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 when you go to a restaurant. There are basic forms and questions, as well food vocabulary that you can use in places where people speak English. 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 ...". Here's a short example:

Wait person: What would you like to drink?
Customer: I'd like a cup of coffee.

Take a look at this Menu

Starters    

Chicken Soup    $2.50
Salad    $3.25

Sandwiches - Main Course    

Ham and cheese    $3.50
Tuna    $3.00
Vegetarian    $4.00
Grilled Cheese    $2.50
Piece of Pizza    $2.50
Cheeseburger    $4.50
Hamburger deluxe    $5.00
Spaghetti    $5.50

Drinks    

Coffee    $1.25
Tea    $1.25
Soft Drinks - Coke, Sprite, Root Beer, etc.    $1.75

Dialog

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". Also, remember that the question 'would you like' is very different from 'do you like'. Use 'would you like' at the moment, and 'do you like' to speak in general. 

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 _____ 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: Would you like  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 _____.
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 _____.

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.