At a restaurant

These phrases will help you to make a reservation at a restaurant and order your meal. On arrival it is customary to wait to be seated. On paying it is customary to leave a tip unless a service charge is included or the service has been poor.

Booking a table

do you have any free tables?
a table for …, please
I'd like to make a reservation
I'd like to book a table, please
when for?
for what time?
this evening at …
seven o'clock
seven thirty
eight o'clock
eight thirty
tomorrow at …
twelve thirty
one o'clock
one thirty
for how many people?
I've got a reservation
do you have a reservation?

Ordering the meal

could I see the menu, please?
could I see the wine list, please?
can I get you any drinks?
are you ready to order?
do you have any specials?
what's the soup of the day?
what do you recommend?
what's this dish?
I'm on a diet
I'm allergic to …
dairy products
I'm severely allergic to …
I'm a vegetarian
I don't eat …
I'll have the …
chicken breast
roast beef
I'll take this
I'm sorry, we're out of that
for my starter I'll have the soup, and for my main course the steak
how would you like your steak?
well done
is that all?
would you like anything else?
nothing else, thank you
we're in a hurry
how long will it take?
it'll take about twenty minutes

During the meal

If you'd like to get the waiter's attention, the most polite way is simply to say:

excuse me!

Here are some other phrases you may hear or wish to use during your meal:

enjoy your meal!
bon appétit!
would you like to taste the wine?
could we have …?
another bottle of wine
some more bread
some more milk
a jug of tap water
some water
still or sparkling?
would you like any coffee or dessert?
do you have any desserts?
could I see the dessert menu?
was everything alright?
thanks, that was delicious


this isn't what I ordered
this food's cold
this is too salty
this doesn't taste right
we've been waiting a long time
is our meal on its way?
will our food be long?

Paying the bill

the bill, please
could we have the bill, please?
can I pay by card?
do you take credit cards?
is service included?
can we pay separately?
I'll get this
let's split it
let's share the bill

Things you might see

Please wait to be seated
Service included
Service not included

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