Learning Restaurant Spanish (Nouns)

Restaurants are growing more multilingual everyday.  Hard working immigrants from throughout Latin America are respected and appreciated members of the restaurant world.  The language barrier can be daunting, but overcoming it will help you appreciate some of the most interesting people in your restaurant.  Learning enough Spanish to be able to communicate effectively is often a first step towards a good working relationship and friendship.  I can’t teach you the language in a few blog posts, but I can help with some of the basic nouns you need to communicate in restaurants.

The problem with the online translators is that they tend to be too literal.  So I consulted my good friend Senor Espaza for his expertise.  Here are some basic words to know:

Read the full post at Tips For Improving Your Tips


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About David Hayden

David Hayden is a restaurant marketing and training consultant based in Kansas City, MO. He writes a series of 9 blogs collectively known as The Hospitality Formula Network and is the author of “Tips2: Tips For Improving Your Tips” and “Building Your Brand With Facebook”

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  • kansas karl

    You have got to be kidding, me learn spanish to speak to people who want my money? If they cannot speak the language of the majority, then why are they here? If they want to be Americans learn how to speak to Americans. Native Kenyans coming to America learn English, because they want to be Amercians, spanish speakers who choose not to learn english don’t want to be here, they just want money, learn english is you want my money

    • http://tipsfortips.wordpress.com tipsfortips

      I approved this one to make a point. This is actually a blog for servers to learn how to do their job better. In the course of serving those who speak English will work with those who are not fluent English speakers. This is to help servers better communicate with them. No one is asking you to learn spanish to eat at a restaurant. Just sit back and speak english and enjoy the incredibly low prices of food provided by those who work incredibly hard for very little to afford you the luxury of low prices.

    • http://yellowcat413.wordpress.com yellowcat

      Every summer we have a crew of Mexicans who do the jobs the Americans don’t want to.

      They show up on time.

      They don’t:

      *complain
      *create drama
      *call in sick
      *steal
      *get drunk and come to work with a hangover
      *talk/text on their cellphones
      *take a cigarette break every 15 minutes

      How very un-American of them.

      • http://tipsfortips.wordpress.com tipsfortips

        No doubt. The restaurant industry would seriously fall apart if it were not for the hardworking immigrants from all over Latin America. I remember the days when you had a bunch of stoned greasy faced high school drop outs doing these jobs. If you don’t, be grateful.

  • http://yellowcat413.wordpress.com yellowcat

    You forgot the word for “married”. That’s the only word/question I hear from our Mexican workers.

    • http://tipsfortips.wordpress.com tipsfortips

      I think the proper response is, “Tu es mi noveo y muchos guapo.” Ok, that actual word is “casado”

      • http://yellowcat413.wordpress.com yellowcat

        HAHA! I know enough Spanish that the Mexicans have to be careful what they say around me. My university education pays off now and then. :-)

  • Norm

    “Learning enough Spanish to be able to communicate effectively is often a first step towards a good working relationship and friendship.”

    How is that statement considered “This is to help servers better communicate with them. No one is asking you to learn spanish to eat at a restaurant.”

    You speaking out your ass tipsfortips. You state yourself in the post that you are trying to teach us Spanish.

    • http://tipsfortips.wordpress.com tipsfortips

      Ok, I decided to let one more of these slide for the amusement of my regular readers. The name of the blog is “Tips On Improving Your Tips.” The topic of the blog is how servers can do their job more effectively to make more money. I do try to post things the general public would find interesting, but the focus is on servers. As such it is beneficial to know enough spanish to communicate with spanish speaking coworkers to have a good “working relationship and friendship.” This is not how to order in spanish for guests. The “us” I am trying to teach spanish to is servers. I’m not sure where I was unclear about this, but I apologize for the confusion.

      • http://yellowcat413.wordpress.com yellowcat

        Maybe you were unclear in your blog title? Or maybe you were unclear in all the posts you’ve written so far? Or perhaps you were unclear in your “About Me” section. I don’t know. I’m confused.

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