Restaurant Vocabulary

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Here are some common restaurant vocabulary:

  1. Menu: a list of dishes available to order
  2. Appetizer: a small dish served before the main course
  3. Entree: the main dish of a meal
  4. Dessert: a sweet course served after the main meal
  5. Beverage: a drink, such as water, soda, or juice
  6. Server: the person who takes your order and serves your food
  7. Host/Hostess: the person who greets you and seats you
  8. Reservation: a booking for a table at a specific time
  9. Table: a group of people dining together
  10. Course: a single dish or a series of dishes served in a specific order
  11. Buffet: a meal where food is served in a public area and guests serve themselves
  12. Takeout/Takeaway: food ordered to be eaten elsewhere
  13. Delivery: food brought to your home or office
  14. Tip/Gratuity: a payment made to the server for good service
  15. Bill/Check: the total cost of your meal
  16. Menu items:
    • Soup
    • Salad
    • Sandwich
    • Pasta
    • Steak
    • Seafood
    • Vegetarian/Vegan options
  17. Cooking methods:
    • Grilled
    • Fried
    • Baked
    • Roasted
    • Steamed
  18. Food descriptions:
    • Spicy
    • Mild
    • Sweet
    • Savory
    • Crunchy
    • Tender

This is not an exhaustive list, and restaurant vocabulary can vary depending on the type of restaurant, cuisine, and region.

Here are some additional restaurant vocabulary:

  1. Meal types:
    • Breakfast
    • Brunch
    • Lunch
    • Dinner
    • Supper
  2. Food preparation:
    • Poached
    • Sauteed
    • Braised
    • Roasted
    • Grilled
    • Fried
  3. Food texture:
    • Crispy
    • Crunchy
    • Soft
    • Tender
    • Juicy
    • Flaky
  4. Food flavor:
    • Spicy
    • Sweet
    • Sour
    • Salty
    • Bitter
  5. Menu terminology:
    • A la carte (individual dishes)
    • Combo (combination meal)
    • Special (daily or seasonal offer)
    • Deal (discounted meal or package)
    • Tasting menu (sample of various dishes)
  6. Restaurant areas:
    • Dining room
    • Bar
    • Patio (outdoor seating)
    • Lounge
    • Private room
  7. Service terms:
    • Take away (remove dishes)
    • Refill (replenish drinks)
    • To-go (food to take elsewhere)
    • Doggy bag (container for leftovers)
  8. Payment and tipping:
    • Cash
    • Credit card
    • Tip (gratuity)
    • Service charge
    • Split check (divide bill among diners)
    Here is a sample conversation in a restaurant:

[Hostess]: Hi, welcome to Bistro Bliss! Right this way, please.

[Customer]: Thank you! We have a reservation for two at 7 pm.

[Hostess]: Great, let me just check… (checks the reservation book) Ah, yes! Right this way, please. (leads them to their table)

[Server]: Hi there! I’m your server, Alex. Can I start you off with something to drink?

[Customer]: Yes, please. I’ll have a glass of the house red wine.

[Server]: Great choice! And for you, sir?

[Customer]: I’ll have a sparkling water with lemon, please.

[Server]: Excellent! I’ll be right back with those. (returns with drinks) Here you are! Now, can I interest you in our specials tonight?

[Customer]: What’s the special of the day?

[Server]: We have a pan-seared salmon with a lemon butter sauce, and it’s been very popular tonight.

[Customer]: That sounds great. I’ll try that.

[Server]: And for you, sir?

[Customer]: I’ll have the grilled steak with roasted vegetables, please.

[Server]: Excellent choice! I’ll put those in for you. (takes their menus and walks away)

[Server]: (returns with their food) Here you are! Enjoy your meals!

[Customer]: (after a few minutes) This is delicious! The salmon is cooked perfectly.

[Server]: I’m so glad you’re enjoying it! And how’s the steak?

[Customer]: It’s great, thank you! The vegetables are really flavorful.

[Server]: Awesome! I’ll come back and check on you in a bit. (returns with the check) Here you are! Whenever you’re ready…

[Customer]: (after a few minutes) We’re ready. (hands over credit card)

[Server]: Great, thank you! (processes payment and returns with receipt) Here you are! Come back soon!

[Customer]: Thank you! We will!

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