Have you ever struggled with ordering food delivery in China? Were you intimidated and afraid that you will not understand what delivery services are saying In Chinese and you will just have to hang up? Did you ever try to explain your address to delivery guys but with no luck? Worry no more. Equip yourself with these Chinese delivery related phrases and learn how to order a take-out like a 老板 lǎobǎn.
Calling a restaurant to order a take-out delivery
The food delivery in Shanghai and all over China is very simple and affordable and mostly done through apps such as Eleme, Hema, Meituan. However, not all restaurants offer online ordering, and sometimes it will be necessary to call them over the phone and use your Chinese language skills. For instance, here are some Chinese phrases that will come in handy in those situations:
1. Do you offer take-out delivery?
- Nǐmen néng sòng wàimài ma?
2. Is there a delivery fee?
- Yǒu wài sòng fèi ma?
3. I would like one serving of/one/one bowl of
- Wǒ yào yī fèn/yīgè/yī wǎn
4. I don’t want any cutlery
- Bù yào dāochā
5. Deliver to [insert your address]
- Sòng dào
6. My phone number is
- Wǒ de diànhuà shì
7. What time will it be delivered?
- Shénme shíhou yào sòng dào?
Ordering delivery goes wrong
However, it happens numerous times that ordering online goes wrong (and it’s reasonable that this will “drive you crazy” (check out this cool phrase we learned in our previous article: “我要抓狂啦”): sometimes deliveries get lost, restaurants/stores run out of products, delivery guy can’t find your apartment… moreover – they usually really love to give you a call to sort the mess out.
Learning Chinese is all fun and games until you have to take/make that phone call. Firstly, you can’t see the person on the other side. Secondly, the person on the other side is most probably assuming you’re a native Chinese speaker. You can expect that the conversation will be fast paced, giving you no time to realise what’s about to hit you.
Here are some useful phrases in Chinese we recommend you learn to help get you out of that kind of a mess:
8. Take-out was delivered wrongly
- Wàimài sòng cuòle
9. I want a refund/change goods/cancel the order
- Wǒ yào tuì kuǎn/huàn shāngpǐn/qǔxiāo dìngdān
10.I am missing some goods
- Wàimài quēshǎo wùpǐn
Good job, you used Chinese phrases to handle your delivery!
Once you handled this like a laoban make sure to give yourself a pat on the back and tell your delivery guy 谢谢慢走. He/she will appreciate it as these people are always in a hurry rushing through the streets of Shanghai and are facing dangerous conditions trying to beat the time allowed for delivering each order.
Warning: do not expect ANY phone call in Chinese to go smooth… ever. There is an infinite possibility of all kinds of dialects involved, a lots of “听不懂” but you’ll get there! Continue learning Chinese and try to pick up and use these phrases too, practice makes perfect and soon delivery services won’t even notice you’re not a native speaker!