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Listening Activity: Hard Rock Cafe - A Cultural Meeting Place

Currently there are 185 Hard Rock Cafés in 74 countries around the world. One of these cafés is located in Scotland's capital, Edinburgh. Here we meet Andrew, who works as a waiter.
Hard Rock Café sign in lights at night.
Åpne bilde i et nytt vindu

In this listening activity Andrew will tell you about himself and his background, Edinburgh Hard Rock Café, and Scottish culture.

Waiter at Work



Answer the questions as fully as you are able to.

  1. Why did Andrew move around a lot?
  2. Mention some of the places he has lived.
  3. Why did he choose to return to Edinburgh?
  4. What does he think about his job at Hard Rock?
  5. The Hard Rock Cafés are involved in charity projects. What is Edinburgh Hard Rock Café supporting?
  6. In what way has Andrew contributed to Hard Rock Cafés charity work?
  7. He recommends that you try a special dish. Which one?
  8. What is his attitude to Scotch whisky?
  9. What is your general impression of Andrew?
  10. How would you characterise his language? Is it a typical Scottish variant? Why or why not, do you think?


In your classroom at high school, make an International English Café where some are waiters and some are guests.

Before you start, decide the profile of the café, the layout and the dishes you'd like to serve.

The waiters should have different cultural backgrounds - they can, for example, be from the Philippines, Singapore, a Caribbean island, the United States, Australia, South Africa, or India.

The waiters should spend a few minutes preparing for questions from the guests about their background. You can use articles from NDLA as preparation and/or the locations on this link, Hard Rock Cafe Official Website.

The guests prepare questions for the waiters using the audio recording as inspiration.

The guests sit down at tables around the classroom, and the waiters circulate from table to table, taking food orders and having conversations.

Picture of a neon sign with a guitar and the words Hard Rock Café.
Åpne bilde i et nytt vindu


Use the Hard Rock Cafe Official Website, and find one of the worldwide cafés on the alphabetical list in the grey frame to the left. Choose from:

  • Edinburgh (Scotland)
  • Guam (the Caribbean)
  • Singapore
  • New Orleans (the United States)
  • Sydney (Australia)
  • Makati (The Philippines)
  • Mumbai (India)
  1. Does the introduction provided about 'your' location reflect local culture? If so, what is conveyed?
  2. What is meant by 'memorabilia'? How is this linked to the project idea behind the Hard Rock Café concept? What kind of memorabilia does 'your' café offer?
  3. Take a look at the menus. What do they offer - just American food or do they have local treats? Give examples.


  1. What is your impression of the Hard Rock Café concept? What characterizes a typical Hard Rock Café?
  2. To which extent does the Hard Rock Café concept export American culture to the world? Use this link as an approach: Exporting American Culture
  3. When Hard Rock Café first started it was considered very cool, and young people around the world wanted to go there: Is that still the case?
CC BY-SASkrevet av Morten Serkland.
Sist faglig oppdatert 13.05.2018


Varieties of English