Are you ready to order?

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Vocabulary - restaurant

ordering at a restaurant


The main objectives of this lesson on ordering at a restaurant are to:

  • learn and practise functional phrases,
  • practise speaking about restaurant food and eating out. 

In this ESL lesson students watch a funny YouTube short and learn vocabulary related to menus and ordering at a restaurant. They also brainstorm ideas on what food different restaurants serve and what food people with certain preferences can order. Students use their ideas in a role play.  

A2 / Pre‐Intermediate60 minStandard LessonUnlimited Plan


The lesson starts with a warm-up activity. Students look at pictures and think of problems people might face at the restaurant. Then, they watch a short video about a waiter having trouble taking an order. Students watch the video and complete the statement about it choosing the correct words. They also have a short discussion about problems when ordering food at the restaurant. After that, students move on to vocabulary activities. First, they match dishes to different parts of a menu. Then, students match what a customer says to the waiter’s responses. The task contains useful vocabulary (e.g. allergic to, veggie, specials, dairy, etc.). Students also learn some functional vocabulary. They complete the sentences with the correct words and decide who says each statement: a waiter or a customer. 


In this part of the lesson, students practise using the vocabulary. First, they create a short dialogue between a customer and a waiter. They use the phrases from the previous activities. After that, students have a discussion about food and restaurants. Finally, students move on to a role play activity. First, they choose a type of restaurant (e.g. Michelin-starred restaurant, café at a farmer’s market, Mexican restaurant, etc.) and discuss what food might be served there. Then, students choose a customer’s preference (e.g. the customer doesn’t like tomatoes, the customer is allergic to fish, the customer doesn’t eat spicy food, etc.) and come up with ideas on what the customer can order at the restaurant. After that, they role play the situation using the phrases from the lesson and the things they discussed before.


This ESL lesson about ordering at a restaurant also includes an additional task that you can use as homework or revision. In the task, students create a dialogue and practise phrases from the lesson. The task is available in the teacher’s version of the worksheet. You can print it and hand it out to your students. It’s also included in the e-lesson plan.



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Leave a Reply

  1. Agnaldo Brites

    Hi there!
    This is a really funny video!! I had already seen it before, but, I think you could have used also a video showing a “serious” restaurant conversation, from checking in to checking out.

    But it’s a great lesson, as usual!


    1. Olia

      Hi! Thanks for your comment, we appreciate it. As for the video, I’ll share it here in the comments if I find a decent one for the topic 🙂

      1. Bruna Suzin

        Hey there!
        I like using this video with my students:

        Hope it helps 🙂

        1. Olia

          Thanks for sharing the video! I’m sure many teachers will find a way to use it with this lesson 🙂

  2. shrrew

    Hi there,

    I love your materials. So grateful that a new lesson for A2 level has appeared!

    Keep doing your great job and I’m waiting for more materials for level A2-B1. 🙂

    Many thanks!

    1. Olia

      Thanks, I’m glad you like it 🙂

  3. Danilo Pinhal de Brito

    This is one of the nicest classes! Loved it!

    1. Olia

      Thank you! Happy to hear to enjoyed it 🙂

  4. Sheng Liu

    Hi there !This is a really funny video. I had already seen it before.

    1. Olia

      Hi! Yeah, it’s been popular on TikTok 🙂 I hope your students have fun!


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