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POLITENESS TRAINING FOR RESTAURANT/BAR STAFF
topic: The right way to talk to customers/clients in English 2



Part of providing good customer service is knowing the right way to communicate. English has its own "accepted" ways of talking to customers/clients/guests. If you don't use these, or if you use them incorrectly, you might come across ( = be seen) as rude or unprofessional. In the exercise below, pretend that someone is asking you the question in italics. Choose the best, most polite response:



1. Can we share this dish?
  Yes, but keep in mind that the portions are pretty small.
  Yes, but you're going to be hungry afterwards.
  Get two, OK? The portions are really small.

2. Our compliments to the chef.
  OK, fine.
  Thank you. I'll let her know you liked the meal.
  Yes, OK.

3. What do you recommend?
  Everything will be OK.
  I don't want to choose for you.
  Our specialty is Pad Thai.

4. Can I smoke here?
  No, smoking is not allowed in the restaurant.
  No, absolutely not, sir.
  No, don't smoke.

5. Can we get three glasses of water.
  We only have mineral water. Do you have a problem with that?
  You will have to drink mineral water. There is no other choice.
  We only have mineral water. Is that alright?

6. Last time I ordered a spicy fish dish, do you know which one I mean? I forgot the name...
  I'm sorry, sir, but I don't remember you.
  Hmm... Was it in a red sauce?
  I'm sorry, sir, but I have no idea what you ordered. Someone else must have been serving you.

7. Can I get a decaf espresso?
  OK. Anything else with that?
  OK. What else do you want?
  OK. And?

8. Can we sit outside?
  No, it's closed. Sit inside.
  No, the outside patio is still closed.
  Take a look - it's closed.

9. I think this dish might be too spicy for me.
  Well, if you don't like spicy food, don't order it.
  We have many mild ( = non-spicy) dishes as well.
  It's up to you. I really don't know what you like, ma'am.

10. Why did you add an additional 15% to my bill?
  You had 10 people in your group. You must pay 15% more.
  You had a big group. That's our policy. Sorry.
  There's an automatic gratuity of 15% added to parties of 8 or more.

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