Key English conversation phrases for meals and restaurants


It is said that the number of foreigners visiting Japan has been increasing in recent years, and we often see foreign customers at Japanese restaurants. But when you hear "English for customer service", don't you think it's something specially difficult? "How many customers do you say in English?" "I don't know the English words that you might use often, such as" appetizers "and" recommended "in the first place ..." "How to explain cooking in English?" What should I do? "

If you have to serve customers in English in this situation, you may get stuck in front of the customer's table or even hesitate to pick up your order.

However, as you can see when you think of customer service in Japanese, the phrases used, such as "what would you like to drink?" And "have you decided on your order?", Are fixed to some extent.

Besides, if customers can enjoy their meals, they should be able to serve customers with all their heart and soul. Of course, if you have basic English phrases and vocabulary, there is no doubt that it will serve your purpose better.

I want foreigners to enjoy their meals in Japan!

Therefore, this time, we have summarized the English phrases and vocabulary used by waiters and customers at restaurants, as well as techniques that are useful for explaining food in English.

<Table of Contents>

Restaurant customer service English

  1. Basic phrases for customer service

  2. Basic phrases used by customers

  3. Restaurant basic vocabulary

  4. Techniques to help explain cooking


[Restaurant customer service English 1] Basic phrases for customer service

First of all, from the English phrases that are often used to serve customers in restaurants. Try practicing aloud while imagining the actual scene!

From dealing with customers to seat guidance

Good evening!

Good evening (Welcome)!

Good afternoon, how are you today?

Hello, welcome!

Welcome to Hickory Burger!

Welcome to Hickory Burger!

How many?

how many people?

How many are in your group?

How many customers are there?


2 people?

Would you like smoking or non-smoking?

Smoking or non-smoking?

Would you mind sharing a table?

Are you sure you want to share a table?

Do you have a reservation?

Have you made a reservation?

I’m sorry, but we are full right now.

I'm sorry. It is full now.

I’m sorry. That table is reserved.

I'm sorry. That table will be reserved seats.

There is a table available outside.

Outside seats are available.

It’s going to be about 20 minutes wait.

I think the waiting time will be about 20 minutes.

Can I get your name, please?

Can you tell me your name?

Mr. Fukumoto, your table is ready.

Mr. Fukumoto, seats are ready.

Right this way.

This way, please.

Follow me, please.

I'll guide you.

I will take you to the seat.

We will guide you to your seat.

Please have a seat anywhere you like.

Please call to your favorite seat.


Usually, I usually take an order from a drink, bring it first, and then ask for a dish, but I have summarized the phrases that can be used at that time.

Would you like something to drink?

What would you like to drink?

Can I get you something to drink?

(Note: Frank wording, not appropriate for some stores) What do you drink?

And for you, sir/miss?

What are your customers?

Which beer would you like?

Which beer do you like?

The drinks are on the back of the menu.

Drinks are on the back of the menu.

Do you need a little more time to decide?

Haven't you decided yet?

I’ll be right back with your drinks.

I'll bring you a drink first.

Are you ready to order?

are you ready to order?

May I take your order?

Are you sure you want to place an order?

What would you like?

What would you like?

What can I get for you?

What do you want to do?

Here are today’s specials.

This is today's recommendation.

That comes with either salad or soup. Which would you prefer?

It comes with salad or soup, which is better?

What kind of dressing?

Which dressing would you like?

Oh, I’m sorry. We are all out of that.

I'm sorry. It's sold out.

How would you like your steak? (Rare, medium, well-done?)

How do you cook the steak? (Which do you prefer, rare, medium or well-done?)

Is that everything for now?

Are you sure you want to place your order?

Serving food

Here are some English phrases that you can use from the time you serve the food to the end of the meal.

Here’s your baby back pork ribs.

This is the baby back ribs you ordered (back ribs smaller than spare ribs).

I’m sorry for the delay. Your food will be right out.

I'm sorry to have kept you waiting. We will bring your ordered meal immediately.

Have you received all your meals?

Do you have all the meals you ordered?

Enjoy your meal!

Please take your time!

How is everything?

How is the taste of the food?

Is everything all right?

Are you satisfied?

I’ll bring you another fork now.

I will bring you a new fork soon.

Would you like another drink?

How about your next drink?

Would you like to see our wine list?

Would you like to see the wine list?

Do you want a dessert?

How about dessert?

Do you want some coffee?

would you like some coffee?

Can I get you anything else?

Do you have any other orders?




Have you finished your meal?

Excuse me. May I take your plates?

Are you sure you want to lower the finished plate?


Introducing English phrases from checkout to see-off.

How was everything?

How was your food?

I’ll bring the check right now.

I will bring your bill immediately.

That’s 4,150 yen all together.

It will be 4,150 yen in total.

Would you like to pay together or separately?

Do you pay the bills together or separately?

Would you like to pay by cash or credit card?

Is your payment cash or credit card?

Sign here, please.

Please sign here.

Here’s your change and receipt.

Change and receipt.

Thank you very much. Have a good night/day!

Thank you for coming. Good night / have a nice day!

Hope to see you soon!

We look forward to seeing you again!

[Customer service English 2 at restaurants] Basic phrases used by customers

Next, I have summarized the English phrases that customers often use at restaurants. If you also wear these, you will be able to look more confidently in serving customers in English.

When entering the store

Introducing phrases such as "○ name seat", "waiting time", and "reservation with 〇〇 name".

A table for two, please.

I would like two seats.

Do you have a free table for six?

Is there a seat for 6 people?

How long is the wait?

How long is the wait?

We have a reservation under the name of Endo at 6:30.

I have a reservation from 6:30 under the name of Endo.

What time is the last order?

What time is the last order?

May we sit at this table?

Can I sit in this seat?


English phrases that customers can use when ordering, such as "glass wine," "I'm allergic to XX," and "I have the same thing."

Could we see the menu, please?

Can you show me the menu?

What do you recommend today?

What are your recommendations today?

What is your specialty?

What is this specialty dish?

What kinds of beer do you have?

What kind of beer do you have?

Do you have wine by the glass?

Do you serve wine by the glass?

What’s this dish like?

What kind of dish is this?

I’m allergic to nuts.

I have a nut allergy.

We are not ready to order yet. Could you give us a few more minutes?

The order has not been decided yet. Can you wait a few more minutes?

We would like to order now, please!

I'd like to order!

The steak for me, please.

I'd like a steak.

I’ll have the same.

Please give me the same.

I’ll have the salmon.

I cook salmon.

I’ll take this.

I will do this.

During a meal

Here are some English phrases you can use while eating, such as when you want a small plate or additional bread.

Can I see the menu again?

Can you show me the menu again?

Where’s your restroom?

Which is your bathroom?

What are they having?

What are those people eating?

Excuse me!

I'm sorry!

This isn’t what I ordered!

This is not what I asked for!

Excuse me, I didn’t order this!

I'm sorry, I haven't ordered this!

Could we have some more bread?

Could you give me some more bread?

Could we have some small plates?

Could you give me a small plate?

Could we have another bottle of wine?

Could you give me another bottle of wine?

Could we have some water?

Can you give me some water?

Do you have any desserts?

Do you have dessert?


Finally, there are phrases that can be used at the time of accounting, such as "with card", "with cash", and "payment separately".

Check, please.

Check, please.

Could we have the bill, please?

Check, please.

Do you take/accept credit cards?

Can I use the card?

Can I pay by credit card?

Can I pay with a card?

I’ll pay in cash.

I will pay in cash.

Can we pay separately?

Can I pay separately?

Could you split the bill?

Can you keep the bills separate?

That was really delicious. Thank you!

It was really delicious. Thank you very much!

Everything was great!

Everything was amazing!

We’ll come again!

I'll come back later!

[Restaurant customer service English 3] Restaurant basic vocabulary

Next to the phrase, let's look at English words that are often used in restaurants. The vocabulary related to "look and texture" and "cooking method" in the latter half is often used in the cooking explanation technique introduced at the end. Please remember!

Restaurant term vocabulary

English vocabulary such as "draft beer", "all-you-can-eat" and "takeaway".

à la carte [ɑːləkάːrt] [Shape] One dish

alcohol [ǽlkəhɔ̀ (ː) l] [Name] Alcoholic beverages, alcoholic beverages

all-you-can-eat [Shape] All-you-can-eat

appetizer [ǽpitàizə] [Name] Appetizer

bartender [bάːrtèndə] [Name] A person who makes alcohol and cocktails

beer on tap draft beer

buffet [bəféi] [Name] Self-service or buffet style food

cashier [kæʃíə] [name] cashier

cocktail [kάktèil] [name] cocktail

combo [kάmbou] [name] (cooking) set

cutlery [kʌ ́tləri] [name] knife, fork or spoon

draft [drǽft] [Name] Draft beer

greeting [gríːtiŋ] [name] greeting, welcoming, welcoming

happy hour Liquor service time

ingredient [ingríːdiənt] [name] material, material, material, raw material, ingredient

last call last order

non-alcoholic beverage Non-alcoholic beverage

Separate on the side (toppings, dressings, etc.) and add it to the side of the dish

recipe [résəpi] [name] How to cook and how to cook

server [sə́ːvə (r)] [Name] Waitress

side dish garnish dish

specials Recommended menu for the day

specialty restaurant specialties

to go for takeaway

waiter [wéitə] [name] Male waiter

waitress [wéitrəs] [name] Female waiter

waiting list Waiting list

Vocabulary of allergens

Of the foods that cause allergic symptoms, there are seven English words, one with a large number of cases and one with severe symptoms, plus the general term for shrimp and crab, "crustaceans."

milk [mílk] [name] milk, milk, milk

egg [ég] [name] egg

wheat [wíːt] [name] wheat

buckwheat [bʌ ́kwiːt] [name] buckwheat

peanut [píːnʌ̀t] [Name] Peanuts, peanuts

shrimp [ʃrímp] [name] shrimp

crab [krǽb] [name] crab

crustacean [krʌstéiʃn] [noun] crustacean

Vocabulary that expresses the taste

An English vocabulary that expresses taste such as "bitter" and "sour".

bitter [bítə] [Shape] Bitter taste

chocolaty [tʃάːkləti] [Shape] Chocolate flavor

delicious [dilíʃəs] [Shape] Delicious

-flavored [-fléivəd] [Shape] ... Flavored

fruity [frúːti] [Shape] Like a fruit

garlicky [gάːrliki] [Shape] Garlic-flavored, garlic-scented

honey [hʌ́ni] [Shape] Honey-flavored, honey-sweet

hot [hάt] [shape] spicy

mild [máild] [Shape] Not very strong (stimulation, bitterness, etc.)

rich [rítʃ] [Shape] Rich and mellow

salty [sɔ́ːlti] [Shape] Salty

savory [séivəri] [Shape] Salty or spicy, not sweet

smoky [smóuki] [Shape] Smoked scent

sour [sáuə] [Shape] Sour

spicy [spáisi] [Shape] Spicy

sweet [swíːt] [Shape] Sweet

tart [tάːt] [Shape] Sour

Vocabulary that expresses the appearance and texture

Introducing English words that express the appearance and texture, such as "creamy" and "crispy". Please use it as it will be the basis of one of the techniques to explain cooking.

buttery [bʌ ́təri] [Shape] Like butter

chewy [tʃúːi] [Shape] Chewy and chewy

creamy [kríːmi] [Shape] Like cream

crispy [kríspi] [Shape] Crispy, crispy, crispy

crunchy [krʌ́ntʃi] [Shape] Crispy, crispy, crispy

delicate [délikət] [Shape] Delicate

fluffy [flʌ ́fi] [Shape] Fluffy

fresh [fréʃ] [shape] fresh

full-bodied [Shape] Rich and rich

hard [hάːd] [Shape] Hard

juicy [dʒúːsi] [Shape] Fresh and juicy

mature [mətúə] [Shape] Aged, ripe

moist [mɔ́ist] [Shape] Moist

ripe [ráip] [shape] ripe

smooth [smúːð] [Shape] Smooth

stringy [stríŋi] [Shape] Threaded, streaky, streaky

soft [sɔ́ft] [Shape] Soft

succulent [sʌ́kjələnt] [Shape] (meat) juicy

tender [téndə] [Shape] (meat etc.) is soft

A vocabulary that expresses the cooking method

It is an English word that expresses the cooking method, such as "blanched", "sautéed", and "tataki". This is another basis for the cooking techniques I'll show you later.

baked [béikt] [Shape] Baked (in an oven, etc.)

barbecued [bάːbikjùːd] Roasted

blanched [blǽn (t) ʃt] [Shape] Blanched

boiled [bɔ́ild] [Shape] Boiled, boiled

breaded [brédid] [Shape] Breaded

caramelized [kǽrəmlàizd] Caramelized

carved [kάːvd] (meat) sliced into thin slices

chopped [tʃάpt] [Shape] Largely chopped

crushed [krʌ́ʃt] [Shape] Crushed into pieces

deep-fried [diːpfráid] [Shape] Deep-fried crispy with plenty of oil

fried [ráid] [Shape] Fried in oil

grilled [gríld] [Shape] Grilled over an open flame or charcoal, grilled

melted [méltid] [Shape] Melted, melted

minced [mínst] [Shape] Minced, minced

mixed [míkst] [shape] mixed

roasted [róustid] [Shape] Roasted in an oven or on an open flame.

sautéed [soutéid] Sautéed in oil

scrambled [skrǽmbld] Scrambled eggs baked with stirring.

seared [síəd] The surface was quickly baked, charred, and beaten.

shredded [ʃrédid] [Shape] Finely chopped, chopped

sliced [sláist] [Shape] Sliced, sliced

steamed [stíːmd] [Shape] Steamed, steamed

stir-fried [stəːfráid] [Shape] Stir-fry quickly (while stirring) over high heat

[Restaurant customer service English 4] Techniques useful for cooking explanations

When explaining food in English, it is the same as in Japanese, and the whole picture of the food is expressed by telling "ingredients", "cooking method", "look / texture", "seasoning" and so on.

The basis of the technique to explain cooking in English introduced this time is to arrange "ingredients" and explain the whole "seasoning" . In addition, by adding "look and texture" and "cooking method" before and after each ingredient and seasoning, it becomes easier to convey a delicious image.

Various patterns can be created by combining these four, so please grasp the technique while looking at the example sentences below!

Cooking method + ingredients + appearance / texture + seasoning

French Fries

Cooking method Ingredients served with look and texture  Deep-fried potatoes, served with our creamy garlic sauce We serve crispy fried potatoes with creamy garlic sauce.

Point: It is a relatively simple English expression that adds an explanation of "cooking method" to one "ingredient" and an explanation of "look and texture" to that "seasoning". Also, "served with", which means "served with", is often used, so please remember it.

Appearance / Texture + Ingredients + Cooking method + Cooking method + Appearance / Texture + Seasoning

Onion Rings

Appearance / Texture Ingredients Cooking Method Appearance / Texture, and served with Seasoning  Thick onion slices, beer-battered & deep-fried to golden brown, and served with homemade BBQ sauce We serve crispy fried chicken with homemade barbecue sauce.

Point: It is a complicated expression pattern that adds two "cooking method" and "look and texture" to one "ingredient", but it can convey a richer image. The expression method of "looking and texture" to golden brown "" by "cooking method" deep-fried "" can be applied in various ways.

Cooking method + ingredients + cooking method + ingredients + ingredients + ingredients + seasoning

Caesar Salad

Cooking method Ingredients Ingredients Ingredients Ingredients tossed with seasoning  Chopped lettuce, chopped eggs, croutons & parmesan cheese, tossed with our garlic Caesar dressing I met together

Point: In salads, etc., the number of "ingredients" to explain increases. Remember the expression "tossed with" which means "(salad) ...".

Appearance / Texture + Ingredients + Ingredients + Appearance / Texture + Pasta + Seasoning

Chicken Genovese (Chicken Genovese Pasta)

Served over Fedelini  pasta in Genovese sauce. Served over pasta in Asparagus and melted mozzarella . Served over Fedelini pasta in Genovese sauce. Served over pasta with asparagus and melted mozzarella. Served on top of the Genovese sauce

Point: This is an explanation method that sandwiches two expressions, "topped with" which means "topping" and "served over" which means "served over".

Ingredients + Ingredients + Ingredients + Ingredients

Quattro Formaggi

Ingredients Ingredients Ingredients Ingredients  Mozzarella, ricotta, gorgonzola, parmesan.

Point: When "ingredients" also explain "seasoning" like this kind of pizza, you can express the dish just by arranging the ingredients.

Cooking method + ingredients + appearance / texture + ingredients + cooking method + ingredients

Cheese Burger

Topped with Cooking Method Ingredients Look and Texture Ingredients Cooking Method Ingredients  Topped with sautéed mushrooms, crispy bacon and melted Swiss cheese Topped with sautéed mushrooms, crispy bacon and melted Swiss cheese .

Point: It is an explanation method that puts "toped with" at the beginning and adds each "cooking method" or "look and texture" to the three "ingredients" that are the main toppings of hamburgers.

English is a tool. Use it for a fun meal!

We have introduced various customer service English that can be used at restaurants, but how was it?

If you understand the above basic phrases, vocabulary, and how to explain food, you will not be in a hurry even if a foreign customer suddenly enters the store. In another entry, we have compiled a collection of phrases for each situation other than restaurants, so please try to learn English conversation phrases that can be used for telephone correspondence and business scenes .

The customer service English introduced this time is not just for people who work in restaurants. Entertaining foreign guests, having dinner with friends from overseas, or when a tourist next door asks for help, "Are you happy with your meal here?" "If you can speak more English?" Have you ever been worried about "..."?

If you are familiar with it, please start studying English so that people from overseas can enjoy your meal in Japan even more.