ESL Restaurant Dialogues

Instructor: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo

Yolanda holds a CELTA Cambridge, a Juris Doctorate, and a Master of Public Administration. She is a published author of fiction in Spanish.

This lesson provides you with restaurant dialogue samples that will help ESL students grasp language needed to dine out using the English language. Each dialogue can be used to practice any of the four language skills: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.

Introducing Restaurant Dialogue to ESL Students

When teaching ESL students about terms and conversation commonly used in restaurants, you can spark interest in the subject by discussing the importance of knowing how to conduct a conversation in a restaurant. For instance, restaurant interactions can lead to misunderstandings, like wrong orders and mishaps concerning food allergies.

It's also helpful to engage students by asking them to name some of the many dialogue possibilities that can occur in a restaurant. For example, two cooks in the kitchen might have dialogue about the best way to prepare food. This discussion will elicit responses such as: dialogue between a customer and the waiter/waitress, between the manager and a customer, between the customer and hostess taking a reservation over the phone, and so forth.

Restaurant Dialogue Examples

After introducing the topic to the class, you can provide students with examples of restaurant dialogue. The examples below cover some of the more common situations students may encounter as a patron of a restaurant. Print out dialogue and have students perform in front of the class, or separate the class into groups that can practice the dialogue among themselves.

Ordering a Meal

Waiter/Waitress: Good morning! / Good afternoon! / Good evening! Are you ready to order?

Customer 1: I am! I'll have the filet mignon and a Coke.

Waiter/Waitress: Great! (Waiter/waitress looks toward Customer 2.) How about you?

Customer 2: I would like the fish and chips.

Waiter/Waitress: One fish and chips. Anything to drink?

Customer 2: Water from the tap is good for me.

Waiter/Waitress: Water it is. (Waiter/waitress looks toward Customer 3.) And you?

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