Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

When you order food from a waitress, what words do you start out with?

Asked by Dutchess_III (38412points) February 19th, 2011

Actually, I’ve thought about this for years and years, from back in my own waitressing days. People ask for their food in one of a very few ways ways.

*I want….
*Gimme…
*I need….
*I’ll take…..
*I’d like….
*I’ll have…

I wonder if how they ask says anything about them. For example, when they say “I’ll take…” or “Gimme…” does that subconsciously signal that they feel superior to the waitress, who is, after all, there to serve them.

And what about those who say, “I need….” I heard a guy say that last week….WTH does that mean?

I always say, “I’d like…....Thank you.”

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40 Answers

chyna's avatar

I always start with “Hi there, I’ll have the….”

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I say ‘Hi, Can I please have…’ or ‘Hi, I will have..’

hobbitsubculture's avatar

I start with “I’ll have” or “I’d like” and end with “please”. I think tone of voice and body language say more about the asker than wording.

coffeenut's avatar

“Hi, How are you today?.... Can I get….Thanks””

muppetish's avatar

I preface my orders with “I would like..” and always say thank you (especially when they refill drinks and whatnot.) Our French professor gave us a lecture once about this. She told us never to say “Je veux du pan” and advised we greet our waiter properly and then say “Je voudrais du pan.”

Plucky's avatar

I say “Allo, I’d like the…., please.” Then when they are done asking me about the options, I always say “thank you” and smile.

buster's avatar

Im from the south. I usually say “I will take a sweet tea with lemon please.”

Aster's avatar

I say, “Hi; I think I’ll have..” or, Yes; I’ll have number __ ”

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

“I’ll have the…, please”. I’ve already said hi to them from when we introduced ourselves.

thorninmud's avatar

I ‘d exchange greetings, of course, when the server comes to the table, but I don’t usually preface my actual order with anything at all. It would be more like, “The Massaman curry with tofu, please”.

I worked in restaurants for many years, and I know how insanely busy servers can be. I think that if I were in their place, I’d want people to be courteous, but to the point.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@chyna Took the words out of my mouth! Or I say “Man it’s it cold out there today. I’d like the… ”

ilana's avatar

I usually say: “Hi, can I please get the…- insert food -...”.

Vunessuh's avatar

I start off by saying, “Hi there. I’ll have all of the money in the cash register and all of the spatulas in the kitchen” and then watch what happens.

aprilsimnel's avatar

“Yes, thank you. I’ll have the…”

Neizvestnaya's avatar

“May I have…” I always say thank you, I’ve been a server before.

Jeruba's avatar

I look at the server, smile, and respond to any greeting.

When ordering, it’s usually “I’d like…,” varied with “Could I have…” Once in a while, especially if I’m vacillating a lot (“I’d like one of each, please”), I might say “How about the…?”

Always a “please” when asking for anything special (“Could I please have that without the walnuts?”), and always “thank you,” when ordering, when receiving, when paying, and when leaving.

I would never say “I’ll have…” because to me it does sound imperious, as if I were addressing a servant. I don’t like it said to me, either: for example, the assistant in the doctor’s office who says “I’ll have you step on the scale now” and “I’ll have you sit up here.” Who is this young sprout to have me do things? Back when I used to take phone messages at work, I never, ever said “I’ll have him call you.” I didn’t order the boss around. It was always “I’ll ask him to call you” or “I’ll give him the message.”

Dutchess_III's avatar

@JerubaDefinitely without the walnuts!!

12Oaks's avatar

Usually it’s “BLT club with fries and a bowl of soup with a diet cola.” If it’s fast food, then “A #(whatever), largest size.” If it’s a buffet place, will just usually hold up how many I’ll be paying for then hit where the ribs are right away.

tinyfaery's avatar

Hi. How are you doing? I think I’ll have the [ ]. Thank you.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Probably ‘I’ll have’ or ‘can I have’ or ‘how is the…?’

SuperMouse's avatar

“May I have (insert dish here) please? Thank you.”

downtide's avatar

Either “I’ll have” or “I’d like”. Always ending with please, too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@SuperMouse I’ve had people ask “Can I have….” and, if I read them as cool and relaxed, I’ve said, “No, you can’t!”

The other day I actually heard a guy say, “I need a…..” We were at Sonic, and I thought, “Who actually needs a triple cheeseburger dripping with grease and mayo, and a double order of french fries and milkshake?” I decided it was time to ask this question!

12Oaks's avatar

@Dutchess III I’ll have an order of that, extra onion, with an apple on the side.

Cupcake's avatar

Me: “I would like…”
My husband: “Canigetta…”

Jeruba's avatar

P.S. It’s the same when I order food from a waiter.

YARNLADY's avatar

It’s not really set in stone. Today I said “Hi, Steve, how spicy is the Bali Pork?” he said “On a scale of 1 -10, about 3 or 4” so I said “Yes, I’ll have that”, and it was delicious.

casheroo's avatar

usually it’s “I’d like” or “I’ll have” and always a please and thank you.

Sunny2's avatar

I usually say, “I would like . . .” If we’re at a posh restaurant I’ll tell my husband what I’d like and he orders for me. I know it’s old fashioned, but there I am. I also usually say “How do you do” when I meet someone new.

cookieman's avatar

I start every “customer service-like” conversation (in person or on the phone) with…
“Hey there (or Good morning/afternoon/evening). How are you today?”

I figure folks in service jobs rarely get asked how they’re doing. It’s all gimme, gimme, gimme…

THEN, after we’ve maybe chatted a bit, I’ll launch into “Could I have…”

We should never be in such a hurry or so self-involved that we can’t take a couple of minutes to be polite and connect with someone, IMHO.

Blackberry's avatar

“Can I have the…..”, or “Can I please have…..”

ucme's avatar

Any of you fucking pricks move, and i’ll execute every motherfucking last one of ya!”
Normally get’s me a coffee pretty quickly.

cookieman's avatar

^^ I’d suspect decaf ^^

ucme's avatar

^^ I like it strong & black, just like my women ^^

sakura's avatar

hello please can I have…thanks
or hello I’ll have…thanks

Supacase's avatar

I’d like a Diet Coke, please, and a milk for her. (my daughter)

J0E's avatar

“I’d like…”

Dutchess_III's avatar

Uh o…we went to Red Lobster today. When I ordered I realized I’d said, “I’ll take….” Wow. But I DID say thanks!!

lazydaisy's avatar

I start with ‘I would like’ and finish with ‘please’ and close with ‘thank you’.

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