Use These Phrases at a Cafe



Real life conversation at my local cafe. In this episode you will learn new phrases and you will learn how to start conversations. Enjoy :)

Episodes mentioned

[154] How To Learn To Speak English
[153] Keep Up The Good Work
JOIN NOW – Speak Easy



Hey guys, you are listening to the English Made Simple show, this is episode number 156, number one hundred and fifty-six. Numero ciento cincuenta y seis.

Welcome yet again, to another episode of the English Made Simple show, my name is Milena from

Welcome to our new listeners of the show and welcome to our regular listeners of the show. It’s nice to have you tune in to today’s episode.

Today’s show is brought to you by my new program called Speak Easy. Speak Easy is a program that will help you learn certain phrases, including phrasal verbs, used by native speakers when you are starting conversations with someone or when you want to participate in a conversation with someone who doesn’t necessarily need to be a native speaker.

You would have to speak in English with a non-native speaker, let’s not forget about the non-native speakers. When I was travelling a couple of years ago, I was meeting a lot of people, people from all around the world. I met people from France, Greece, China, Singapore, and Germany and other countries and in order to communicate with each other, we all had to speak in English.

So let’s not forget about the non native speakers.

So when you think about it, learning English is not just speaking with native speakers you will come across other people whose native tongue is not English. But the only way to communicate would be in English.

If you would like to join the program and would like to learn more about it, please go to

Ok, so guys, today’s show is going to be about phrases, certain phrases I came across today while I was buying myself a cup of espresso. A double shot espresso.

As you know, this is my daily fix, without it I am unable to function.

So I found a very cool local place where they make coffee using the coffee beans from Mexico! I don’t know where from exactly as Mexico is a big country. I have to ask the waiters next time I am in there.

Naturally, I am a very chatty person. So when I was in the cafe I was chatting a lot. A chatty person is someone who likes to chat a lot. To chat is just to talk.

I like talking with people.I like talking with waiters, while I wait for my coffee.

And if they are busy then I just talk with myself. Because I am loca!

Now I would like to share with you, the phrases I exchanged with a waitress today.

They are everyday phrases. You can practise these whenever you get a chance.

Here is a snapshot of today’s short conversation at my local café. I will also include my explanation later on where necessary. Where I feel like I need to explain in more detail.

I had been waiting for about 10 minutes to get served as it appears I wasn’t the only I one who wanted to buy coffee on this extremely hot day in Adelaide. By the way, today’s temperature was 36 degrees. We had temperatures over 30 degrees the whole week! That’s really hot! I heard summers in Adelaide are worse than Melbourne’s. We are closer to the desert. The Simpson desert in Australia. (Not dessert which is sweets or I said chocolates, but I meant sweets in general)

Now I am thinking, I should’ve ordered iced-coffee instead of espresso, but they usually make them too sweet. I prefer the real taste of coffee, the hotter the better.

And I like the smell of coffee in the morning.

So the waitress comes up to me and says: Sorry for keeping you waiting. We are really swamped today as you can see. How can I help you?

By the way, did you know guys, we use Waiter for a guy and Waitress for a girl. If you are being served by a girl, then she is your waitress.


No problems I said to the waitress. I’d like a double shot espresso please. Then I would ask her, How’s everything? You are doing well? How’s your weekend?

I chat to her every morning so she knows me. So I am Ok to ask her about her day, about her weekend. It’s just a friendly chat.

She says to me: yeah I am good thanks. Things are ok, weekend’s gone now… so back to reality. Back to work. And yourself?

And then I say: Can’t complain, doing well – I said. Just came here for my daily espresso fix before I go for my walk.

You got anything planned for today? She asked me.

Well, if you really want to know, and if you have about an hour free, I will tell you about my plans for today. My to-do list for today is never-ending. It never ends.

So she listened politely. She smiled and handed me the coffee and asked:

Would you like anything else?

No thanks, I said. That’s all.

It was nice seeing you again, take care! Have a great day!

So this was a conversation I had today at a local café.

We engaged in a small talk, or we just had a chit-chat. Talking about trivial things.

Anywho, I want to highlight the phrases that are typically spoken by native speakers – if you are at a restaurant or a café or any other place where there is a customer service.

Let me explain the phrases we used.

The waitress said: Sorry for keeping you waiting.

This is a polite phrase. It shows that she acknowledged me, she saw me waiting in the queue. She apologised because I had to wait longer than usual.

I often hear this phrase used with the verb KEEP – Sorry for keeping you waiting. Another way to say it is: Sorry for the wait. OR Sorry to keep you waiting.

You will hear either one of these options used in public places. It would be good for you guys to practice these as well.

Another thing she said was “We are really swamped today.”

I used to use this phrase when I was at work, I used to say to my boss: I am really swamped today. Meaning I am really busy today. I have a lot to do. Go away! I didn’t say that to my boss! Haha Leave me alone!

And the waitress is obviously swamped because she has a lot of customers to attend to.

So let’s move on to the next phrase.

Typically conversation starts with: How are you? How are things?

Normal response would be: I am good thanks. I am ok. I am well thanks.
And also, can’t complain.

That’s it. Just by saying: Can’t complain.

If someone asks you, how are you? You can answer: Yeah can’t complain.
Meaning everything is well, there is nothing for me to complain about.

Another typical phrase is: You got any plans today? Or You got anything planned for today? Anything special?

The waitress is just being nice, she is not going to take your plans seriously. So you can reply in a kind of a general way. For example, nothing much. A couple of client meetings today and then go home. Nothing exciting happening today.

Imagine, if you were at work, your colleagues would ask you similar question: Any plans for the weekend?
They are just starting a conversation with you, you don’t have to tell them every little details of your weekend. But expect this question. People do ask this question. Even your friends would ask you the same, not just your colleagues.

And the last phrase she used was: Would you like anything else?

Ok this is a common question asked by someone who works in Customer Service.

You notice how they don’t ask you: What more do you want?

In some languages, including Spanish the person would ask you: Algo más? Anything more? Literal translation. But in English, when we ask this question we use the word ELSE.

So instead of Anything more we say Anything else?

She was being polite so she asked me: Would you like anything else?

It’s a polite way to ask if I wanted to buy anything else with my coffee.
So I said, no thanks. But I usually get a muffin or something similar. ;)

So that’s it for today amigos y amigas.

I hope you learnt something new today. If not new, then I hope you’ve at least refreshed your memory.

Thank you for joining me today, and listening to my gibberish. You have been an amazing audience, have an amazing week, you’ve been jamming with Milena from English Made Simple. Until Next time. Hasta la proxima!

Learn English With Milena

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