Telephone Dialog: Ordering Food from a Restaurant Menu (ESL/EFL)

Target Skill: Learning how to order food on the telephone from a delivery menu in English

ESL Level: Lower-Intermediate

Download: Ordering-Restaurant-Dialog-ESL.docx

DescriptionThis is a simple dialog I created for my students between a caller and a restaurant worker. You can use it if you’d like.

Restaurant Dialog (web version):

Ordering from a Restaurant on the Telephone

R = Restaurant worker            C = Caller

R: B.B.QUES Gourmet Grill, how can I help you?

C: Hello. I’d like to make an order.

R: Okay. For pick-up or delivery?

C: Delivery please.

R: Can I have your address please?

C: 679 Wexford Street.

R: Is that a house or an apartment?

C: A house.

R: And your phone number?

C: 416-848-3932

R: Great.  What would you like?

C: I’ll have some garlic bread with cheese, and the Pork Rib Dinner.

R: Okay. Would you like a half-rack or full rack of ribs?

C: Hmm. Is a half-rack enough for one person?

R: Well, when I’m hungry, I eat a full rack.

C: I’ll have a full rack then. I’m starving!

R: Okay. Would you like anything to drink?

C: No, thanks. That’s everything.

R: Okay. That will be $29.27.

C: Really? Why is it so much?

R: There is a small $3 delivery fee.

C: I see. Okay. How long will it take to deliver?

R: Around 30 minutes.

C: Okay. Thanks.

R: Thank you for calling B.B.QUES. Have a great evening.

Restaurant Ordering & Menu-related Lesson Plan Ideas

There are plenty of ideas for conversation class that are related to ordering food and reading menus.

With my class, I did a short reading lesson plan on a menu from a local restaurant called B.B.QUES Gourmet Grill. Find a menu in your neighbourhood (e.g. a flyer for a Chinese restaurant) and bring it to class to discuss. There are plenty of menus on Google Images, but using a copy of a real menu might seem more authentic for the students. After a warm-up discussing concepts like take-out, delivery (e.g. Do restaurants deliver food in your home country? What kind of food do they deliver?) and eliciting the sections of a menu with your students, give them a real (or copied) menu. Have them answer a list of comprehension questions based on the menu that you have prepared.

Afterwards (likely in the next lesson), put your students in groups. Tell them they have a certain amount of money; for example, $35 if there are 4 people (don’t make the amount too high). Tell them that their group is hungry and they have to decide what they want to order with their money (as a group). Monitor and support them as they discuss their choices.

Next, tell them they are going to place an order on the telephone to the restaurant to get the food. If you want, you can see what the students can do; have two students stand up and role-play a telephone dialogue (or wait till after they’ve practiced a bit).

Print the second and third page of the Ordering-Restaurant-Dialog-ESL.docx (link above). Cut each sentence into strips. Give each group a set of strips. After explaining that R= Restaurant Worker and C = Customer, ask them to put the conversation in order (some variants in order may be possible).

Next, give them the first page of the dialog. Have them check their answers, read, and practice. Answer any vocabulary questions they may have.

Lastly (probably in the third and final class of the unit), have students (in pairs) write their own telephone dialog. Let them use other expressions. When they are done, have them present it in front of the class (ideally without looking at their papers).

There are many other ideas, including the classic ESL activity (usually for children) of making your own restaurant menu. I hope the above ideas have been helpful. Don’t get too hungry in class!

clipart of ribs

– Matthew Barton / Creator of

English Current recommends Grammarly as a learning tool to reduce English mistakes. If you found this page helpful, consider a donation to our hosting bill to show your support!

16 comments on “Telephone Dialog: Ordering Food from a Restaurant Menu (ESL/EFL)

  1. shasha sorfina (Posted on 7-19-2015 at 22:28) Reply

    it is good

  2. andrew (Posted on 8-27-2015 at 11:52) Reply

    it is really funny

  3. loredana (Posted on 1-9-2016 at 12:00) Reply

    so nice, thank you very mush

  4. Gayanka (Posted on 5-13-2016 at 10:37) Reply

    Its good!.
    Thank u..

  5. esteban sanchez (Posted on 5-17-2016 at 10:06) Reply


  6. sharat kumar (Posted on 9-27-2016 at 07:36) Reply


  7. Gwen (Posted on 9-28-2016 at 07:41) Reply


  8. the wolf (Posted on 11-13-2016 at 13:09) Reply

    that is great tomorow i will work in call center but now i learn that hhhh

  9. marwine salinas (Posted on 11-28-2016 at 03:41) Reply

    nice..i learn so much.

  10. ankit dubey (Posted on 11-30-2016 at 13:33) Reply

    it is so good of the lerning

  11. hazelunt (Posted on 12-28-2016 at 18:50) Reply


  12. Pragati (Posted on 1-30-2017 at 10:50) Reply

    Its really gud but fist we should take order and then address .

  13. antonyflorin (Posted on 4-22-2017 at 02:14) Reply

    Very useful

  14. jenny (Posted on 7-12-2017 at 07:35) Reply

    very useful

  15. M Ismail (Posted on 12-17-2017 at 11:48) Reply

    Too helpful

  16. G.L PRINCE (Posted on 6-16-2018 at 01:38) Reply

    NICE ONE!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.