Target Skill: Learning how to order food on the telephone from a delivery menu in English
ESL Level: Lower-Intermediate
Description: This 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?
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!
– Matthew Barton / Creator of Englishcurrent.com