Using "Would You Like to Order" in a Restaurant

Woman ordering coffee
Wait person: "What would you like to drink?" - Customer: "I'd like a cup of coffee.". PeopleImages / Getty Images

One of the most important tasks in English is ordering food at a restaurant. In general, use the form "I'd like ..." when ordering food in a restaurant.

A common question for someone taking an order is "What would you like for ...". 

Example 

Peter: Hello, I'd like a table for lunch please. 
Host: Certainly, right this way.
Peter: Thank you. I'm really hungry! (sits down)
Host: Enjoy your meal!
Waitperson: Hello, My name is Kim. How can I help you?
Peter: Yes, I would like to have some lunch.
Waitperson: Great. Would you like a starter?
Peter: Yes, I'd like a salad.
Waitperson: What else would you like?
Peter: I'd like some spaghetti. Is it good?
Waitperson: Yes, it's very good. Would you like something to drink?
Peter: Yes, I'd like a glass of root beer, please. 
Waitperson: Certainly. Is there anything else I can do for you?
Peter: Yes, I can't read this menu. How much is the spaghetti?
Waitperson: It's $5.50, and the salad is $3.25.
Peter: Thank you.

Notice how the waitperson asks: "What would you like?" and Kim responds: "I'd like ..."

"Would like" is the polite form used when asking and requesting. "Would like" can be used in the question form to make an offer:

Would you like a cup of tea?
Would you like something to eat?

"Would like" can also be used to make a request. 

I'd like a hamburger, please.
I'd like something to drink, please.

Notice that "would like" is shortened to "I'd like." This is an example of a contraction

Practice Exercise

Fill in the gaps in this dialogue using key words and phrases you've learned with "would like" to order in a restaurant.

Waiter: Hello, Can I help you?
Kim: Yes, _____ to have some lunch.
Waiter: _____ a starter?
Kim: Yes, I'd like a bowl of chicken soup, .
Waiter: And what _____ for a main course?
Kim: I'd like a grilled cheese sandwich.
Waiter: _____ like a drink?
Kim: Yes, _____ a glass of Coke, please.
Waiter(After Kim has her lunch): Can I bring you anything else?


Kim: No thank you. Just the check. 
Waiter: Certainly.
Kim:I don't have my glasses. _____ is the lunch?
Waiter: That's $6.75.
Kim: . Thank you very much.
Waiter: You're _____. Have a good day.
Kim: Thank you, the same to you. 

Answers

Waiter: Hello, Can I help you?
Kim: Yes, I'd like to have some lunch.
Waiter: Would you like a starter?
Kim: Yes, I'd like a bowl of chicken soup, please.
Waiter: And what would you like for a main course?
Kim: I'd like a grilled cheese sandwich.
Waiter: Would you like anything to drink?
Kim: Yes, I'd like a glass of Coke, please.
Waiter... After Kim has her lunch.: Can I bring you anything else?
Kim: No thank you. Just the bill.
Waiter: Certainly.
Kim:I don't have my glasses. How much is the lunch?
Waiter: That's $6.75.
Kim: Here you are. Thank you very much.
Waiter: You're welcome. Have a good day.
Kim: Thank you, the same to you.