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Lesson Transcript

Braden:Hi, everyone. Braden here.
Ann: Serving Room Service
Braden:In this lesson you will learn how to serve in-room room service orders.
Ann:This conversation takes place in the evening in the guest's room.
Braden:It’s between the Guest, and the room service attendant.
Ann:One of the speakers is a guest and the other works in room service, so they will be speaking professionally. Let's listen to the conversation.
Ann:To be good at small talk, you first have to greet the other person, compliment them, and talk about yourself a bit. We covered this in previous lessons.
Braden:That’s right. Small talk is supposed to be simple, but there are general limits to what topics you can talk about.
Ann:Just as important as saying the right thing, is not saying the wrong thing. It is best to avoid topics like a person’s health, religion, or political views.
Braden:Exactly. The next stage in making small talk is to engage the other person. This is usually done by asking questions. Acceptable topics for hotel staff talking with a guest are the guest’s trip, or the weather. It’s usually best to talk about topics that are already part of your conversation.
Ann:So, if you complimented them on their elegant suit, you could ask a question about that.
Braden:Perfect. For example, you introduced yourself to the guest and commented on the handsome suit he was wearing. An easy question you could ask is, “Where did you get your suit?”
Ann:Remember, you are trying to engage the guest, so don’t make the mistake of further commenting on yourself. For example, in the same situation, saying - “I wish I had a suit like that.” does not engage the guest and might even make the guest uncomfortable.
Braden:That’s right. Now, suppose the guest answered that they purchased it while on a trip to Italy. Instead of saying something like - “I love Italy.” or “I’ve heard Italy is wonderful.” You could ask another question such as
Ann:“Did you enjoy your trip to Italy?”
Braden:This question engages the guest and makes your conversation more interesting.
Ann:Okay, onto the vocab.
Ann:Let's have a closer look at the usage for some of the words and phrases from this lesson.
Braden:The first phrase we're going to look at is "Pardon me."
Ann:The phrase “pardon me” is used to indicate that one has not heard or understood something.
Braden:For example, when someone says something to you, and you didn’t quite understand what they said, you can ask them – “Pardon me?”
Ann:It can also be used in a statement form. For example, if the hallway is very crowded and you accidentally brush up against someone, especially guest, you can and should say - “Pardon me.”
Braden:The phrase "Pardon me" can often have a "British" feel to Americans, and many Americans use the soft "r" when pronouncing this phrase.
Braden:Our next phrase is “competent help.”
Ann:The word “competent” means “having the necessary skill and knowledge to do something.”
Braden:In the dialog, the guest uses this phrase as an indirect compliment to the room service attendant.
Ann:This is a polite phrase that the guest is using. She could have said something very rude like, "Many people working at hotels are stupid."
Braden:Besides being very rude, statements like these are usually found to be grossly false. Phrases like "competent help" are often evidence that the person you're talking to is well educated and probably wealthy, too.
Ann:That’s right. Alright, let's take a look at the grammar point.
Ann:The focus of this lesson is how to serve in-room room service orders.
Braden:Serving room service orders in a hotel room is easy if you follow a few simple steps. The most important thing to remember is placement. Where you put each dish, cup, or utensil is important.
Ann:There are 5 main phases for serving in-room room service. Phase 1 – Set up the placements.
Braden:Right. When you set up the guest’s order in their room, you should first ask them where they want the order placed. You could say, “Where would you like me to set up your order?”
Ann:Guests will typically respond with things like, “On the table, please.” or “By the television.”
Braden:To place the order, put the tablecloth and napkins in place first. Next, place any kind of beverage, such as a coffee pot or milk jug on the side of table.
Ann:Next we have Phase 2, which is to place the side dishes and condiments. In phase 2, place the side dishes and condiments in their correct positions.
Braden:Each hotel will have specific guidelines for where each item goes, so be sure to study this information before you serve any in-room orders.
Ann:For example, it’s typical to place the fork to the left of the dinner plate, and the butter dish to the left of the fork. The bread plate would also go to the left of the fork but below the butter dish. This is so the guest doesn’t dirty their sleeves while reaching for the bread.
Braden:That’s right. Another important placement is the cup. It should be placed first on a saucer and then the saucer and cup should be placed on the upper right of the place setting, usually with the lip of the saucer covering the tip of the knife.
Ann:Next we have Phase 3, which is to serve the food and beverages.
Braden:For phase 3, remove the hot food from its container first, and place it so that the main items are closest to the guest.
Ann:If there are side dishes specifically for the main entreé, place them to the left of the entreé plate. Be sure to remove any aluminum foils or covers from the dishes.
Braden:Place the beverages, beverage napkins, mugs, cups, saucers, and glasses to the right of the entrée plate, if you haven’t already done that.
Ann:If the beverage is canned or bottled, be sure to open it only in the room and only after you’ve received permission from the guest.
Braden:Ask the guest if they would like ice cubes. Remember that, if the guest gives you permission to fill the glasses, to only fill them up halfway.
Ann:Last we have Phase 4 which is Finishing up. When you’ve placed everything where it needs to go, ask the guest if there is anything else they would like. You could say something like,
Braden:“Is there there anything else you need at this time?”
Ann:If the guest does request something else, provide it as quickly as possible. If the request is complex or beyond what you can easily or quickly do, ask the guest to call room service and put in another request.
Braden:Exactly. Before you leave, ask the guest to call room service for any further assistance, and to pick up the tray and dishes when the guest is finished.
Ann:and don’t forget to thank them for their order and say something like “Enjoy your meal, ma’am/sir”.
Braden:And also make sure to say “goodbye”. That's important. Don’t just walk out.


Braden:Okay, everyone. That's it for this lesson.
Ann:Thank you for listening. See you next time!