English Patterns for Waiters and Customers

Food and beverage ordering patterns that we will frequently encounter in beginner and intermediate English level are changing depending on different roles. From customers to waiters, English ordering and receiving order patterns in daily life are shaped around the needs. Ordering, preparing an order, asking for the menu or recommending a menu in English in a chic restaurant, cafe or a fast-food chain is the basis for English speaking.

In this article, we will give some examples of how to order food and beverages in English in different roles. Here are some conversation patterns prepared specifically for waiters and customers:

English Patterns for the Waiters in the Restaurant

As you can from the examples below, the way of how a waiter speaks differs if s/he works in a restaurant or a fast-food chain. Waiters often use “Would you like”, “Could I have” or “Would you prefer” patterns which are kinder and more official. These phrases often have rule-based sentences with object-verb-subject patterns.

Patterns with the question:
  • Would you prefer the smoking or non-smoking zone?
  • Do you have a reservation?
  • Would you like to see the menu?
  • Are you ready to order?
  • Would you like something to drink before the meal?
  • Can I take your order, please?
  • Would you like to start with a cocktail?
  • Is there anything I can get for you?
  • Would you like any cold starters?
  • Rare, medium or well done? (For beef, lamb and chicken preferences.)
  • Would you like some salt and pepper?
  • How would you like that prepared?
  • Would you like cheese tray with that?
  • Can I get you something to drink with that?
  • Would you care for a dessert?
  • What would you like to drink?
  • Would you like to try our special dessert tray?
  • Cream or sugar?
  • Would you prefer red or white wine?
  • How will you prefer your coffee? With or without sugar?
  • Would you like some desserts afterwards?
  • Will you pay by cash or credit card?
  • Would you like some coffee?
Patterns without question:
  1. I’ll have a table ready for you in a moment.
  2. Let me tell you our specials today: Chicken soup and roasted beef with mushroom sauce.
  3. Today’s specials are chicken soup and roasted beef with mushroom sauce.
  4. Here is your order.
  5. Thank you very much. Have a nice day.
  6. I am sorry we are out of that today.
  7. I am afraid that is no more in our menu, but I can get you Chef’s selection of this.
  8. Sorry, it’s all gone.
  9. Here is your bill, please.
English Patters for Fast Food Restaurant Employees

Fast-food employees prefer semi-official and faster English use due to the requirements of their job. You can ensure fluent dialogues with “Will you” and “Do you want” question patterns as well as shorter sentence patterns.

  • Can I have your order, please?
  • What will it be?
  • Which menu do you want to have?
  • Do you want it with chips?
  • Anything to drink?
  • Big, small or medium?
  • Let me show you the dessert tray?
  • Do you need any napkins?
  • Do you need any salt and pepper?
  • Anything else?
  • Eat-in or take away?
  • For here or to go?
  • Do you want that take away?
  • Here you go.
  • Here you are.
  • Your order is ready.
  • That’s three hundred thirty-five.
  • That will be three hundred and thirty five dollars.
  • That’s 25 Euros and 20 cents with the drinks.
  • Thank you. Have a nice day.
English Patterns for the Customers in the Restaurant

Customers who order food in English use different sentence patterns. Just like the waiters, the customers also say what they want and need with “Could I have”, “I would prefer”, “I’d like” patterns. The English sentence patterns of the customers ordering at a restaurant and package service can differ as well.

Patterns with the question:
  • Could you change us to a window-side table?
  • Excuse me, can you come here for a second, please?
  • Could I see the menu please?
  • Can we take the menu, please?
  • We couldn’t decide what to order, yet. What would you recommend?
  • Excuse me, can you take our orders, please?
  • What specials would you suggest?
  • What’s the soup of the day?
  • Do you have any vegetarian dishes?
  • Could I have some chicken soup as a starter?
  • Can I get it rare?
  • Sorry, this soup is cold. Can you change it?
  • Can I have some mineral water, please?
  • Could I have a cappuccino?
  • I couldn’t eat that all. Could you wrap it, please?
  • Could I have the bill, please?
  • Check, please?
  • Would you please bring us the check?
  • Can we have separate checks, please?
  • Can I have the receipt, please?
  • Do you take cash or credit card?
  • Can I pay by credit card, please?
  • Does this include the tip?
Patterns without question:
  • We need more minutes to decide.
  • We are ready to order, now.
  • I would like to have roast beef and salad, please.
  • Roasted beef for me and a hamburger with chips for my child.
  • I’d like my steak rare, please.
  • There seems to be a mistake in the bill.
  • A table for two, please.
  • I would prefer a non-smoking table for four.
  • I have a reservation for John Williams.
  • Another party will be joining us.
English Patters for Fast Food Restaurant Customers

Similar to fast food restaurant personnel, fast food restaurant customers can also order with direct question-answer English patterns. This way, they can complete their food purchases in a fast way. When necessary, you can use semi-official patterns as a customer in a fast-food environment.

  • I’ll have a chicken burger with chips, please?
  • Can I have a small cola, please?
  • Mayonnaise but no ketchup.
  • Go easy on the onions.
  • Eat-in, please.
  • I’ll eat it here.
  • Take away, please.
  • Do you take credit cards?
  • Keep the change.

You can use these examples to make your own dialogues to order in English and receive order in English. You can easily apply these examples to your environment and you can improve your skills by practicing with native English tutors on English Ninjas.

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