Can I get a drink <started> for you?

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Tenacious Learner

Senior Member
Spanish
Hi teachers,
I've found a page on the net where they say "Can I get a drink started for you?" explained as follows. Is it correct to say "started" or should it be " starter"

Regular Restaurant Ordering
When you sit down to eat at a restaurant remember to leave a tip. The average you should leave is 15 per cent.
After you are seated, the first thing they ask is if you want something to drink.

Can I get you a drink?
Can I get a drink for you?
Would you like to order a drink now?
Can I get a drink started for you?
What would you like to drink?

Thanks in advance.
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    It seems that part of the ritual at Starbucks is for the barista to say to a customer Can I get a drink started for you?

    Is this just confined to Starbucks, or is it the normal lingo at other coffee chains in the USA?
    If I were to translate it into BE, I would say Would you like a drink while you are waiting for your order?

    It is not the same as a starter, which (at least in BE) means somethin* like a prawn cocktail.

    *something
     
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    Tenacious Learner

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    It seems that part of the ritual at Starbucks is for the barista to say to a customer Can I get a drink started for you?

    Is this just confined to Starbucks, or is it the normal lingo at other coffee chains in the USA?
    If I were to translate it into BE, I would say Would you like a drink while you are waiting for your order.

    It is not the same as a starter, which (at least in BE) means somethin like a prawn cocktail.
    It doesn't say if it's just confined to Starbucks, but thanks a lot for the explanation, e2efour. Then "started" has to do with a drink and "starter" with food; is that so?

    TL
     

    se16teddy

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Then "started" has to do with a drink and "starter" with food
    Personally, I would expect to hear Can I get it started? said of a meal, not a coffee.

    The implication is that preparation is a long process (probably requiring an extraordinary level of expertise). If you want your meal/coffee at a time in the near future, we should start making it now.
     
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    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I have to say that there are some very odd things about that entire lesson, but I'll try to stay on topic. This is seems to be American English and we don't have "starters" (and you tip when you leave, not when you sit down).
    From my personal experience, "Can I get X started for you?" is more often said someone standing in a line than to a seated patron. It is used in more places than Starbucks, but usually involves something very customized (a Starbucks-type coffee, a personal pizza, ...) that is produced in an assembly line fashion (one person starts making the item, but several other people may do steps along the way).
    It is sometimes asked when the person who takes orders is busy but one of the "assembly line" workers is available so he asks what he can start making for you, but then you still have to tell the person at the cash register. You end up ordering twice.
     

    Sparky Malarky

    Moderator
    English - US
    I have to say that there are some very odd things about that entire lesson, but I'll try to stay on topic. This is seems to be American English and we don't have "starters" (and you tip when you leave, not when you sit down).
    From my personal experience, "Can I get X started for you?" is more often said someone standing in a line than to a seated patron. It is used in more places than Starbucks, but usually involves something very customized (a Starbucks-type coffee, a personal pizza, ...) that is produced in an assembly line fashion (one person starts making the item, but several other people may do steps along the way).
    It is sometimes asked when the person who takes orders is busy but one of the "assembly line" workers is available so he asks what he can start making for you, but then you still have to tell the person at the cash register. You end up ordering twice.
    I agree. "Can I get a drink started for you?" means "I will take your order and we will start making your drink. When it is ready, someone will call your name and you will pay." It would be unusual for a waiter in a sit-down restaurant to say this. If your waiter says "Can I get a drink started for you?" he probably used to work at Starbucks, or a similar fancy-coffee place. (ha, ha) A waiter will usually say something like "Can I start you off with something to drink?" What he means is "Shall I take your drink order? You can take more time to look at the menu while I get your drinks ready." Then when the waiter comes back with the drinks, he will be ready for your food order, and you are usually ready to give it.

    At a fast-food restaurant where you order at a counter, you order food and drinks all at the same time, and if the order-taker says anything, it's something like "What would you like?"
     

    Tenacious Learner

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I appreciate your help and explanations Myridon; SM.
    What I will do is to cut from the audio the following sentences:
    a) When you sit down to eat at a restaurant remember to leave a tip. The average you should leave is 15 per cent.
    b) Can I get a drink started for you?

    I believe the rest makes sense, doesn't it? If not, please just tell me and I'll open a new thread.

    TL
     
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