It’s common for servers in English to use “enjoy your meal” when serving a table. However, it’s often overused, and many people would like to find alternatives to keep their service fresh. That’s where this article comes in, and we’ll help you find the best alternatives out there.
What Can I Say Instead Of “Enjoy Your Meal”?
There are plenty of choices we can use in this case. Some of the ones we want to highlight are:
- Bon appetit
- Dig in
- Tuck in
- Get stuck in
- I hope you have a pleasant meal
- It’s all yours
- Let me know if there’s anything else you need
The preferred version is “bon appetit.” It’s a French phrase that has become increasingly popular in English languages. Everyone understands what it means, and it makes for a refreshing change from the usual “enjoy your meal.” It works both formally and informally.
“Bon appetit” is a French phrase meaning “good appetite.” It’s a way to say “goodbye” to a group of people that are about to eat food. That’s why it works so well in the service industry because we say it as we leave the table with all the food they have ordered.
You can use “bon appetit” in English just as easily as you can if you speak French. English speakers know what it means, and they know its sentiment. That’s why it’s better than saying a simple “enjoy your meal.”
That’s what makes it such a strong choice. However, it’s not pronounced as elegantly in English as it is in French, which you’ll need to understand before saying it yourself.
Here’s how it looks:
- Bon appetit, guys! I hope everything is up to your standards today.
- Bon appetit! Give me a shout if I can get anything else for you while you eat.
- Bon appetit! I hope this is everything you asked for from today’s menu.
“Dig in” is an exclamation we can use to make it interesting for the diners. It’s a great way to show that we’re happy to serve them and that they are not wasting our time at all. It works mostly informally, but many people will appreciate this exclamation.
It works well because people don’t always expect their servers to be the most entertaining or enthusiastic. If you can show them that you care enough about them and your job to be lively and fun, you might just win them over.
Winning a diner over is a great way to build a rapport. It’s likely they’ll want to come back to your restaurant if you can make their visit fun. That’s why “dig in” is such a great choice.
Here’s how it works:
- Dig in! Don’t let me stop you!
- I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but dig in!
- Dig in, everyone!
“Tuck in” is an exclamation we can use to encourage people to start eating. It’s more enthusiastic than “enjoy your meal,” and we can use it to show that we are friendly and enjoy a bit of fun.
It can be quite easy for many servers to overlook the “fun” trait in their service. This informal phrase changes that.
When a server is there to do a job, it’s difficult for them to separate “work” from “fun.” Therefore, they might struggle to give optimal customer service if they repeat phrases like “enjoy your meal.”
That’s where “tuck in” or “dig in” comes in. We can use both to show that we are friendly and enjoy a bit of fun ourselves. It helps us to bring ourselves back to the levels of the customers, and it helps them not to think that we believe ourselves superior in some way.
These examples will show you how it works best:
- Okay! Tuck in! I’ve gotta run!
- Tuck in! I’m sure it won’t stay hot forever!
- Tuck in! Don’t wait for me to tell you!
Get Stuck In
“Get stuck in” is another exclamation similar to the two above it. We use “get stuck in” as a colloquial phrase for people to stuff their faces. While it encourages bad table manners, the idea behind the idiom is to be more of a joke, and many people like this kind of service.
Like the two above, we mostly use phrases like this in informal situations. It’s not often you’ll see an upper-class restaurant server use “get stuck in” to address their diners.
It works well to encourage people to enjoy their food as soon as you leave. The intensity of the phrase is also enough to encourage young children to enjoy themselves, which is why we recommend this phrase for any restaurants where children are common and valued guests.
Check out these examples to see it in action:
- All I can say now is, get stuck in!
- Get stuck in, you lot! It won’t last long!
- Well, I hope you can cope with this sharing platter! Get stuck in!
“Enjoy” is a simple exclamation. We can remove “your meal” entirely from the phrase if we want to. Now, “enjoy” works to show that we’re enthusiastic and that we want people to start eating their food straight away.
This is a great phrase to use in many restaurants and food places. The snappiness of “enjoy” as an exclamation is enough to excite many diners. From this excitement, they are usually all too quick and ready to dive into their food.
It’s most appropriate in more informal places (especially those with children as guests). However, you’ll find it works well anywhere.
These examples will show you all you need to know:
- Enjoy! I hope that’s all good for you.
- That’s all that you’ve ordered! Enjoy!
- Enjoy, guys! Let me know if there’s anything else you want from me while you eat.
I Hope You Have A Pleasant Meal
“I hope you have a pleasant meal” is the most formal phrase on this list. We mostly find this one in more formal or upper-class restaurants. It works well when you want to be polite and respectful to your diners, which is helpful in many establishments.
The sentiment is still the same as the others on this list. We still want the diners to enjoy their time in the restaurant and to have a nice meal. However, we use “I hope” to introduce ourselves as a formal entity, and “pleasant” is a great adjective to use too.
None of the other alternatives use a pronoun to introduce ourselves. That’s because they’re slightly more informal choices. “I” allows us to be a little more personable to the people we’re serving, which some people value in food service.
Check out these examples to see it in action:
- I hope you have a pleasant meal, sir.
- That’s everything you’ve ordered. I hope you have a pleasant meal.
- I hope you have a pleasant meal, gentlemen. Is there anything else I can get for you while you eat?
It’s All Yours
“It’s all yours” isn’t as polite as some of the other options on this list. However, it works well when you have served the full table, and you want them to tuck in. It still indicates that your work has been completed, which is all that many diners need to hear.
You do not always need to come up with an enthusiastic comment like “bon appetit” or “tuck in.” Sometimes, these can seem insincere if you say them again and again throughout your shift.
That’s why phrases like “it’s all yours” exist. They are more subtle in their delivery, which helps many servers to remain confident and enthusiastic, without saying “enjoy your meal” in a condescending way.
These examples will show you how to use it:
- It’s all yours! I hope you enjoy it.
- There you go. It’s all yours!
- It’s all yours! Let me know if I can do anything else for you.
Let Me Know If There’s Anything Else You Need
“Let me know if there’s anything else you need” works if you do not want to say “enjoy your meal.” The sentiment is still there, but we do not have to say it outright for the people to understand what we mean. Instead, we can offer them a different service.
Sometimes, we might not want to say “enjoy your meal” or any of the alternatives listed. It is overused, and we might be seen as tacky if we try to use it.
In these cases, we can offer our services at a later time by saying, “let me know if there’s anything else you need.” It’s still an incredibly polite way to say that you’re happy to help, and it’s also a closing statement that allows the diners to understand that it’s time for them to eat.
Here’s how it works:
- That’s all there is! Let me know if there’s anything else you need! Otherwise, I’ll be over there.
- Let me know if there’s anything else you need! I’m just over there.
- Let me know if there’s anything else you need! I’ll be happy to serve you.
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.