Restaurants Vocabulary


Party of two, your table is ready, party of two. Okay, and these are your drinks, sir.

There you go. Enjoy your meal. Bon appétit! Hi. James, from EngVid. When I'm not making

videos, I need to make money, and this lesson, actually, is about restaurants. I used to

be a waiter when I was younger, so I've been in many a restaurant, and I know it might

be difficult for you when you -- I mean, you're coming to a new country. I'll slow it down

for you because this is basic. You're coming to a new country, and you want to enjoy something.

You want to have a meal out of your house. You know -- meal, dinner, or lunch or breakfast.

And you go to the restaurant and then somebody walks up to you with, "party of", "table of",

"And what would you like for appetizers?" "Would you like an app?" "Would you like this?"

"Well, how about your main?" "What about this?" No! Please, don't. So let's slow it down.

Let's make it basic, so when you enter a restaurant, you can right away know what they're talking

about. Now, there're other things -- you know, we don't have everything in here. There are

two other videos on restaurants that you can go watch on EngVid, but this is basic. But

even if you think, "Oh, I know all this stuff. I'm very good", you might learn a thing or

two. Okay? So come watch. So let's start off first. The worm has a drink.

One of the first things they're going to come up to you depending -- and see, I don't know

if you know this. There's "fine dining", "casual dining", and "fast food". First thing you

should know, so where are you going? "Fast food" is like McDonald's, Taco Bell

-- [coughs] that's not food -- Taco Bell, Subway -- most of this won't apply, okay?

But some of these words, like -- well, we'll get there -- will apply, and I'll let you

know. "Casual dining" is like Chili's or Montana's.

I mean these are restaurants in the United States and Canada, so don't worry, but it's

all similar. It means you can wear something like I'm wearing: jeans -- there you go. I'm

getting old. Can't lift that leg up -- or a T-shirt, and it's okay. No one's going to

complain, okay? And you can sit down. Not like McDonald's. You can sit down with a knife

and fork, and you can eat your dinner. Or -- then you have "fine dining". "Fine dining"

is when the people wear what we call "penguin suits". They have a tie and a shirt, and they

walk up, and they serve on tables. Okay? But you need a reservation, and it's mucho dinero

mis amigos, mucho, mucho dinero. For the rest of you, it's lots of money. "Fine dining"

-- "fine" means "expensive", and you usually require a reservation to get a table. So let's

just go with casual, because casual is where most can go. Even if you're in a foreign country

and there are people who serve tourists, they're going to go mostly to casual, not necessarily

fine dining, so I'm sticking with casual, all right?

So casual -- McDonald's we know you just walk in. And here's something -- and McDonald people

you can thank me. Next time you go, don't watch them and say, "Give me Big Mac. Give

me French fries. And that I want." Try to say, "may I" or "can I have". People who work

in the service industry -- which is what the restaurant industry is, where they serve you

-- they want a little politeness, so try "can I have" and "may I have". You'll be surprised

at how much better they serve you or treat you. Now let's go to the board with the worm,

who is providing drinks. One of the first things you come in and you

come to a restaurant, they might say to you, "party of" or "table for". And you're going

to say, "What?" Well, "party of" -- I know you're not like, "Fiesta time, baby! Yeah,

we're going to party, going to be drinking" -- no. What they mean is you are a group of

people, and how many are in the group. So "party of two" or "party of four" means there

are two -- you can say, "There are two in my party" or four. "There are two of us",

or "there are four of us", or ten, okay? Then it's a "partay". It's not a "party"; it's

a "partay". Now, "table of" means the same thing, or "table

for", "table for". And they mean, for -- I did a video where I talked about "for" means

"receive". Go look at it. "For" means "to receive", so "table for four people", so "table

for four", "table for five" -- this is four. How many people? That's easy. And that's when

they're sitting in the front. That's the first thing they will ask you.

Then they will bring you to your table. And they're going to give you something called

a "menu". Now, some of you are going, "men for you". No, there's no men for you. A "menu".

A "menu" is a list of the foods that they want you to try or have or that you might

be interested in, okay? You'll notice I have some things here I want to discuss, but before

I do that, Mr. E -- because the first thing they will usually say to you is, "Would you

like something to drink?" Or "Can I take your drink order?" And that's the first thing they

usually do. So they will ask you, "What do you want to drink", and then they will bring

that to you. Do you remember at the beginning I was walking? That's their drink order. So

they'll say "Something to drink?" Or "Can I take your drink order?" Now, a drink order

doesn't necessarily have to be alcohol. It could be coffee, tea, water -- just water

-- pop, or alcohol. So you give them that. They'll give you a couple minutes to look

at the menu, and this is the list of foods you can have.

Now, I'm going to use a funny sentence, but it's like, "Would you like to whet your appetite?"

"Whet your appetite". You're going to say, "What the hell does that mean?" You're probably

nodding your head. It's an idiom for something to have first because "appetite" comes from

this first thing I'm going to teach you, which is "appetizer". You need to know what it means

when someone says an "appetizer" -- sorry, sorry. "Appetizer". When we talk about "appetizer",

it's the first thing you have when you have your food. Number one. And it's something

that's very small, and when they say "whet appetite", they're trying to say, "something

to start before you have the real food?" And there's a name for the real food, okay? So

an "appetizer" is something small, okay? And you have it first. So "appetizer", it's funny,

can be soup and salad. Soup. Salad. Or it could be shrimp -- five little shrimp. Not

a plate with rice, but just five shrimp and garlic. Something that tastes nice to start

your meal, okay? So remember: It's usually small, and it comes first. All right?

Now, after they take that, they might say -- because this happens at restaurants. They'll

say, "Would you like something to start?" And that's what they call it. Sometimes they

say "appetizer"; sometimes they say "start" or "a starter". "Would you like something

to start the meal?" Which could be your appetizer -- same thing. Or "would you like a starter?"

And the really cool restaurants now they go "starters" to start the day. Okay? And once

again, it's still first and small. And right after they ask you for the appetizer,

they'll do something -- and you're going to go, "What?" They're going to ask you if you

want to know what the -- what the specials are. You go, "Specials?" Yeah. The specials

they're interesting because what the specials -- they give you a sometimes a lower price

for some same food, or they give you better food for the same price. So usually, the money

goes down on the specials. The special of the day, okay? And with that, they might ask

you something else. They'll go, "Okay, we have specials." You go, "Special?" "Yes. Today,

and they'll say, the catch of the day is cod fish." "Catch of the day", see? A "catch of

the day" is fish, you know? Swimming in the sea, fish. So they'll say -- and they're saying

it's fresh -- just today. "So we got it today. It's fresh. It's new, and that's what we're

giving you." You can have the catch of the day, or you can have the soup of the day because

every day these two will change. They will change. They'll give you either a different

fish or a different soup -- cabbage soup or it might be leek soup or soup soup. I've never

had soup soup before. I must be special. Okay. They usually give you these when they give

you the specials of the day. So you've got to -- oh. There are two words I don't want

you to see yet. "Oh, James, please, please!" No. You don't need to know. I come back later.

Okay. But when they give you the specials, sometimes they'll give you everything at the

same time, okay? So say you get this, this, and this, for one price, and that's the special,

all right? So now, what we call this special thing if

all the price together, in a nice restaurant, it's called a -- I like to say "prixie fixie".

"Prix fixe". It's French for "fixed price", and you're going to get three things -- and

we're going to talk about those three things in a second -- all together for one price.

And if you go to McDonald's, it's called a "combo". Yeah. Well, I know we're not going

to McDonald's, but just in case, you can get combo No. 1: Big Mac, French fries, and -- yeah,

I love it. Anyway, so they'll introduce to you the specials or the prix fixe for the

day. They'll tell you about the catch of the day or the soup of the day, good?

Now, once you've ordered those, when they bring your appetizers and you're eating it

or just -- sorry. Before you eat it, they'll bring it, and they'll say, "Can we take your

main?" "Main" is your "big food". That's your chicken and rice, your steak and potatoes,

your vegetables -- that's the main course. It's called your "main", or it's called the

"main course", okay? And that's the "big food". After you've had a small bit, they want to

give you the big food. That's the second part, all right?

Now, you're going to finish that, but before you do that -- before, because I said you're

going to order -- they're going to ask you what you want for your main course, your big

food. Notice how I said steak, potato, or vegetable or rice, chicken and vegetables.

When they do this -- with your appetizer, you have to eat the appetizer. Because it's

small, you have to have what they give you. But with your main course, you can actually

change things. Now -- or get extra stuff. It's cool. And these are called "sides" or

-- when you have your main course, you might like French fries instead of potatoes, so

you can say, "I want fries." And they will say "Okay, would you like to substitute" -- change.

So in this case, this means "change". Some people like rice better than that, or they

want more vegetables, so you can say, "I'd like to substitute. Change this for that."

Cool? A "side" is a little different. A "side" means

"extra". So you can say, "Hey look, I want the catch of the day for my main course."

They'll go, "Cool, no problem." You go, "But you know, I don't want the rice. I don't really

like rice. Can I have some French fries? I'd like to substitute it for French fries." They'll

go, "Okay." You go, "But on the side I'd like to have mushrooms." "Mushrooms? Well, that's

extra." "I know. That's why I said I want it on the side." "Oh." So "side" is for extra

food that doesn't come with the meal, but you can buy it. And in many restaurants, on

the menu, it will say "sides", and it will have French fries, potato, mushrooms, shrimp,

and it means you can add to your main course anything you like. Now you know. All right?

So that's what this is, basically, on the basic menu. So now, you've had your appetizer,

and you've had your main course. Maybe you had a substitution or a side, and you're feeling

good. Okay. You want to relax a bit. So what's the third thing? Notice over here, I'm going

to put it in now. You've got your appetizer. You've got your main. Well, some of us like

to have coffee and tea because we're sophisticated. We're spending some money. We're in a restaurant.

So we wants some tea, but what do we want it with? We want it with dessert. "Dessert"

is food after -- after you have your main and your -- there you go. "Dessert". It's

not -- here. I'll make it big for you. D-e-s-s-e-r-t. And you're wondering, "Why do you want to

do this?" Because if you go to Saudi Arabia, there's a desert. And if you want dessert,

there're two because it's your second meal. That's why I'm doing this -- because it's

funny. See? It's your second meal? So this is how you'll spell it correctly. You'll learn

things with me, all right? So you have dessert, and with dessert, you can have coffee or tea,

right? You can even have a glass of wine if you want. So that's your third meal, and when

we talk about the prix fixe -- or prix fixe -- that's what's included in that, okay? That's

your dessert. I've got one more thing to do. This is what

sucks, and "sucks" means this is what is bad. You've had your appetizer. You enjoyed that,

I'm sure. You've had your main course, your big food. I love chocolate cake, so you've

had chocolate cake or ice cream for dessert, which is amazing. Here is the small problem,

okay? At the end -- nothing is for free, friends. You get the William. Well, what we call the

"William" over here is you can ask for the "bill" or the "check". Okay? The "check" is

payment. You have to pay for the food and the service. Thatt's life, right? So you get

the check. It will have a couple of things that you should be aware of. Some places put

it on the bill or the check. Some places don't. For sure, if there are taxes, you'll have

a tax. It will tell you much tax was your food. So you spend $30 on food, $5 on taxes.

Some places actually put this other thing on, and if you go to North America -- and

British people: I know you speak English. You have to learn this okay? In North America

-- that would be Canada and the United States -- they tip. They tip, British people, so

I know this is for people who are learning English, but British people you've got to

learn to tip, okay? "Tip" is to give some money extra to the service. See? "Tip". And

English people, this is not a tip. This is what I put in for parking. "Tip" is dollar

bills, dollar dollar bills you know? Okay? You spend $100 on food? A dollar is not a

tip; it's an insult. Anyway. I told you I was a waiter? It happened once. Hundred-dollar

bill; they left me with a smile. "That was great. Thank you." I was like, "No thank you

to you." Anyway. So there will be tax and tip. Sometimes -- some restaurants will put

it on the bill automatically, so you have to check and ask. If you say, "Is the tax

and tip included", they'll say yes or no. If not, you have to add it.

Here's a guideline or something as a tip -- see? This is extra. This is what a tip is for you.

In North America, it can go anywhere from 10 percent to 20. Okay? Just letting you know.

When you go, don't leave that dollar. 10 or 20 percent is what they're looking for if

you get good service, right? If the service isn't good, talk to the manager. Don't hurt

the waiter or waitress; there may be a reason. But anyway.

I hope this has been good for you. This is basic information for going to a restaurant.

There's other stuff you can take, but I want you to be able to feel comfortable going through

the door, and when someone goes, "Hi! Welcome to Kelsey's. How many in your party?" You

won't go, "No party. No party. Just one dinner. Just dinner, please." You can say, "Oh, party

of two." And we're looking forward to you coming to -- our party, anyway -- EngVid,

where -- Mr. E, what is it?, where "eng" stands for "English" and "vid"

stands for "video". Come, and do the quiz, and see how well you would do in a restaurant,

you know? Hope it sounds appetizing to you. This lesson has been at least filling.

Have a good one.