aug 16, 2012

What are dinner manners called? ›

• In the realm of dining, etiquette refers to proper manners and behavior in a formal dining situation. • Table manners play an important part in making a favorable impression.

What are some words or phrases that waiters at nice restaurants use? ›

Proper Waiter Language
YesYou're Welcome
Will do!My pleasure
Not a problemNo problem
No worriesThink nothing of it
Right away!Sure thing
2 more rows
Dec 11, 2009

What is top in restaurant lingo? ›

Top – The number in a dining party, as in “8 top at table 20.” See also: the number of seats at a table/how many guests a table could seat. Underwater/Drowning – Overwhelmed with customers; see also: “in the weeds.”

What type of phrase is in the kitchen? ›

The first prepositional phrase -- in the kitchen -- modifies the noun air; the second -- of stale food --modifies the verb reeked. The two phrases provide information that helps us understand the sentence as a whole.

What do waiters say when welcoming guests in restaurants? ›

Making guests feel welcome goes a long way towards making their dining experience a good one. Use a polite and friendly greeting when a guest walks in or pulls into the drive-through. For example, you could say, “Hi, how may I help you?” or, “Thanks for coming in tonight.

What are six adjectives that could describe a good dinner? ›

8 Scrumptious Words to Describe Your Thanksgiving Dinner
  • 1 Toothsome.
  • 2 Ambrosial.
  • 3 Redolent.
  • 4 Nectarous.
  • 5 Sapid.
  • 6 Aperitive.
  • 7 Piquant.
  • 8 Herbaceous.
May 21, 2019

What is the chili's phrase? ›

Advertising. "Chili's (Welcome to Chili's!)" is an advertising jingle used in Chili's Restaurant commercials to advertise the restaurant's line of baby back ribs.

What is all day in restaurant Lingo? ›

In the kitchen, “all day” means how many total orders of a certain dish are needed from the kitchen at that moment.

What does 68 mean in a restaurant? ›

In the restaurant industry, 68 may be used as a code meaning "put back on the menu", being the opposite of 86 which means "remove from the menu". 68 may also be used as slang for oral sex, based on a play on words involving the number 69.

What do chefs say when an order comes in? ›

As tickets come in, a chef will shout out the orders followed by all day. If there are three orders of fries on one ticket and four orders of fries on another ticket, there are seven orders of fries all day. Example: We have ten orders of artichoke dip and eight fries all day.

What does 85 mean in restaurants? ›

A rating over 90 (“Good”) meant that inspectors had usually seen only low-risk violations; 86–90 (“Adequate”) meant several violations; 71–85 (“Needs Improvement”) meant several high-risk violations; and less than 71 (“Poor”) was the worst category.

What are the 7 types of phrase? ›

Types of Phrases with Examples
  • Noun phrase.
  • Adjective phrase.
  • Adverb phrase.
  • Verb phrase.
  • Prepositional phrase.

What are the 10 types of phrase? ›

Types of Phrases


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