Restaurant Role Play Part 3

English Listening Practice Restaurant Role Play USA and UK 3

Welcome to our Daily English Listening Practice with this week’s series:

Role Play: At a Restaurant

If this is your first time here: Check out Restaurant Role Play Part 1 for the beginning of the Restaurant Role Play and English Dialogue

Download the American and British Restaurant Transcripts here

American Restaurant: at the top
British Restaurant: scroll down

American Restaurants

USA – Wine List

This American English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer at a table.

—Transcript—

Server: Hi guys, can I get you something to drink?

Customer: Can I see the wine list?

Server: Yes, of course, let me go grab it for you.… Alright, here you go, if you’re interested in our special this evening, the dry cab goes really well with the steak.

Customer: Ooh, yeah a bottle sounds lovely thanks.

Culture Notes:
Wine lists can be separate menus or it can be listed on the food menu. Most wines can be ordered by the glass or by the bottle. House wine might be offered in small restaurants and is usually offered in white and red. If you look under 35 years old, most servers and bartenders will ask for your ID or passport to make sure you’re over 21 and it is legal for you to order alcohol, so always have it ready, just in case.

USA – Happy Hour

This American English clip is between a restaurant hostess and a customer.

—Transcript—

Server: Hi guys, if you’re here for happy hour, we’ve got everything on tap is half off and it’s two dollars off every bottle.

Customer: Do you have any cocktail specials?

Server: Yeah, if you look at our happy hour menu, we have a list of cocktails that are on happy hour discount

Customer: Do you have San Miguel on draft?

Server: Actually, no, we only carry it in bottles.

Customer: Okay, that’s fine, I’ll have two of them please.

Culture Notes:
When your server comes up to the table, they’ll let you know about any specials going on in the restaurant. Usually this is a script that they have to memorize each day, so it could sound very interesting (and fast)  if you have a great server, or slow and awkward with an inexperienced server. Happy Hour can be any time of day, but it’s pretty popular right after work at around 4:30/5:00 p.m. You can usually find a list of specials either in the menu or on the table. On tap is the same thing as on draft or on “draught” spelling. Domestic beers are usually cheap beers made in the USA and Imported beers, more expensive, are from everywhere else in the world.

USA – ID – Over 21

This American English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer.

—Transcript—

Customer: Could we order a round of drinks please?

Server: Yeah, of course, do you mind if I see your ID first?

Customer: Yeah, no problem.

Server: And I’ll also need to see everybody’s ID’s as well.

Customer: Yeah sure

Server: Okay, great, thank you, yeah, alright, everything looks good, what can I get you guys?

Culture Notes:
“Do you mind if….” usually means “Do you have a problem if….”, but it’s not really that simple because our answers can be a little confusing.
Do you mind if I see your ID? Sure of course. Here you go.
(Meaning, sure of course you can see my ID)
Do you mind if I have a look at your ID? No, of course I don’t mind.
(Meaning, it’s no problem that you see my ID.)
These answers are confusing, even for native English speakers, so if you’re answering, use a friendly tone of voice so people understand right away if it’s not a problem.
Do you mind if I use this chair? Sure, no problem!
Do you mind if I sit here? Actually, my husband is sitting there.

USA – Appetizers – Enough for 4

This American English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer.

—Transcript—

Server: Would you like an appetizer to get started?

Customer: Yeah, please, uh, could we get the starter platter please. Is that enough for four people?

Server: Most of the time two people order the starter platter.

Customer: Okay, should we get… yeah, let’s get two of them please.

Culture Notes:
Food in America is BIG. Restaurants are good value, but there’s no way we can eat everything we order, so double check the portion before you accidentally order a platter for 4 just for you! “Is that just for one person?” Server: “Actually, that’s probably going to be a lot for just one person, I would suggest splitting it.”

USA – Appetizers – Split

This American English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer.

—Transcript—

Server: Hey guys, what can I get you started with?

Customer: Hiya, yeah, we’re just gonna split the nachos and the garlic bread, please.

Server: Okay, no problem, and I’ll bring you some extra side plates with that.

Culture Notes:
Splitting appetizers is pretty common, but splitting main meals isn’t common unless you split a single meal between two people who know each other well (father-daughter, two friends). Most people order a single meal for themselves, and shared plates in the middle of the table aren’t as common.

British Restaurants

Download the American and British Restaurant Transcripts here

UK – Wine List

This British English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer.

—Transcript—

Server: Hi there guys, can I get you started with any drinks?

Customer: Sure, uhm, where’s your wine list?

Server: Uh, here it is.

Customer: Okay, thanks, uhm, can you  recommend something with the fish?

Server: Uh, we have a really nice dry white, it’s a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, it goes really well with the fish.

Customer: Okay, great I’ll have a glass of that.

Server: Small or large?

Customer: Large, definitely.

Culture Notes:
Just like the USA, the wine list can be a separate menu from the food menu. You can order small glasses (125ml), large glasses (250ml) or a whole bottle (750ml). A waiter can usually recommend a wine and suggest a meal that tastes good with it – known as a pairing. You can ask for dry, medium or sweet wines to suit your taste.

UK – On Tap / On Draught

This British English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer.

—Transcript—

Server: Hi there guys, any drinks to start?

Customer: Yeah, what do you have on tap?

Server: We’ve got a guest ale this week called Titanic, it’s quite light and fruity.

Customer: Sure, yeah give me a pint of that

Server: Okay sure, would you mind if I check your ID first?

Customer: Oh yeah of course, is my passport okay?

Server: Yeah, that’s absolutely fine, okay looks good, I’ll be right back with your pint.

Customer: Great, thanks.

Culture Notes:
In the UK, ‘on draught’ is that same as ‘on tap.’ The one thing that Britain might actually have more variety than the USA is beer! Most restaurants will carry several lagers on draught or in bottles. They might also have ales on draught or in the bottles as well. Pubs obviously have the most choice, best restaurants also have quite a lot.

UK – Starters – Share

This British English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer.

—Transcript—

Server: Hi guys, can I interest you in any starters?

Customer: Well, I’d like to start with the side salad, and I think we’re gonna share the garlic bread.

Server: Okay, would you like some small plates?

Customer: Yeah let’s have a few plates on the side please.

Culture Notes:
Small plates are perfect for splitting starters. Just ask for waiter for some ‘small plates’ or ‘side plates’ and they should bring you some.

UK – Starters – Enough for 4

This British English clip is between a restaurant server and a customer.

—Transcript—

Server: Hiya guys, any starters this evening?

Customer: We’d actually like to split the bruschetta. Is that gonna be enough for four people?

Server: There’s normally only three pieces of bruschetta per serving

Customer: Okay, we’ll go ahead and order 2 of them, then.

Culture Notes:
Starters vary in size. ‘Platters’ are usually bigger plates made for 2+ people. It might say the size in the menu, but if you don’t know, ask your waiter: “How many people is it for?” and they will help you.


You’re halfway through the meal! Are you more likely to visit an American Restaurant or a British Restaurant? Maybe you’ve been to both! Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

Thanks,

Kat and Mark

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