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Restaurant Manager

Best interview questions for your hiring process

Restaurant Manager Interview questions

Your Restaurant Manager will have a high level of organisation skills, along with a deep understanding of the inner-business workings of a restaurant. They can confidently adjust stock and staffing levels, deal with customer requests and help market a restaurant when needed.

You should seek these skills in your Restaurant Manager:

  • Excellent budgeting ability.
  • Great written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to manage and train a team.
  • Impeccable customer service skills.
  • Knowledge of business management/staffing software.
  • Strong knowledge of food and beverage safety laws and regulations.
  • Decent knowledge of the cuisine served.

Interviewing a Restaurant Manager

Restaurant Managers will have impeccable attention to detail. They’ll be responsible for ensuring your restaurant runs in a way that provides quality, timely and friendly service for your customers. They’ll be in charge of ensuring that the business is correctly staffed and well-stocked while staying within budget. So as you can imagine, it is a critical role to hire correctly.

So, to make your interview process a little easier, we’ve put together this guide for you. Using these excellent Restaurant Manager interview questions, you’ll be able to figure out whether the candidate is a good fit, fairly simply!

How to open the job interview

Even the most experienced Restaurant Managers may feel a little nervous during a job interview. However, being too nervous to let their skills shine through can have a negative impact on your hiring decision.

So, it is a good idea to warm the interview up with a few upbeat opener questions that put your candidate at ease.

For the interview

A positive opener to start

What is one of your proudest moments as a Restaurant Manager?

How did you decide on becoming a Restaurant Manager?

Behavioral Questions

What is your ideal work environment as a Restaurant Manager?

Most Restaurant Managers will work in fast-paced and busy work environments, so knowing your candidate is up for this challenge is essential. However, it is also important that your candidate can adapt to different situations!

How would previous colleagues describe your management style?

This is a great way to analyse whether your candidate’s behaviours fit in with your current work environment and teammate’s personalities. A laidback management style, for example, may not work in a team that requires a more direct and strict approach.

If when working an extremely busy shift you noticed a member of the kitchen staff making a mistake while preparing a dish, how would you approach this? 

The behaviour exhibited here should aim to quickly and efficiently rectify the mistake while minimising disruption to the customer experience and efficiency. The mistake should then be addressed at a less busy time, in a friendly and professional way.

How would you deal with a particularly demanding or rude customer?

Sadly, rude customers can be a frequent occurrence in the hospitality industry. Here, a Restaurant Manager’s behaviour should be professional but firm, protecting both their staff while correcting any mistakes or offering apologies for whatever it is that has upset the customer.

When working late, demanding shifts, how do you stay motivated?

A Restaurant Manager’s attitude is especially important during difficult shifts, as their behaviour will influence that of the whole team. Knowing that they have techniques to help manage stress during these trying times makes for great peace of mind.

Soft Skills

If an employee was frequently underperforming, how would you approach this issue?

Here, your candidate should be able to demonstrate excellent communication skills. Discussing the issue with the mentioned employee, offering examples of how their performance can be improved and setting targets to ensure the feedback is actioned are all steps you should be looking for.

How do you stay organised when taking care of multiple departments?

As Restaurant Managers will work across multiple areas and departments, it is essential that their organisation skills are second to none. They should be able to list a few organisation techniques that they can employ to stay on top of their work.

What skills do you hold that give you an advantage over other candidates applying for this role?

This is a great chance for a candidate to show off some of their skills, as well as display their confidence! Here, they could mention soft skills, hard skills and maybe even mention some that you hadn’t previously considered.

What challenges do you imagine you’ll face in this role, and how do you plan to overcome them?

A Restaurant Manager is greatly responsible for overcoming problems and helping to steer the restaurant towards growth. Here they’ll be able to display their forecasting skills as well as problem-solving skills.

Hard Skills

What professional food and beverage safety training have you undertaken?

As the Restaurant Manager will be in charge of ensuring the restaurant meets high food safety standards, knowing they’ve received the correct training is essential.

How would you help to prepare the restaurant for a health inspection?

This is a situation that will really allow the candidate to show off their skills. They should be able to list a few common inspection areas and how they can be maintained to a high standard.

What business management, stock tracking and staffing software do you have experience with?

These will all be areas that the candidate will have control over. Knowing they have experience with the right tools or being aware of where they will need to be onboarded, will help with the hiring process.

What is your experience with cost management, how have you helped to adhere to a strict budget in past roles?

Here, you can get an idea of what type of changes you can expect your potential Restaurant Manager to make to help you cut costs and maximise profitability. 

Do you have any experience in preparing and presenting reports? 

This may be something that your candidate may need to do from time to time, so it is good to know if it is a skill they already have!

Operational / Situational Questions

Walk me through a time you have had to discipline an employee.

This is one of the more unpleasant aspects of Restaurant Management. Knowing it is one that your candidate can manage in a professional and firm manner is a great boost of confidence. They should mention setting targets and reviewing progress over time.

Have you ever been in charge of holding a private event at a restaurant or business place? Walk me through this. 

Depending on your business, private events may occur from time to time. Your candidate should be able to mention considering staffing levels, setting a fixed menu so as to estimate what stock will be needed and announcing the event to regular customers so as to avoid disappointment.

What are some ways in which you have attempted to market/spread the word about a restaurant or business in the past? Walk me through the process.

Spreading the word about a business is another aspect of a Restaurant Manager’s role. Whether they have hosted events within a local community or set up a business page, these are all great signs of a dedicated and multiskilled Restaurant Manager.

Describe a time when you have needed to make a rapid decision during a previous role. How did you stay calm and consider the outcomes?

This question will test a candidate’s ability to work under pressure, solve problems and make decisions that are best for the business. Oftentimes during a shift, decisions will need to be made very quickly to minimise disruption.

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