Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"
English order food restaurant fast casual 5 phrases

Have you been in a fast casual type of restaurant and not known what to say in English?

These types of lunch spots are very fast-paced and can be stressful if you don’t feel prepared or cannot be spontaneous with your English.

Do you feel overwhelmed and unsure of how to order in English?

We’re going to look at the various questions that you can ask or that you may be asked in this type of environment.

You will see that this is a situation that is great for practicing your English, and to order something the way you really want it.

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Practice Using English In A Real Life Environment

The best way to push your English to another level is to try to speak under pressure.

A very common place for this feeling of pressure is trying to order in a fast service restaurant.

This is a great way to challenge yourself, and to take your English speaking to another level.

This is a follow up to our previous episode, AEE 1292, where we talked about some of the most common sauces.

We looked at these sauces and challenged you to try them and to try ordering them for a great way of practicing your English in a casual restaurant environment.

Now that you know what these sauces are, how do you ask for them?

How do you ask for substitutions and get what you want?

How do you use your English in a fast food restaurant where it’s quick and the pressure is on?

In this environment, the ordering is fast and the line is long, and so you need to be ready.

This fast casual type of restaurant is a new trend within the US, and so you want to know how to order within it.

There’s a good chance that you may be dining in one of these restaurants, and so you want to be prepared.

It’s okay to ask for what you want because though it’s a fast paced environment, you still want to get food that tastes good to you.

You want to keep the line moving and not hold things up, but you also want to get what you really like and will eat.

Questions You Can Ask In This Environment

There will be plenty of times where you find yourself at a fast casual or fast food restaurant.

You want to order things the way that you really want them.

You also want to use this opportunity to practice your English, and so you want the right questions to ask.

These questions can help you to inquire about your choices, order something specific, and get what you really want.

  • What is that sauce? If you are unsure of what the sauce is, then this is a direct way to just ask. You can get a description or run down of what it is and then decide if you want it.
  • What goes best with my meal? This is an easy question and it allows you to get what you want. You can learn about common pairings or sauce choices, and it’s a nice way to ask the worker for their pick.
  • What does that taste like? If you have never had a sauce before or you want to try something, then this is a great question to ask. Taking the next step to just ask and try something new can help you to narrow down your choices.
  • Is it spicy? It’s a valid question, especially if you aren’t a fan of spicy foods. This eliminates any question and ensures that you only order something spicy if you want it.
  • Can I get this or substitute something else instead? You’re going to exchange it instead, or go for something else. This allows you to do something outside of the menu options but really customize the meal to the way you want it.

There are many questions you can ask, but these are a few to get you started.

This is a great environment to practice your English and speaking up for what you want too.

Questions You Might Be Asked

There are some things you might be asked at a restaurant like this.

These questions are common from a worker to a customer, and so you want to be prepared for them.

By answering these questions and others like them honestly, you are sure to get what you really want to eat that will taste great to you.

  • Do you want ______ sauce? This may be something that they ask you especially if a meal comes with a specific sauce. This is your chance to say yes or no, or to customize it and get it the way that you really want it.
  • Which sauce do you want? This gives you the control to order exactly what you want. You get to select the sauce that you want outright. You can look at your options and make your selection.
  • What do you want instead? This speaks to substitutions especially if you indicate that you don’t want what a meal comes with. This gives you the option of special ordering something the way that you really actually want it.

There are many different questions that the workers at a fast casual restaurant may ask you.

These are just a few to get you started with how you can ask for things the way you want them to be.

If you are asked something specific then by all means speak up–this is not only a great way to practice your English, but also ensures that you get what you want.

Roleplay To Help

A roleplay of a real life situation can be quite helpful so that you know what to do when you face this circumstance.

In this roleplay, Lindsay is ordering a meal from Michelle at a fast food restaurant.

Lindsay: “I’ll take the turkey sandwich, but what’s Siracha?”

Michelle: “Oh that’s a sauce that comes on top of it. Do you want Siracha or no?”

Lindsay: “Oh I don’t know, is it spicy?”

Michelle: “Yes it’s very spicy.”

Lindsay: “Oh never mind, I’ll have hummus instead.”

These are the types of things that you might be asked and that you might say in this situation.


When you find yourself in a fast casual restaurant, you want to be prepared for the experience.

You want to challenge yourself to order exactly what you want in this type of restaurant.

Yes the line is long and things are moving quickly, but don’t be afraid to ask for exactly what you want.

This is a great way to practice your English in a real life situation.

This is also a great way to ensure that you know how to ask for and order exactly what you want in the way that makes sense.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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