Who doesn’t like going out to eat? It’s good to treat yourself once in a while! Whether you like pizza, burgers, Asian, or Italian best, you need some restaurant phrases to have a good experience.
Make sure you get the food you want! Learn these restaurant phrases for the next time you go to a restaurant.
Table for (number) , please
When you walk into a restaurant, they want to know how many people are with you. When the host comes up to you, s/he may ask, “How many in your party?”
The correct response is, “Table for _____ , please.” Give them the number of people that are with you. For example, if you and three friends were going out to your favorite sushi restaurant, you would say, “Table for four, please.”
What are your specials?
Every day, restaurants make certain meals that aren’t on the menu. These are called “specials.” You can ask your server (waiter/waitress) what the specials of the day are by saying, “What are your specials?”
They will then tell you what the specials are so you can decide if you want to go “off menu” for dinner tonight! Sometimes these choices (options, possibilities) are special for the season, like pumpkin soup in the fall and strawberry shortcake in the summer.
I would like the … /I’ll have the…
Have you decided on what you would like to eat? When the server asks you what you want to eat, answer with one of these restaurant phrases! They’re very direct. You’ll be able to say exactly the food that you would like to eat.
Could I please have an extra napkin?
Don’t worry if you drop your napkin on the floor (or order something sloppy (very messy, dirty, where you need more than one napkin!). You can ask your server for another one! Just get their attention, and use this phrase. You’ll have an extra napkin in no time.
Could we see a dessert menu, please?
Would a lovely piece of chocolate cake round off (finish in a nice way) your excellent meal? You can ask to see a dessert menu when your server collects your plate.
You’ll soon be able to choose your favorite dessert to complete your meal!
Could we have the bill/check, please?
Once you’ve completed your meal, you can ask for the bill. They’ll bring it to you, and you can pay for your delicious (tasty, yummy) dinner!
If you’re in the United States, make sure to tip your server! Usually, 18-25% of the bill (not counting tax) is considered a good tip, depending on which state you’re in. The tip for the kitchen staff and the server is not included in the food prices!
Can I pay by card?
When it’s time to pay, you can ask to pay by credit card (if you’re low on cash (do not have much cash in your wallet)). In the US, it’s very easy to pay by card. In other places it might not be. So it’s always good to ask, just in case!
Enjoy your next meal out with these common restaurant phrases. Maybe you can even talk to your friends in English during the meal to practice even more!
Have more restaurant phrases you like to use, or have we missed one? Let us know in the comments below!
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Erin Duffin lives in Hamburg, is an English teacher, yoga instructor, and can’t wait for the end of a nice meal to order a fabulous dessert! Yummy! Guten Appetit!