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-   -   How to order food (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=877131)

mixdenny 06-13-2019 04:57 PM

How to order food
 
I have noticed there are two main ways people order food. I often hear people asking if they can have such and such, like, "Can I have a cheeseburger and fries?" as if they may not get what they want unless they ask nice enough.

That's not the way to do it. Just politely order the damn food. "I will have a cheeseburger and fries". Period.

Dennis

aceplace57 06-13-2019 05:14 PM

I typically say, I'd like a cheeseburger & fries please.

There's always a small chance they've run out of something. I've had it happen at IHop several times. I order the Smokehouse Combo and sometimes they're out of the sausages. I guess it's a popular option.

I just tell them to give me ham when they're out of the sausage.

Casey1505 06-13-2019 05:16 PM

You'll get nothing and like it!

Folly 06-13-2019 05:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21696928)
"I will have a cheeseburger and fries". Period.

Sorry sir, we're all out of cheese and our bun shipment came with all tops, no bottoms.

burpo the wonder mutt 06-13-2019 05:38 PM

Andy Kaufman used to say (in a Latka voice): I am so hungry, I could eat a horse--please pass the salt.

Two Many Cats 06-13-2019 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21696928)

That's not the way to do it. Just politely order the damn food. "I will have a cheeseburger and fries". Period.

Dennis

Awwww....the cat's eaten it.

burpo the wonder mutt 06-13-2019 05:58 PM

^ Has he?

Two Many Cats 06-13-2019 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt (Post 21697023)
^ Has he?

She, sir.

jz78817 06-13-2019 06:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 21697030)
She, sir.

Gouda?

Labdad 06-13-2019 06:37 PM

I was in a bar in Carmi, Illinois that had this sign over the register:

“This is not Burger King. You do not get it your way. You get it my way or you don’t get the son of a bitch at all!”

Exapno Mapcase 06-13-2019 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21696928)
I have noticed there are two main ways people order food. I often hear people asking if they can have such and such, like, "Can I have a cheeseburger and fries?" as if they may not get what they want unless they ask nice enough.

That's not the way to do it. Just politely order the damn food. "I will have a cheeseburger and fries". Period.

Dennis

Why do you give a shit?

JohnGalt 06-13-2019 06:52 PM

I hear "I need a burger..." more often. No, by the way a lot of those people look, you really need some exercise instead....

naita 06-13-2019 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21696928)
That's not the way to do it. Just politely order the damn food. "I will have a cheeseburger and fries". Period.

Why? It's a normal and common turn of phrase, and it makes the exchange flow better if they are out of something.

"I will have a cheeseburger and fries." on the other represents an overconfidence in the immutability of menus and supplies. The future is fluid, man. It's fluid!

Joey P 06-13-2019 07:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21696928)
I have noticed there are two main ways people order food. I often hear people asking if they can have such and such, like, "Can I have a cheeseburger and fries?" as if they may not get what they want unless they ask nice enough.

That's not the way to do it. Just politely order the damn food. "I will have a cheeseburger and fries". Period.

Dennis

I 'ask'. It probably doesn't really matter one way or the other This is the first time I've ever given it any thought but if I had to argue that side of the debate, I'd say that I ask for the food because I'm asking them to bring me my order, not demanding that they do it. And, really and truly, that's what it is, you're asking them to do something for you. They could decline your request. And, I think it sounds more polite.
I also, to some degree, thing the grammar sounds better to say "Can I get a burger and fries" vs "I will have a burger and burger and fries". They may very well both be correct, but the latter sounds like an incomplete sentence.

In the end, I'd assume most people just order the way they hear others do it. maybe it's even a regional thing. It also wouldn't surprise me to find that the "I'll have"/"I'll take" group averages higher on the self confidence scale than the "Can I get..." people.

TheCuse 06-13-2019 07:12 PM

^^Well said.

Qadgop the Mercotan 06-13-2019 07:37 PM

Language police such as the OP tend to have a difficult time of it in prison.

Just sayin' . . .

running coach 06-13-2019 07:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan (Post 21697140)
Language police such as the OP tend to have a difficult time of it in prison.

Just sayin' . . .

What's the proper way to order food in prison?

Two Many Cats 06-13-2019 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jz78817 (Post 21697054)
Gouda?

No...

Ukulele Ike 06-13-2019 08:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by running coach (Post 21697154)
What's the proper way to order food in prison?

You don’t order. Just take it away from the smaller, weaker prisoners.

Jophiel 06-13-2019 10:17 PM

I go with "Eh, gimme da bergah 'n fries..."

Mean Mr. Mustard 06-14-2019 04:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by running coach (Post 21697154)
What's the proper way to order food in prison?

Well, if you're on death row and it's your last meal you order a McRib and a Shamrock shake.


mmm

kanicbird 06-14-2019 05:31 AM

Do you usually get what you want when you order?

- if Yes, you are ordering correctly
- if No, you may want to try some of these suggestions

That's really all there is to it. Well you have those people who take a very long time to order, but that's not in the spirit of the OP.

Alessan 06-14-2019 05:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mixdenny (Post 21696928)
That's not the way to do it. Just politely order the damn food. "I will have a cheeseburger and fries". Period.

Dennis

You forgot to say "Please".

These are human beings you're speaking with. There's no cause to be impolite.

don't ask 06-14-2019 05:56 AM

Good evening. Could I possibly avail myself of my choice of your fine comestibles? If so, I would appreciate, at your convenience, a hamburger containing cheese and a portion of fried sliced potatoes. Thank you.

Fake Tales of San Francisco 06-14-2019 06:03 AM

Both these constructs are far too risky. "Can I have" contains some level of doubt, and you never know, they may deny you your order just out of spite. 'I will have' is far too confident, and you run the risk of looking foolish if they turn around and say they're out of stock.

I recommend being direct. "Cheeseburger and fries". Saves face, saves time. Everyone's a winner.

Wendell Wagner 06-14-2019 06:27 AM

I don't think you understand the idea of implicature in language:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicature

When some people say, "Can I have a cheeseburger and fries?", they mean, "I'm ordering a cheeseburger and fries." They are using implicature. It is very standard to imply what you mean rather than state it absolutely literally. In fact, some people would find it to be slightly curt and impolite to say, "I will have a cheeseburger and fries." You need to learn more about how language works. Implying meaning rather than stating everything absolutely literally is a standard part of all languages.

Jophiel 06-14-2019 06:29 AM

"I will gladly pay you on Tuesday for a hamburger today."

Two Many Cats 06-14-2019 06:40 AM

"Can I get a cheeseburger and fries please?" Polite, but wrong.

"May I have a cheeseburger and fries please?" This is proper grammar.

By the way, it's so clean.

guizot 06-14-2019 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner (Post 21697472)
I don't think you understand the idea of implicature in language:



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicature



When some people say, "Can I have a cheeseburger and fries?", they mean, "I'm ordering a cheeseburger and fries." They are using implicature. It is very standard to imply what you mean rather than state it absolutely literally. In fact, some people would find it to be slightly curt and impolite to say, "I will have a cheeseburger and fries." You need to learn more about how language works. Implying meaning rather than stating everything absolutely literally is a standard part of all languages.

Yes. Moreover, the OP--like everyone--does the same thing in all kinds of other contexts, too, and probably doesn't realize it. We all do.

WildBlueYonder 06-14-2019 07:51 AM

All I know is if you are in a drive thru, dont order everything on the menu! Unless you use those words only! :)

DCnDC 06-14-2019 08:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 21697424)
Well, if you're on death row and it's your last meal you order a McRib and a Shamrock shake.

Depends where you're on Death Row. If you're in Texas, this asshole ruined it for everyone.

http://mentalfloss.com/article/60852...eir-last-meals

Quote:

...he asked for: two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas; a meat-lover’s pizza; one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers.

The state provided him with this meal, costing hundreds of dollars and consisting of thousands of calories. Brewer, claiming he was not very hungry, ate exactly none of it.

The next day, state legislators asked the Department of Criminal Justice to end the tradition of “last meals.”

actualliberalnotoneofthose 06-14-2019 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JohnGalt (Post 21697091)
I hear "I need a burger..." more often. No, by the way a lot of those people look, you really need some exercise instead....

Funny, since I eat burgers all the time and am in great shape. A staple of a diet that helped me lose 40lbs of fat and get back to my late teens/early 20s shape while in my 40s. All the fat asses are sitting around skipping the burgers but eating chips and candy.

actualliberalnotoneofthose 06-14-2019 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner (Post 21697472)
I don't think you understand the idea of implicature in language:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implicature

When some people say, "Can I have a cheeseburger and fries?", they mean, "I'm ordering a cheeseburger and fries." They are using implicature. It is very standard to imply what you mean rather than state it absolutely literally. In fact, some people would find it to be slightly curt and impolite to say, "I will have a cheeseburger and fries." You need to learn more about how language works. Implying meaning rather than stating everything absolutely literally is a standard part of all languages.

True, but a lot of times in life implying doesn't get you what you want. I learned that I had a habit of being way too subtle about some things and had to start saying exactly what I want. It worked.

kayaker 06-14-2019 09:07 AM

Occasionally when dining where I am known, I like to ask the server to ask the chef to prepare whatever he thinks I'll enjoy. There are two places where I can do this and always end up very happy.

singular1 06-14-2019 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 21697478)
"Can I get a cheeseburger and fries please?" Polite, but wrong.

"May I have a cheeseburger and fries please?" This is proper grammar.

By the way, it's so clean.

Mine is "I'll just have a cheeseburger, please. And whatever extra cats Two Many Cats has, but on the side. Thanks"

Novelty Bobble 06-14-2019 10:51 AM

I say "can I have...........?" or "I would like...........?" and end with "please", always....without exception.

burpo the wonder mutt 06-14-2019 10:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Two Many Cats (Post 21697478)
"Can I get a cheeseburger and fries please?" Polite, but wrong.

"May I have a cheeseburger and fries please?" This is proper grammar.

By the way, it's so clean.

It's certainly uncontaminated by chee...

SHUT THAT BLOODY BOUZOUKI UP!!

BrickBat 06-14-2019 10:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by singular1 (Post 21697745)
Mine is "I'll just have a cheeseburger, please. And whatever extra cats Two Many Cats has, but on the side. Thanks"

"On the side".

Had an acquaintance ( friend of a friend ) who was a 24 carat pain in the ass when eating in a restaurant/diner. Everything "on the side". Hogged all the table space with all his on-the-side stuff.

While I never saw him order beef stew, I wouldn't be surprised that if he did, it would be like:

"Beef stew, with the beef on the side...with the potatoes on the side and the carrots on the side...and oh...can I get extra gravy on the side".

eenerms 06-14-2019 11:01 AM

I’ve noticed people ordering food by saying “I think I’ll do the...whatever”.

ricksummon 06-14-2019 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrickBat (Post 21697858)
"On the side".

Had an acquaintance ( friend of a friend ) who was a 24 carat pain in the ass when eating in a restaurant/diner. Everything "on the side". Hogged all the table space with all his on-the-side stuff.

While I never saw him order beef stew, I wouldn't be surprised that if he did, it would be like:

"Beef stew, with the beef on the side...with the potatoes on the side and the carrots on the side...and oh...can I get extra gravy on the side".

Dave Barry once suggested that restaurants add an extra charge for every item ordered "on the side" that is immediately dumped into whatever it was on the side of, thus negating any benefit of ordering it "on the side" in the first place. :D

Ludovic 06-14-2019 12:54 PM

Not if you either are not sure if you like the topping or if you do not trust the restaurant to apply your preferred amount.

Chefguy 06-14-2019 01:39 PM

My wife's an asker; I'm a teller with please on the end.

elbows 06-14-2019 04:03 PM

“Can I have...”, never!

“May I please have...”, always.

Thudlow Boink 06-14-2019 04:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by elbows (Post 21698341)
“Can I have...”, never!

“May I please have...”, always.

Sorry, I disagree. If I'm asking, it's because there's some doubt in my mind about whether I can get what I'm asking for, not because there's any doubt about whether I may have it.

For example, "Can I get a Diet Mountain Dew?" I'm asking whether that's one of the soft drinks they have available; I'm not asking for permission to have one.

ETA: And yes, smart aleck, I know that sets me up for the server to say "Yes you can" without actually bringing me one. That's a chance I'm willing to take.

The Stafford Cripps 06-14-2019 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fake Tales of San Francisco (Post 21697459)
"Can I have" contains some level of doubt, and you never know, they may deny you your order just out of spite. 'I will have' is far too confident, and you run the risk of looking foolish if they turn around and say they're out of stock.

The former is indeed an ever present risk. In the latter scenario they might even simply reply 'No, you will not'.

silenus 06-14-2019 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BrickBat (Post 21697858)
"On the side".

Had an acquaintance ( friend of a friend ) who was a 24 carat pain in the ass when eating in a restaurant/diner. Everything "on the side". Hogged all the table space with all his on-the-side stuff.

While I never saw him order beef stew, I wouldn't be surprised that if he did, it would be like:

"Beef stew, with the beef on the side...with the potatoes on the side and the carrots on the side...and oh...can I get extra gravy on the side".

Sorry, I can't agree with this. The alternative is often a game of "Confuse the cook" where nobody is happy. I could order my burger at Red Robin "No tomato, light lettuce, diced onions, extra BBQ sauce" and 99% of the time the kitchen would screw it up. If I just order the "Whiskey River Burger, everything but the cheese on the side" it saves endless confusion and angst between the line cooks and the customer.

peccavi 06-14-2019 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by actualliberalnotoneofthose (Post 21697667)
True, but a lot of times in life implying doesn't get you what you want. I learned that I had a habit of being way too subtle about some things and had to start saying exactly what I want. It worked.

To avoid any uncertainty or confusion, there is one correct way to order:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Joseph Heller
Major —— de Coverley paused in the doorway with a frown of puzzled disapproval, as though viewing something bizarre. He started forward in a straight line, and the wall of officers before him parted like the Red Sea. Glancing neither left nor right, he strode indomitably up to the steam counter and, in a clear, full-bodied voice that was gruff with age and resonant with ancient eminence and authority, said:

“Gimme eat.”


Ukulele Ike 06-14-2019 07:41 PM

“Can I get a Diet Mountain Dew?”

“Why the fuck would you want THAT? I’m bringing you a cup of coffee.”

Ukulele Ike 06-14-2019 07:48 PM

I have discovered that you can get a close approximation of a fully-dressed New Orleans po’ boy in a New York City deli if you say “Gimme a hero with Black Forest ham and Swiss*; lettuce tomato onion pickles; mustard, mayonnaise; salt and pepper.”

This is a prescription for disaster, but my local bagel joint has nailed the order the last half-dozen times. Sometimes you just gotta have a fully-dressed N’Awlins po’ boy, and you don’t have plane fare.


*substitute sliced roast beef and any other kind of cheese, if that’s the po’ boy you prefer

SlackerInc 06-15-2019 02:28 AM

Srsly? :eek:

I have plenty of self-confidence, but I also have sympathy for service workers, and a strong desire not to appear to be imperiously ordering them to do my bidding, and make it snappy.


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