hospitality industry english exercises



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POLITENESS TRAINING FOR RESTAURANT/BAR STAFF
topic: The right way to talk to customers/clients in English 1



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 I have the vegetarian chili?
  I'm sorry, but we're out of the vegetarian chili.
  You can't. It's sold out.
  Choose something else. The vegetarian chili is sold out.

2. There's a mistake on my check/bill.
  Let me take a look.
  Wait.
  We don't make mistakes.

3. My cutlery is dirty.
  Looks clean to me.
  OK, fine.
  I'll get you some new cutlery.

4. This isn't what I ordered.
  Sure it is.
  Oh, there must have been a mix-up.
  Why is this a problem?

5. No, I won't have that. I hate fish.
  Wow, hate is such a strong word.
  You hate fish, huh?
  OK, then I recommend the chicken.

6. Can you get us a table by a window?
  I'm sorry, but none of those tables are available right now.
  That's impossible.
  I'm sorry. You'll have to sit somewhere else or leave.

7. My soup is cold.
  Gazpacho is actually supposed to be served cold.
  But it's Gazpacho!
  Don't you know that Gazpacho is served cold?

8. Where is the ladies room?
  There. Go there.
  Would you like to go to the bathroom?
  It's down the hallway to your right.

9. Is this a local specialty?
  Yes, we eat this kind of stuff.
  Yes, it is. Why?
  Yes, it is.

10. Can I get a refill?
  I'm sorry but we don't have free refills. I'll have to charge you for another coffee.
  No refills. It's our policy.
  That's not going to happen. We don't have free refills.

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tips and tricks about customer service - for esl students

Don't worry about having to speak English. Many people who aren't fluent in English are afraid to communicate in English. They're afraid that they'll make mistakes, that people won't understand them, that they won't understand what people say, etc. You have to remember that since English is so widely used all over the world, most English-speaking people have a lot of experience hearing/talking to non-native speakers. We know that people make mistakes and that's alright :) Don't worry about it - There's no better way to improve your knowledge of English than by speaking... and speaking to customers is a great start!


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