In European languages there's a phrase you can say when you or a waiter serves food. For example,

- bon appetit (French/English)
- buen provecho (Spanish)

Does Chinese have a similar phrase?

2 Answers 2



The typical phrase spoken when serving food is qǐng màn yòng (請慢用). It lliterally means "please eat slowly", but is better translated as "enjoy your meal", and serves the same function as the French bon appétit.

  • Is this actually used in everyday life?
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 21, 2014 at 23:37
  • 1
    @Szabolcs it's actually used from servant to master, junior to senior, or host to guest on formal occasions. It is not used in informal situations, between friends or between peers.
    – NS.X.
    Jun 22, 2014 at 0:13
  • @NS.X. Would you hear it at a restaurant?
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 22, 2014 at 0:22
  • @Szabolcs Yes you'll hear it from waiter to customers.
    – NS.X.
    Jun 22, 2014 at 1:08

Like Semaphore said 请慢用 is good for very formal circumstances.

In less formal circumstances you can say something like 慢慢吃 - which basically has the same meaning. This can also be used among family and friends.

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