What does “¿Qué tal?” mean?

If you spend any amount of time in Spain you will hear the phrase ¿Qué tal? all over the place. People use it most commonly when greeting people informally, to ask how they are or how things are generally. e.g. Hola, ¿qué tal?

A man and a woman chatting in Spanish.
¿Qué tal?

You can use it to ask how something is or was, such as some food or a holiday. A verb is not necessary if it is obvious what is being referred to.

¿Qué tal la comida?

¿Qué tal anoche?

¿Qué tal tus padres?

¿Qué tal las vacaciones?