The great thing about fast food is that it can be eaten on the go. Carry-out, also known as take-out, is what you get when you’re not planning to eat at the restaurant. When you get take-out, ask for your food “to go.”
2. Eat in
The opposite of carry-out, eating in means staying at the fast food restaurant to eat your meal. When ordering to eat in, ask for your food “to stay” or “for here.”
3. Drive through
This is sometimes misspelled on purpose as “drive thru.” This option lets you order your food without even needing to get out of your car. Just pull your car up to the special drive thru window, place your order and drive around to the next window to pay and pick it up.
A franchise is a group of restaurants that are under the same brand owner, but operate on their own. The main brand provides the ingredients and menus, but each store has its own owner and manager. Many fast food restaurants are part of a franchise. McDonald’s and Burger King are franchises, and so is Starbucks.
Like any restaurant, fast food restaurants have menus which show you the items you can order and how much they cost. Many fast food places have the menu on a large board on a wall, so it’s easy to see all the options when you’re ordering.
If you’re having trouble choosing the food you want, you can let the restaurant do it for you. Some places have special “combos” (short for combinations, although no one ever says the full word). These combos are pre-created meals that usually contain a few different food items and a drink.
Sometimes you even get your food cheaper when ordering a combo.
When asking for a combo, you can usually just request it by a number, along with whatever else you want to add. For example, if you like the meal option on the menu that’s labeled with the number 5, you can say: “I’d like a number 5, please, with a side order of fries.”
Since the world has become more interested in knowing what’s in our food, many menus now also show nutritional information. This information tells you what’s in your food.
Fast food restaurants don’t usually give you the full ingredients, but you’ll find some useful information like sugar, fat and calorie content. This is meant to help you make healthy decisions about what you eat.
This is a fancy way of calling a drink, especially one that isn’t water. It’s that simple!
9. Soft drink
A soft drink is usually used to refer to a carbonated drink like soda. Really, the phrase can be used to speak about any non-alcoholic drinks. An alcoholic drink is sometimes called a hard drink.
10. Fountain drink
Many fast food restaurants have soda fountains, which are machines where you can pour yourself a soft (usually carbonated) drink. Since the server doesn’t need to know what kind of soda you’ll choose, you can simply order a fountain drink and make your own decision later.
A slushie is a cold drink made with blended, crushed ice and sweet flavoring. These aren’t very good for you, but they sure taste good!
A smoothie is a (sometimes) healthier alternative to a slushie. Smoothies are made of ice, milk or ice cream and real fruit.
Okay, so you probably know what coffee is. In case you don’t, it’s a bitter drink that gives you a boost of energy.
But what’s a latte? Or a mocha? Or a frappuccino?
This chart shows you what’s what, so you can know exactly what you’re getting the next time you visit a Starbucks.