Ordering Food at a Restaurant – American English Conversations + Role Play Activity

Improve your English communication skills when ordering food at a restaurant with these useful conversations for English learners.

Learn common phrases and vocabulary to navigate the menu, ask for recommendations, and communicate your dietary restrictions with clarity and confidence.

Following the three dialogues, there is a role play activity centered around interacting with restaurant staff.

Eating Out Dialogue 1

eating out conversation in English

Customer: Hi, do you have any vegetarian options on the menu?

Waiter: Yes, we have a few vegetarian dishes. Would you like me to show you the menu?

Customer: Yes, please.

Waiter: Here you go. Can I get you anything to drink while you look over the menu?

Customer: Yes, I'll have a glass of water with lemon, please.

Waiter: Great, I'll get that for you. Do you have any other dietary restrictions or allergies that we should be aware of?

Customer: Yes, I'm also gluten-free.

Waiter: Not a problem. We have a few gluten-free options on the menu, and the chef can make some substitutions as well. Just let me know when you're ready to order.

Customer: I'm ready to order. I'll have the vegetable stir-fry with rice, please. And can you make sure it's gluten-free? Waiter: Of course. And for you, sir?

Customer's friend: I'll have the steak, medium rare, with a side of mashed potatoes.

Waiter: Great choices. Anything else I can get for you?

Customer: Not right now, thank you.

Waiter: Okay, I'll put in your order. And just to confirm, you'll be paying separately, correct?

Customer: Yes, that's right.

Waiter: Perfect. I'll bring your food out as soon as it's ready. Oh, and by the way, we're running a special today on our desserts. Would you like to see the dessert menu?

Customer: Yes, please.

Waiter: Here you go. And when you're ready, just flag me down and I'll bring your bill. Thanks for dining with us today.

(Later on, after finishing their meal)

Customer: Excuse me, can we have the bill please? Waiter: Sure thing. And would you like to pay with cash, card, or mobile payment? Customer: I'll pay with my card.

Waiter: Okay, I'll bring the card machine over. And just a reminder, gratuity is not included in the bill. Is there anything else I can get for you before you go?

Customer: No, that's everything. Thank you for a great meal.

Waiter: It was my pleasure. Have a great day!

Eating Out Dialogue 2

eating out conversation in English

Hi there, I'd like to make a reservation for two for tonight at 7 pm, please.

Hostess: Of course, what's the name for the reservation?

Customer: It's under Smith.

Hostess: Great, we have you down for 7 pm tonight. Will you need any accommodations for special dietary needs?

Customer: Yes, actually. I'm on a low-carb diet, do you have any keto-friendly options on the menu?

Hostess: Absolutely, we have a few dishes that should work for you. I'll make a note of that in the reservation.

Customer: Thank you. Also, do you have a private room we can reserve for this occasion?

Hostess: I'm sorry, our private room is already booked for tonight. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer: No, that's alright. Thank you. We'll see you tonight.

(At the restaurant)

Good evening, welcome to our restaurant. Here are the menus for tonight. Can I get you started with something to drink?

Customer: Yes, I'll have a glass of water with lemon, please.

Waiter: Certainly. And for the food, have you decided what you'd like to order?

Customer: I think I'll have the grilled salmon with a side salad, no croutons, please. And can I also request that the salmon be cooked without any added sugar or sauce?

Waiter: Not a problem, we can do that for you. And for your guest?

Customer's guest: I'll have the chicken alfredo pasta, please.

Waiter: Great, I'll put those orders in for you. And would you like to pay separately or together?

Customer: Together, please.

Waiter: Noted. I'll bring the bill over once you're finished with your meals.

(After finishing the meal)

Waiter: Here's the bill for you. Would you like to pay with cash or card?

Customer: Card, please.

Waiter: Alright, I'll take care of that for you. And would you like me to bring you the receipt?

Customer: Yes, please.

Waiter: Here you go. Thank you for dining with us tonight, and have a great evening.

Customer: Thank you, it was a great meal. We'll definitely be back.

Eating Out Dialogue 3

eating out conversation in English

At the beginning of the meal)

Customer: Excuse me, waiter? I'm sorry to bother you, but I ordered the vegan stir-fry and there's chicken in it.

Waiter: Oh, I'm so sorry about that. Let me take that back to the kitchen and get you a new one.

Customer: Thank you, I appreciate it. And can you please make sure they don't put any animal products in the new one?

Waiter: Of course, I'll make sure to tell the kitchen to prepare a strictly vegan stir-fry for you.

Customer: Great, thank you so much.

Waiter: No problem at all. Is there anything else I can get for you in the meantime?

Customer: No, that's all for now, thank you.

Waiter: Alright, I'll get that new stir-fry out to you as soon as possible.

Interacting with Restaurant Staff: A Role Play Activity

  1. Divide your class or group into pairs or small groups.
  2. Assign each group a scenario related to interacting with restaurant staff. These scenarios could include making a reservation, ordering food, asking for the bill, or inquiring about special dietary needs. (See the full list of suggested scenarios below.)
  3. Give each group a few minutes to prepare their dialogue, practicing and refining the vocabulary and phrases related to their scenario.
  4. Have each group perform their dialogue for the class or group, with one person playing the role of the customer and the other(s) playing the role of the restaurant staff.
  5. After each performance, have the class or group provide feedback on the dialogue, highlighting effective communication strategies and suggesting ways to improve.
  6. Rotate the scenarios so that each group has a chance to practice different interactions with restaurant staff.

This activity is a great way to help students practice and reinforce their vocabulary and communication skills related to eating out, while also developing their confidence in interacting with others in English in a real-world setting.

Scenarios for the "Interacting with Restaurant Staff" Role Play:

  • Ordering food for a group of people with different dietary needs.
  • Making a reservation for a large party and requesting a private room.
  • Asking the server about the ingredients in a particular dish.
  • Requesting a table with a specific view or location in the restaurant.
  • Asking for recommendations from the server based on your dietary preferences.
  • Sending back a dish because it was prepared incorrectly or not to your liking.
  • Requesting the bill/check and splitting it between multiple people.
  • Asking for a discount or special offer, such as a birthday promotion.
  • Complaining to the manager about poor service or a negative experience.
  • Requesting special accommodations, such as a high chair or wheelchair accessibility.


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