Restaurant Vocabulary

Supporting teachers around the world

Our next video is out, and you don’t want to miss it. This episode we’ll be talking about common phrases that you can use when you’re out at a restaurant. We aren’t going to bore you with regular phrases for ordering and reading menus, you already know that stuff. We’re going to give you the right phrases to use when things go a little wrong.

Hope you find the video useful, and don’t forget to share it with your friends. You can also give is feedback, either in the comment section of YouTube or on our forum The English Room

Make sure to have a look below the video for a full transcript. That way you can follow along and learn new vocabualry and phrases easily.


That’s not what I ordered, and other restaurant phrases

By now you probably have basic vocabulary for food and place settings, but what happens when you’re at a restaurant the server gets your order wrong or some other mishap? Let’s see a few phrases that can help us out in these situations.

  1. Say you have a food allergy, and your server brings a dish that you didn’t know included that food item, you can say: “excuse me, I’m sorry, I didn’t know this dish had shellfish and I’m allergic”. The server should then offer to let you choose another dish or make you another plate that doesn’t include that food.
  2. What about when the server brings you the wrong plate? Politely say: “I’m sorry, but this isn’t want I ordered”. The server will usually be apologetic and correct the mistake.
  3. When you want to make a special request or change the dish as it is on the menu you can tell the server: “please, I’d like the cheeseburger but hold the pickle.” This means to leave that item out of the dish. Or, “I’ll have the garden salad with the dressing on the side please.” Means to put the dressing in a small dish for you to add yourself.
  4. Maybe you’re out with friends and you want to split the bill. In this case you can tell your server: “We’ll have separate checks please.” Meaning, we will each pay our own meal so bring each of us a bill.
  5. And finally, if the restaurant is busy and it doesn’t look like there is a table available, you can ask: “how long before we can be seated?” meaning, how long will we have to wait for a table?

These phrases will help you navigate some common situations you’ll encounter when you go out to a restaurant. Practice them with your friends and the next time you go out you can impress people with your vocabulary.

Tomorrow we’ll talk about travel mishaps and what to say when you encounter difficulty. So make sure you’re subscribed and click that notification bell so you know exactly when we upload the next video. See you tomorrow!

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