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How to Request and Reserve a Table in Italian (Italian Restaurant Phrases – Part 1)


This is a three-part series describing all the most important Italian phrases you can use in an Italian restaurant. Part 1 deals with expressions of requesting and reserving a table in-person or over the phone in a restaurant.

Part 1 – How to request and reserve a table in Italian
part 2 – How to order in Italian
Part 3 – How to Request a Check/Bill in Italian

How to book a table in Italian

Before you set foot in an Italian restaurant, you may want to exercise caution and reserve a table, especially if the restaurant is very popular or if you plan to go on a Friday or Saturday night.

Can I book for two/four people?

Can I book a table for two/four people?

I would like to book a table for two at 8pm/tonight/tomorrow.

I would like to book a table for two at 8pm/tonight/tomorrow.

important: Italians tend to use a 24-hour clock, so 7pm is 19 hours (nineteen), 8pm is 20 hours (twenty o’clock), 9:00 pm is 21:00 (nine o’clock), and many more.

For my husband’s birthday, I would like to book a table for twenty people.

I would like to book a table for 20 for my husband’s birthday.

Sometimes you may wish to explicitly state your seating preference.

We want to sit inside/outside/by the window/corner/on the patio/outdoors.

We want to sit inside/outside/by the window/corner/on the patio/outdoors.


We would like a table inside/outside/by the window/corner/on the patio/outdoor.

We would like a table inside/outside/by the window/corner/on the patio/outdoor.

Portrait of young asian woman talking on the phone while sitting on a park bench.

Even the best plans can go wrong, which is why it’s good to know how to change or cancel a reservation.

I would like to change my booking.

I’d like to change my reservation.

I’d like to cancel my reservation.

I’d like to cancel my reservation.

Not all restaurants and cafes are open 7 days a week. Others may still be open for dinner, but not for lunch, or vice versa. So you might want to ask if and when the restaurant is open.

What time do you open/close?

When do you turn on/off?


What time does the restaurant open/close?

What time does the restaurant open/close?


Are you open tonight?

Are you open tonight?

The following phrases are useful if you have already made a reservation, or someone has made a reservation on your behalf.

I have a reservation for two people. My name is Rossi.

I have a reservation for two people. My name is Rossi.


I booked in Rossi’s name.

I made a reservation in Rossi’s name.

We all like to make spontaneous decisions every now and then – eating out is no exception! If you haven’t made a reservation, here are a few questions you might ask when you arrive at the restaurant.

Do we still have time for lunch/dinner?

Are we in time for lunch/dinner?


Hi, we haven’t booked yet. Are there any free tables?

Hello, we have not made a reservation yet. Are there any free tables?


Can we have a table?

Can we have a table?


How long do we have to wait?

How long is the wait?

It’s also important to be able to tell the waiter how many people you want to join your party.

We are two/four.

We have two/four.


I am/we are waiting for someone.

I/We are waiting for someone.


just me.

I’m alone.

What if you’re not happy with your table, or the seating arrangement isn’t quite right? Then you can use these phrases to correct mistakes!

A place is missing.

We need another place to set up.


Can I join these two tables?

Can we push these two tables together?


Can we change the table? It’s too close to the door/bathroom/window.

Can we change the table? It’s too close to the door/bathroom/window.

phrases a waiter might say to you

Here are a few things a waiter might say to you on the phone or when you arrive at a restaurant. Don’t worry too much about remembering them, but try to get familiar with their sounds.

where do you want to sit?

Where would you like to sit?


How many people is it suitable for? / how much do you have?

How many people is it suitable for? / How many of you are there?


Did you book it?

Did you book it?


Sorry, we are full.

Sorry, we are full.


Is this a special occasion?

Is this a special occasion?


Which table do you prefer?

Which table do you want?

Hopefully you’ve learned some useful Italian phrases that can help you request and reserve a table at an Italian restaurant. The next, and most important step, is to learn how to order in Italian!

Go to Part 2 – How to Order in Italian



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