English for Restaurant Workers

To the Student

If you are using this book on your own:

  • Read through a Unit quickly. Use the pictures to help you guess the meanings of words you do not know.
  • After the first reading, study the Key Vocabulary list with the help of the Glossary at the back of the book. Check the explanations of certain words and phrases in the For Special Attention box.
  • Now go through the Unit again to make sure you understand all the vocabulary. Cover the captions under the pictures and try to describe the pictures using the vocabulary you have just learned.
  • Try to memorize the order in which each task is done.
  • Memorize the expressions given for each task. It is important to know the correct pronunciation and intonation of these expressions. Listen to the accompanying recording, or ask English speaking friends and colleagues to help you with this.
  • Finally, do the Exercises in the Unit without referring to the previous pages. Check your answers in the Answer Key at the back of the book.
  • Role-play the dialogues in the Exercise pages with an English-speaking friend if possible.

Note: Although you probably normally use a bilingual dictionary for words you do not understand, try to use the glossary at the back of the book, as a first step towards using an English only dictionary.

To the Teacher / Trainer

This book can be used as the basic resource material for a training course for restaurant service attendants, or as a supplement to existing training material. The main advantages of this book are that:

  • the basic vocabulary needed by the trainee is given in the book, and also listed in the Glossary.

lexical items are better understood by trainees with only a basic level of proficiency in English, because job-specific words and actions are clearly and graphically depicted in the picture frames.

  • the Picture Process layout of each task should enable the trainee to better remember the order in which each task is performed.
  • the role-plays contained in the exercise pages of the units reinforce the use of common expressions that recur constantly in restaurant work.


Trainers / teachers have the option of using the book in one or all of the ways listed below:

  • as a course book or main text for a training course for restaurants service attendants.
  • to equip trainees with job-specific vocabulary before or during a training session.
  • to reinforce training sessions with the written exercises and role-plays from each Unit.
  • as a take-home reminder of a training session.
  • as a preliminary introduction before the training session for any aspect of restaurant work.


The material in this book cannot cover every aspect of restaurant work or all the variables of interaction or communication that arise in actual situations in restaurants. Trainers may need to expand on the material in each Unit to cover additional tasks and situations. With knowledge and acquisition of basic vocabulary, trainees should be able to role-play further situations that commonly occur in the course of their job.

Language trainers may need to deal with any struttural difficulties that arise as this is outside the scope of this book. Trainers need to pay particular attention to the trainees’ pronunciation and intonation when using the functional expressions in the book. Use of the accompanying recording, and tape recording the trainees themselves during role-plays, would help them hear and improve their spoken language.

As far as possible, the material in the book follows the standard practice of service in international western-food restaurants. Trainers may need to make changes and adjustments to reflect the practice of the establishments they serve.


To provide front line personnel in restaurants with:

• The job-related vocabulary and language needed for work in this field. • The basic skills needed to perform the various tasks in restaurant work.

The User

The book is designed for use by:

  • The trainee waiter or waitress [high elementary level English upwards], who needs the specific vocabulary and commonly used expressions for their job.
  • Any English speaking, entn-level restaurant employee who needs an easy-to-follow guide to the various tasks in restaurant work.
  • The restaurant trainer or language instructor, whose job can be supplemented and facilitated by the material in this book.

The Material

The material in this book reflects as far as possible the standard practice of international western food restaurants. Users may need to make some minor adjustments to fit the practice and regulations of the establishments they serve. • The main tasks in restaurant work are treated in fifteen separate units. Each unit shows a clear step-by-step depiction of a particular task in a picture process format. Captions below each picture frame contain the vocabulary needed for that task.

 Speech balloons in the picture frames give basic functional expressions for that particular task.

  • Key Vocabulary boxes at the end of each Unit list all the important and useful words for the given task.

For Special Attention boxes in each Unit explain idioms and certain words and phrases more fully.

  • Other common functional expressions for each task are given in the More Expressions boxes.
  • The Glossary at the back of the book is a list of basic food and service related lexical items. It can serve as a useful guide, for both students and trainers, to the target vocabulary needed at this level.
  • A recording of the main text, the additional expressions and the dialogues from the exercises pages are available separately.


  • Each unit is a four-page spread.
  • The first two facing pages depict a particular restaurant task in pictures with captions below. Key vocabulary and expressions for the task are given in boxes on these pages.
  • The following two facing pages consist of exercises, word puzzles, role-plays etc., which incorporate the target vocabulary and expressions covered in the unit.
  • The volume also contains
  • an answer key to the exercises.
  • a glossary of basic job-related words and phrases.

Course Content

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 2 Topics

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