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Lesson Transcript

Braden:Hi, everyone. Braden here.
Ann: Ann here. Procedures for Taking Room Service Orders. In this lesson, you'll learn some important procedures for taking room service orders.
Braden:This conversation takes place at the hotel bar in the evening.
Ann:It’s between the Guest and the waiter, over the phone.
Braden:The speakers have a staff-customer relationship, so they will be speaking professionally.
Ann:Okay, now let’s listen to the conversation.
Ann:Once you really get going and your conversation is flowing well, it’s important to maintain awareness of what’s going on around you. This serves several purposes.
Braden:That’s right. First, it keeps you aware of what you can talk about next. One of the biggest challenges that people have with small talk is not knowing what to talk about next.
Ann:Exactly. If you’re constantly looking for new topics and new things around you, you will probably see something interesting that you could both talk about. For example, you could see a picture on the wall and say, “This picture is so beautiful.”
Braden:A comment like that might shift the entire discussion to talk about photography, art, or something else entirely.
Ann:Second, it keeps you aware of other people who might want to participate in the conversation as well. Especially when you’re escorting groups of people, like for example a bellhop is escorting a family to their room, often everyone there wants to participate in the conversation as well.
Braden:For example, you may begin talking with the mother, but soon realize that the father also wants to comment.
Ann:You could help them enter the conversation by directing a question to them. For example, using that same picture, you could direct a question to them such as, “What do you think of this picture? I think it’s beautiful.”
Braden:Third, this helps you stay aware of any possible danger nearby. If you become too focused on your smalltalk, all sorts of things could go wrong.
Ann:That’s right. You could inadvertently run into one of the other bellhops, cause one of the guests to drop some baggage, or do any number of embarrassing or possibly dangerous things.
Braden:Staying aware of your surroundings keeps everyone safe.
Ann:Now, 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 is “on the rocks”, and it’s used informally to describe a drink that is served undiluted and with ice cubes.
Ann:This colloquialism is very specific, and only used for alcoholic drinks.
Braden:Next we’ll look at the phrase “On the side.”
Ann:The phrase “on the side” is frequently used in restaurants to refer to smaller portions of food that accompany larger dishes. These smaller dishes are usually called side dishes, and are placed to the side of the main dish.
Braden:This expression can also be used figuratively to refer to something extra. For example, you could say, “I work at the hotel and teach English on the side.” Okay, now onto the grammar.
Ann:In this lesson we’ll learn about standards of procedure when taking a room service order.
Braden:Before we get started, be aware that every hotel has its own standards of procedure and you should be very familiar with them. The purpose of this tutorial is to give you a foundation for improving your standards of procedure etiquette.
Ann:The first phase is to greet the guest. In the dialog, we hear the phrase “Good evening, my name is Chris! How may I assist you?”
Braden:The phrase “How may I assist you?” is often used in room service or at the front desk instead of “May I take your order?”
Ann:This is because “How may I assist you?” is more open whereas “May I take your order?” is very limited and is usually only used for ordering food.
Braden:A similar greeting is very common at hotel kitchens, and is usually part of the standards of procedure there.
Ann:Phase 2 is to Check the billing instructions for the guest. This is a very important phase, because billing instructions can vary greatly.
Braden:For example, the guest may be on a business trip and the company should be billed. Or they are on a personal trip that’s being paid for by a family member, and the family member should be billed, not the guest.
Ann:Or maybe the guest is paying for certain amenities but not others, and so on. There are many possible situations, so be sure to review the instructions.
Braden:A quick Note. Supervisors tend to appreciate the use of suggestive selling and upselling on almost any call or contact from a guest. However, you must be careful, because most guests do not like being constantly bombarded with suggestions to purchase things.
Ann:Phase 3 is to ask the guest how many people will be served. You can do this in a number of ways.
Braden:That’s right. For example, “And seating for how many?” or “How many place settings will there be?” or “How many people will be served?”


Braden:That’s it for this lesson. Thanks for listening, everyone!
Ann:And we’ll see you next time!