Want to know about food delivery in Korea? We’ll tell you all about Korean food delivery, how it works, what to expect, and how to place your order in Korea.
And as a bonus, we’ll give you a script for ordering in Korean. It will cover the specific things you can expect to hear from the order taker.
You must be hungry, so let’s get to it!
- 1 Korean Food Delivery
- 2 Food Delivery Etiquette
Korean Food Delivery
Some days, despite the sheer number of restaurants on almost every street in Seoul, going out to eat feels like too much effort. Perhaps it is raining, or the middle of winter, or you don’t want to change out of your pajamas.
Luckily, on those occasions, getting great food delivered to your doorstep is easy in Korea. A lot of the popular Korean restaurants deliver.
However, food delivery in Korea is quite different from food delivery in other countries, so learning how the delivery system works can help save embarrassment.
How to Order Food in Korea
Here, we’re going to break down how to order delicious food in Korea so you can do it yourself and enjoy more independence in Korea (yummy, yummy independence). Remember: the first step to ordering good Korean food in Korea is reading the menu. That means reading Hangul, the Korean alphabet. If you can’t read Hangul, it’s possible to learn it in about 90 minutes, so what are you waiting for?
Delivery in Korea
So now you’re ready to make the Call. It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for — your first delivery call in Korea. Just follow these three steps:
- Choose What You Want to Order – make sure you’re above the minimum delivery charge
- Have Your Korean Address Handy – follow the link if you only know your English address
- Place the Call – you’re ready to order Korean food
Korean Take Out Food
Wondering what Korean Take out food to order? If so, you can order almost anything delivered in Korea. Only foods that you would cook yourself in a restaurant, such as 갈비 (galbi) or 삼겹살 (samgyeopsal), are off-limits.
Korean dishes like 김치찌개 (kimchijjigae) and 불고기 (bulgogi) are some of the most ordered, as is fried chicken, which will probably make up about half of your food menu collection. There’s a lot of great Korean food to try with fast delivery!
If you’re still wondering what food to order, you can check out the Korean Food Delivery Menus that restaurants give out. It is pretty common to come home and find a food menu taped to your door. This is how the restaurants advertise and bring in more business!
If you keep these menus, you can quickly build up a range of options for when you want to order food, and you can have your little collection! When you visit your favorite restaurant, if they have a takeout menu by the checkout, then pick one up to add to your stockpile of food options.
Here is a sample Menu in Korean:
If you are putting on a feast, you can splash out and order something like 보쌈 (bossam), a kind of steamed pork. The choice of restaurants that you can order from is almost limitless; even a chicken restaurant in Sokcho (on the east coast) delivers to Seoul. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s and Burger King also deliver.
How to Order Takeout in Korean by Phone
After placing your call and the restaurant staff answers your phone call, you can give your order in Korean. You can say something simple like “양념치킨 한마리 (yangnyeomchikin hanmari)” or “불고기 2 인분 (bulgogi i inbun)” will suffice. The restaurant will then confirm your order and ask for your address.
When giving your address, start at the neighborhood (동|dong) level as most restaurants only deliver locally, so you don’t need to tell them which city you live in (McDonald’s uses a centralized system, so it is an exception to this). If you want to get an idea of what a phone call sounds like to a delivery place, take a look a the sample conversation at the bottom of this article.
If the deliveryman cannot find your home, he will call you so stay by the phone. Occasionally you might also receive a short call to tell you that the food is on its way. When calling the restaurant, you will also sometimes be asked if you want to pay by card (카드 | kadeu) or cash (현금 | hyeongeum) so that the deliveryman knows whether to bring the card reader machine or not.
Once you have used a delivery service once, the restaurant will usually have your details on record (unless they are a very small restaurant), so you don’t have to give them your address every time. Some places even know your delivery history, so if you constantly order the same food, they will ask you if you want that. In that situation, it is possible to order dinner just by phoning the restaurant and saying “네 (ne | yes)” two or three times.
There is a minimum order with some restaurants, but usually, this amount is relatively low, such as five thousand won. Also, some places have a service charge, usually a thousand won, on orders below a particular value. If you want to, you could order several Mcflurries and Coffees from McDonald’s to hit their minimum order price, so even these items can be delivered to your door.
Telephone Ordering Sample Script (With Translation)
Below is a detailed script that you can use for placing orders for delivery in Korean. It covers most situations, so you can use pieces of it however you’d like.
This is an order for a half and half pizza, so the order is a little more complex!
Most calls will not be this long unless you are ordering for the first time or have a complex order. As you order more often, it will become simpler and simpler!
|ORDER TAKER||_______ 피자입니다. 배달주문이세요?||____ pijaimnida. baedaljumuniseyo?||Hi, this is _______ Pizza. Is this an order for delivery?|
|CALLER||네. 배달이에요.||ne. baedarieyo.||Yes, for delivery.|
|ORDER TAKER||네. 주소 먼저 말씀해주시겠어요?||ne. juso meonjeo malsseumhaejusigesseoyo?||Ok. Can you let me know your address first?|
|CALLER||주소는 _______구_______동_______번지 101호요.||jusoneun _______gu_______dong_______beonji 101hoyo.||My address is ___________.|
|ORDER TAKER||네. 어떤 걸로 도와드릴까요?||ne. eotteon geollo dowadeurilkkayo?||Ok. What can I get for you today?|
|CALLER||하프앤하프”로 주세요||hapeuaenhapeu”ro juseyo||Half and half pizza please.|
|ORDER TAKER||네. 도우랑 사이즈랑 피자 선택해주세요||ne. dourang saijeurang pija seontaekaejuseyo.||Ok. Please choose the dough and what size you'd like.|
|CALLER||피자는 “베이컨체다치즈” 랑 “리얼바베큐”로 주세요.||pijaneun “beikeonchedachijeu” rang “rieolbabekyu”ro juseyo.||Bacon Cheddar Cheese and Real Barbeque please.|
|ORDER TAKER||사이즈는 어떤 걸로 해드릴까요?||saijeuneun eotteon geollo haedeurilkkayo?||And what size would you like?|
|CALLER||라지로 주세요.||rajiro juseyo.||Large size please.|
|ORDER TAKER||네, 할인카드나 음료나 사이드 메뉴 따로 추가 없으세요?||ne, harinkadeuna eumnyona saideu menyu ttaro chuga eopseuseyo?||Ok. Do you have a discount card or would you like to add a drink or any side menu items?|
|CALLER||음료는 콜라 1.5리터짜리 하나 주시고요.||eumnyoneun kolla 1.5riteojjari hana jusigoyo.||Yes, I'd like a 1.5 L cola please.|
|ORDER TAKER||저희 1.25리터짜리 밖에 없는데 괜찮으세요?||jeohui 1.25riteojjari bakke eomneunde gwaenchaneuseyo?||We only have 1.25 L, is that ok?|
|CALLER||그러면 1.25리터짜리 주시고요.||geureomyeon 1.25riteojjari jusigoyo.||Yes, then please give me 1.25 L.|
|CALLER||디핑소스 하나 추가 할게요.||dipingsoseu hana chuga halgeyo.||Also, I'd like to add one extra dipping sauce.|
|ORDER TAKER||잠시만요. 할인카드나 쿠폰 소지하고 계신가요?||jamsimanyo. harinkadeuna kupon sojihago gyesingayo?||One moment please. Do you have a discount card or a coupon?|
|CALLER||할인카드는 없어요.||harinkadeuneun eopseoyo.||I don't have a discount card.|
|ORDER TAKER||결제 현금이세요, 카드세요?||gyeolje hyeongeumiseyo, kadeuseyo?||How would you like to pay - cash or card?|
|CALLER||네. 배달사원 방문 시 결제 부탁 드리겠습니다.||ne. baedalsawon bangmun si gyeolje butak deurigetseumnida.||Ok, when the delivery man arrives, please pay to him.|
|CALLER||네. 감사합니다.||ne. gamsahamnida.||Yes, thank you.|
|ORDER TAKER||감사합니다. 맛있게 드세요.||gamsahamnida. masitge deuseyo.||Thank you, bon appetite!|
Additionally, learning to read and express the costs or prices, amount, and size of food and drinks, house, and phone numbers in Korean will help with having your food delivered. You can learn about this in our article on Korean numbers.
If you want to learn more about the Korean language, you can check out our structured course, called the Inner Circle course, which is part of the 90 Day Korean Membership program. Our course will help you learn Korean fast. You’ll be having 3-minute conversations in Korean in the first 90 days!
How to Order Korean Food Online
If you don’t want to speak Korean over the phone, or if you have lost your voice from an over-ambitious attempt to sing an IU song in the 노래방 (noraebang) the night before, then rather than phoning a restaurant, you can place your order using food delivery apps.
All you need to do is download the application on your device, register, and you’re ready to go!
Korean Food Delivery Apps
These days, South Koreans are more particular when it comes to convenience. Everything can be ordered through an app. Long lines when grocery shopping has made people turn to grocery delivery services. For the same reason, South Koreans are looking for more food delivery options to avoid busy telephone lines. Food delivery apps allow you to order food with just a few taps. Paying is easier as well since most all restaurants accept credit cards.
You can use several food delivery apps, but one of the most popular is “Yogiyo” (named after what you shout at Korean waiters when you want something).
Ordering food using Yogiyo is so easy that if you were on a diet before downloading the app, then your diet has now just become a thousand times more difficult.
After creating an ID, ordering food from Yogiyo is as simple as finding the food you want, adding it to your shopping basket, and hitting send. The apps front page is divided into the most common categories of food that you can order (pizza, chicken, Chinese, Japanese, etc.) so finding what you want to eat is simple.
Another popular food delivery app is Coupang Eats. This app features real-time checks from order to delivery so you know where your food is at and how long the delivery is going to take. They also offer great discounts for select brands.
Apart from Yogiyo, Baedal Minjok is the largest food delivery application in South Korea. It features a very user-friendly interface and a variety of food options and products that you need in your daily life.
Food Delivery Etiquette
Food delivery in Korea has its own practices for etiquette that may be surprising if you’ve never ordered in Korea before. Soon, you’ll get used to it and enjoy the benefits regularly. Be aware of the following three things when ordering food in Korea:
First, you will be glad to know that, like in Korean restaurants, no tip is required when you get food delivered.
Due to Seoul’s density, the restaurant you are ordering from is likely very close, so there is no need for any kind of “we delivery in 30 minutes, or your food is free” kind of guarantee. You might find your favorite delivery place right across the block! Sometimes your food will arrive in an improbably fast time, like ten minutes or less.
Rather than using paper and foil takeaway boxes, delivered food often arrives in regular bowls with metal cutlery. These are supposed to be returned to the restaurant so when you finish your meal.
Remember to put all of the dishes into the box or blue plastic bag provided and leave this outside your door (note that this doesn’t apply to McDonald’s: leaving your old Big Mac wrappers and Mcflurry cones in the brown McDonald’s bag outside your door is a sure way to make yourself unpopular with your neighbors).
A few hours later, somebody will come to collect these dishes. Sometimes, if you don’t eat straight away, the person will come too early to collect the dishes, so you might have to explain that you haven’t finished eating yet. The best thing about food delivery is that you don’t need to clean these dishes. Just put them outside your door and enjoy your new life free from doing the washing-up!
Living in Korea is heaven for foodies. From authentic Korean dishes, and American Dishes, to Fusion food like modern Korean Chinese Cuisine, there’s something for everyone. However, if you’re feeling up to getting out but don’t want to go to a restaurant, then it’s a perfect opportunity to try some of Korea’s famous street food.
What is your favorite place to get food delivery from? Have you had a great experience with a particular restaurant? Let us know in the comments below!
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