Going to a Restaurant Social Stories

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Social stories can help prepare students with social and cognitive disabilities for community outings. In this lesson, you will read sample social stories about going to a restaurant.

Social Stories

Students with social and cognitive disabilities often need explicit instruction on how to perform some basic activities in the categories of self-help and social situations. Social stories give short scenarios with detailed examples of how to behave in specific situations. Here are some social stories you can use as you prepare students to go to a restaurant.

Social Stories About Going to a Restaurant

Story 1: Going to the Restaurant

Tonight, I am going with my parents and my sister to a restaurant. My sister and I put on clean clothes and brush our hair. Before we leave, my dad calls the restaurant to put our name on the waiting list.

When we get to the restaurant, we go in the front door. My dad goes to the desk where there are two hostesses and he gives his name. They tell him we have ten minutes to wait, so my sister, mom, dad and I sit on a bench by the door. We talk quietly until the hostess calls my dad's name. Then we follow her to a table.

Story 2: Choosing My Meal

I am at a restaurant with my family. When the hostess shows us our table, she gives us menus - one menu for each person. I open the menu and start to read. There are so many choices! The first thing I have to decide is what to drink, because that is the first question the waiter will ask us. I choose lemonade.

Next, I look at the page that says ''Appetizers.'' Appetizers are little snacks that you eat while you wait for your main meal. Mom says we can get one appetizer for the four of us to share, but my sister and I have to agree. I like nachos, but my sister doesn't. My sister likes onion rings, but I don't. We decide on spinach dip with chips.

Finally, I need to choose a meal. I look at the page that says ''Entrees.'' There are several categories: chicken, beef, seafood, pasta and sandwiches. I like chicken, so I read the chicken section. I decide to order chicken with rice and zucchini.

Story 3: Using My Manners

Mom wants me to use good manners all the time, but at the restaurant it is extra important because other people can see me. There are a lot of things to remember when using good manners!

  1. I need to say ''please'' when I want something and ''thank you'' when someone gives me something.
  2. I need to sit up straight. I shouldn't touch my face and hair during dinner.
  3. I should eat neatly, taking small bites so no food falls out of my mouth. I should eat slowly, so that food doesn't fall off my fork and onto my clothes.
  4. I should chew quietly, with my mouth closed. If anyone wants to see my food, they have to look before I bite it!

Story 4: Paying for the Meal

At the end of our meal at the restaurant, the waiter takes away our empty plates. He asks if we want dessert, but Dad tells him ''No, thank you.'' So the waiter brings the bill.

The bill is in a black folder. Dad looks at it to see what the food costs, then he puts his credit card in the folder with the bill. The waiter takes the folder away, then brings it back again. Dad keeps his credit card and signs the receipt. Dad also leaves a tip. He says the tip tells the waiter ''thank you'' for serving us.

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