How to Make Small Talk With Your Restaurant Guests

For many people who speak English as a second language, working in a restaurant can be a daunting task. Good guest service requires the ability to make small talk and engage with customers, which can be difficult for those whose native language is not English.

If you’re looking for tips on how to make small talk with your restaurant guests, this blog post is for you. We’ll explore some simple strategies that you can use to make your guests feel comfortable and welcomed, even if English isn’t your first language.

With a little practice and preparation, you’ll be able to make small talk with ease. So read on to learn more!

Try this article for hotel politeness when busy and still need to keep some conversation flowing. 

Don’t be afraid to ask for help

Speaking English as a second language can be intimidating in a restaurant setting, especially when it comes to making small talk with your guests. However, that doesn’t mean you have to go it alone. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or unsure of how to approach the conversation, don’t be afraid to ask for help.

There are many resources available to help you improve your conversational skills in English. Consider taking an English course or signing up for online lessons. Many companies even offer language services to help employees learn and practice conversational English. Having someone experienced to guide you can be invaluable and give you the confidence you need to make small talk with your guests.

Additionally, don’t be afraid to ask questions and seek advice from colleagues and supervisors who may have more experience than you in working with guests. They can provide tips and guidance that can help make small talk easier and more enjoyable. You can also use them as a resource when you’re struggling to find the right words or phrase in English. Don’t be afraid to lean on them for support!

Try these tips for guest assurance when you are busy. 

Use key phrases

Making small talk with guests in a restaurant can be especially daunting when you don’t have a strong grasp of the language. However, there are some key phrases you can use to get the conversation going.

Consider learning and using some of these phrases for your interactions:

  • “Hello, how may I help you?”
  • “What brings you here today?”
  • “Can I tell you about our specials?”
  • “How was your holiday experience?”
  • “What did you like best about it?”
  • “Is there anything else I can do for you?”

These simple phrases will help you engage with your guests in a friendly manner and make them feel welcome. You can also incorporate other words and expressions into your conversation, such as:

  • “It’s so nice to see you again.”
  • “I hope you enjoy your meal.”
  • “Please let me know if there is anything else I can do for you.”
  • “Thank you for coming in.”

By learning and using key phrases, you’ll be able to effectively engage with your guests and create a positive atmosphere in your restaurant.

Maintain your professionalism with guest phrases to ensure you are speaking correctly here. 

Ask open-ended questions

When you are trying to make small talk with your restaurant guests, it can be difficult if English is not your first language. One way to overcome this difficulty is to ask open-ended questions. Open-ended questions invite your guests to provide detailed responses. Ask questions like “What did you enjoy most about your vacation?” or “How was your day today?” This encourages them to share their stories, which can help build a stronger connection with you. Remember, when using open-ended questions, always listen carefully and repeat back what you’ve heard. This will show that you are genuinely interested in the conversation and that you are paying attention. Asking open-ended questions is a great way to get to know your guests and make small talk.

Ask better questions to promote better conversation, try this article! 

Listen carefully

When making small talk with guests in a restaurant, it’s important to listen carefully. Don’t be so focused on what you’re going to say next that you miss out on what your guest is telling you. Ask your guest questions about their experience and take the time to listen to the answers. Show them you are actively listening by nodding, smiling, and repeating back what they’ve said. Take notes or even write down key points if needed. This will show that you’re taking an active interest in their story and are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Not only will this make your guest feel valued and respected, but it can also help you build a stronger relationship with them.

Try this communication blog regarding how you ask questions to promote conversation. 

Repeat back what you’ve heard

When having a conversation with a guest, it is important to show them that you are actively listening and taking in what they are saying. To do this, try repeating back some of the key points they make in the conversation. This will help them feel heard and more comfortable in the restaurant environment.

It is important to repeat back what the guest has said without being too obvious. You don’t want to sound robotic or like you are just parroting them. Try to take what they have said and rephrase it in your own words so that it shows you have understood their point. For example, if a guest tells you about their recent holiday, you can respond by saying, “That sounds like an amazing trip. You must have had a great time.” This will show the guest that you were listening and have taken an interest in their story.

Another way to repeat back what you’ve heard is to ask clarifying questions. This will help ensure that you have accurately understood the point the guest is making and will let them know that their opinion matters to you. For example, if a guest tells you about their favorite restaurant, ask them what made it so special or why they liked it so much.

By repeating back what you’ve heard, you can make guests feel heard and valued while also improving your understanding of the conversation. With practice, you will become more confident in your small talk skills and be able to give your guests an enjoyable experience.

One last sneaky post on how to ask better questions! 

How Learn Laugh Speak Can Help

If you work in a multicultural team and English is your working language, yet you have no time for regular lessons, Learn Laugh Speak offers a solution for you.
Our apps are designed for adults with limited time who still wish to develop their English proficiency. We recognize that the lack of an appropriate plan can inhibit learning, which is why we have a personalized learning journey for each student based on the results of the assessment.
Through our extensive academic content of 33,000+ exercises and activities, you can practice and receive instant feedback to become proficient in the four major language components as outlined by the CEFR standards from A1 to C2
Additionally, our system also has a tracking tool that can be used by supervisors to keep an eye on their team’s progress in real time and generate weekly reports as well as competitive events to spur the students growth. 
Contact us today on to get your team a free trial and get them speaking English easier today.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Small Talk With Your Restaurant Guests

  1. Pingback: Hospitality Employee? Here’s How to Politely Say No When You’re Pressed for Time

  2. Pingback: A Guide to Positive Conversations as a Tour Guide or Driver

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