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Family Restaurants Interview Questions

30 interview questions and answers to help you prepare for an interview in the family restaurants industry.

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Question 1 of 30

Why do you want to work for Company ABC?

How to Answer

With many options in the family restaurant industry for employment, why do you want to work for Company ABC? Talk to the interviewer about your preference for their company. Dig deep when it comes to your response, bringing up specifics related to their menu, the shifts available, employment awards they have won, or their company mission.

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30 Family Restaurants Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. Why do you want to work for Company ABC?

      How to Answer

      With many options in the family restaurant industry for employment, why do you want to work for Company ABC? Talk to the interviewer about your preference for their company. Dig deep when it comes to your response, bringing up specifics related to their menu, the shifts available, employment awards they have won, or their company mission.

      1st Answer Example

      "Since I am a university student, it is important to me that I join a company that will be flexible around my hours, and support my goal to finish my degree. Also, I have read a lot on your tuition reimbursement program for top performers, and it intrigued me. I look forward to joining an organization that supports its employees wholeheartedly."

      2nd Answer Example

      "I especially want to work for Company ABC because I have friends who have worked here previously, providing me with positive feedback on their experiences. I am looking for a positive work environment where I can stay for a long time to come. Also, your menu is delicious so it's food and quality that I can easily get behind!"

  • 2. We offer great training at Company ABC. Which areas do you feel you need the most training?

      How to Answer

      Chances are, Company ABC is well aware they will need to train you before you are a great performer. What the interviewer would like to know is where you feel you are the weakest, and where they will need to jump in the most when it comes to your training. Talk to the interviewer about any job-related areas that you feel you may be lacking.

      1st Answer Example

      "If I could choose an aspect of training I would like to learn more about health and food safety. My end goal is to gain a leadership position with Company ABC so some training as a team lead would be valuable as well."

      2nd Answer Example

      "When it comes to training in the restaurant industry, I feel that I could use more training in the operation of the point of sale systems. I like to fully understand the software programs and platforms that I work with, to ensure efficiency and faster service for my tables."

  • 3. What do you know about the workplace culture at Company ABC?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you have researched their organization before your interview. Company culture and fit is a critical factor when considering a career move. Assure the interviewer that you have put thought, research, and consideration into how the culture at Company ABC will work for you.

      1st Answer Example

      "I know that Company ABC has a great reputation for hiring and supporting local university students while they work their way through school. I have a friend who worked at your York location last year, and she said it was one of the best service positions she had ever held. I look forward to learning more about the culture here."

      2nd Answer Example

      "Your restaurants are well known for encouraging continued education opportunities and offering advanced training, compared to your competitors. I appreciate your focus on employee development and cannot wait to learn more!"

  • 4. The family restaurant industry is highly competitive. What do you think makes Company ABC stand out?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know what attracted you to this role, to begin with, and what prompted you to apply. Perhaps you prefer their menu, the ambiance, the clientele, or even the location. Your reason could also include their flexibility in hours, or that you heard their servers earn better tips that most of their competitors. Discuss how this position stands out to you over any others, and exactly why you want to work for Company ABC.

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  • 5. Delivering excellent customer service is of utmost importance at Company ABC. How would you describe your customer service skills?

      How to Answer

      To deliver excellent customer service you need first to recognize the skills that you have and play off of those. If you are naturally not a smiley person who give hugs, then being a smiley person may come off as fake. Think about your natural personality and how you can use those characteristics to deliver stellar service on the job.

      Some skills you may have are:

      - Patience
      - Empathy
      - Adaptability
      - Knowledge
      - Thick skin
      - Networking

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  • 6. At Company ABC we put a lot of pride in the cleanliness of our restaurants. How important is cleanliness to you?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer would like to know that you have an interest in keeping up their high standards of cleanliness. Give examples of times when you went over and above to meet cleanliness standards in your previous role(s).

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  • 7. Company ABC has gained a lot of momentum using social media marketing techniques. Do you follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter?

      How to Answer

      Before an interview, you should always thoroughly research the company's online presence and, if possible, follow them on social media. This research is also helpful because many companies will post their new openings using their social media platforms. The interviewer would like to know if you are authentically engaged in the Company ABC brand and product.

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  • 8. How do you handle a rude, picky or upset customer?

      How to Answer

      In the restaurant industry, you will come across customers who are rude from time to time. This is par for the course for any service based job. Are you able to brush it off when a customer is extra picky, or do you take it personally? Assure the interviewer that you can keep your composure when it comes to demanding customers.

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  • 9. In this role, you will be responsible for cash transactions. Do you consider yourself a trustworthy and honest person?

      How to Answer

      In the restaurant industry, you could be completing dozens of transactions per day, many of them being cash exchanges. Can you be trusted with money when it comes to counting correctly, giving the right change, or making bank deposits after your shift? Draw on the strength of your references and assure the interviewer that you are a trustworthy and honest employee.

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  • 10. Company ABC values our customers. Do you agree with the phrase 'The customer is always right'?

      How to Answer

      'The customer is always right' has been a long-standing mantra for service-based organizations. Do you agree with this mantra? Why, or why not? The interviewer would like to see you respond positively. If possible, take a look at the company website to see what their mantra or customer service statement is.

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  • 11. How do you feel about promoting a new menu item, or upselling, during every customer interaction?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer wants to know that you would be comfortable taking a customers' order and turning it into an opportunity to add on menu items or upgraded beverages. If you have a specific example of a time when you made this happen, this is an excellent addition to your reply. Be sure to mention any training that you have in sales, upselling, or a similar skill.

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  • 12. Tell me about the last customer service skill you learned.

      How to Answer

      It is essential to a hiring company that you are someone who is willing to learn new skills. Being eager to add to your professional repertoire is an excellent way to stand out from the competition. Some new skills related to customer service can range from linguistic to communication, to software capabilities. If there is a skill that you want to learn, and have not yet taken advantage of, you can mention your interest.

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  • 13. Referring to the job description, what will be your least favorite part of this job?

      How to Answer

      This question is an opportunity for you to discuss a little more in depth about how you might handle some of the challenging aspects of the role. All jobs can have frustrating moments. To show you have some knowledge of the difficulties you may encounter, share one hesitation you may have, related to the job posting or job description. If this is your first time in the workforce, you might not know all of the different problems to anticipate in the restaurant industry. If you're not sure, ask.

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  • 14. Are you a leader or a follower?

      How to Answer

      You may not have held a significant leadership role in the past; however, the interviewer is referring to your character and nature as a leader vs. practical experience. Robin Sharma says 'Leadership is not about a title or designation. It's about impact, influence, and inspiration. Impact involves getting results; influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work.'

      With that said, keep in mind that it is not a negative thing to be a follower. You may not be the person to take charge of a situation or command a room, and that is okay! A good follower is good at following directions and working hard to accomplish tasks. Rodger Adair says, 'A follower shares in an influence relationship among leaders and other followers with their intent to support leaders who reflect their mutual purposes.' A follower is an incredibly vital role to play.

      Both have great qualities. Depending on the role, it may be more critical for you to instigate solving problems and creating innovative solutions, or it may be more important to get the work done. Share some of your strengths to show you have qualities in both categories.

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  • 15. Have you ever volunteered?

      How to Answer

      Did you know that, according to LinkedIn research, 1 in 5 hiring managers prefers to hire candidates with volunteer experience? This question is an excellent opportunity to discuss how you are involved in your community and that you commit time to help others. If you have volunteer experience, you have a leg-up on other candidates.

      Many non-profit organizations have a long onboarding process with background checks and references required so if you need to gain volunteer experience pronto, here are some options for a quick turnaround:

      - Raise money for a cause, like the Red Cross
      - Donate blood on a regular rotation or organize a blood drive
      - Have a craft or bake sale to raise funds for a charity close to your heart
      - Run in a charity race where financial pledges are required
      - Advise high-school and University students on a crowd-sourced advice platform like CareerVillage
      - Write articles for non-profit organizations, for free
      - Sponsor a business owner in a third world country using a platform like Kiva.org
      - Volunteer at your church camp
      - Clean up a local park
      - Volunteer to tutor a student
      - Foster animals for a rescue society

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  • 16. How many tables are you able to manage at one time?

      How to Answer

      Depending on the size of the restaurant, you may handle anywhere from 4 to 8 tables, an average of 16-32 guests. If you have previous restaurant experience, discuss the average amount of tables or people that you are accustomed to serving at one time. If you do not have any restaurant experience, you can ask the interviewer questions regarding how they train and prepare their new servers to handle peak volumes.

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  • 17. All employees must abide by our dress code. How do you feel about the Company ABC uniform?

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, you should have an idea of what the dress code or uniform looks like at :company.: You may have questions such as, if you are expected to purchase your outfit, or if it will be provided to you. Also, footwear is an essential factor as well. Will you be allowed to wear comfortable and healthy shoes, or does the restaurant expect you to wear heels, for instance. It is okay to ask questions regarding the uniform. The interviewer will want to hear; however, that you will comply with the dress code.

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  • 18. How often should you ask a guest if they have a food allergy?

      How to Answer

      You will learn a lot about managing potential food allergies in your training with Company ABC; however, the interviewer would like to see that you have enough common sense to know that asking about food allergies is a critical step when it comes to responsible food service. Show the interviewer that you understand this to be important.

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  • 19. During slow times in the restaurant, what would you do to keep yourself busy?

      How to Answer

      It's essential that you can keep yourself busy, even during downtime. Restaurants will almost always have ebbs and flows when it comes to the volume of dining traffic. Peak times for most restaurants will be the hours surrounding breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some of the tasks you could take on, during the slower times include:

      - Ensuring glassware is clean
      - Polishing silverware
      - Making utensil rollups
      - Offering to take inventory
      - Wiping down sticky menus
      - Working on your menu knowledge
      - Check the bathrooms for cleanliness or potential issues

      Show the interviewer that you are resourceful and motivated to work!

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  • 20. How would you react if your friends came in to eat and asked for a discount on their bill?

      How to Answer

      The restaurant industry often falls victim to a loss of revenue due to employee dishonesty and unapproved discounts. Assure the interviewer that you are trustworthy and would not succumb to peer pressure.

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  • 21. How would you respond to a customer who wanted to send their food back?

      How to Answer

      Oh, the woes of working in the service industry! Whether you work at an upscale restaurant or a fast food establishment, you will come across customers now and then, who are difficult to please or take advantage of you or your restaurants' hospitality. Company ABC will likely have procedures in place for situations such as this. You can refer to previous training you received, and discuss with the interviewer how you would react. This question is not the opportunity to go on a tangent about terrible customers. Keep your answer to the point and present your solution.

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  • 22. What is your favorite menu item at Company ABC?

      How to Answer

      The interviewer is looking to see how well you have researched the menu at Company ABC before coming into your interview. Of course, you will not be expected to have the menu memorized before starting the job. It is crucial that you take some time to get to know the food offerings. This knowledge will show the interviewer that you are engaged and interested in working for them. If you have dined at Company ABC before, tall the interviewer which dish is your favorite. If you have not eaten there before, then discuss which item seemed the most mouth-watering to you.

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  • 23. Do you have any preferred shifts?

      How to Answer

      When working in the restaurant industry, you may be asked to take a wide range of hours. Many family restaurants are open from morning to night, seven days per week. Talk to the interviewer about your availability. If you are not available on particular days, take the time to better outline your schedule with the interviewer.

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  • 24. How much money do you think this role should pay?

      How to Answer

      This question is a less abrupt way for an interviewer to ask about your earning expectations. There can be a wide range of earnings among employees in the family restaurant industry; perhaps because of minimum wage expectations differing between regions, but also because some people are excellent at tipping, while other guests may not tip at all. On the odd occasion, a restaurant may also have a no-tipping policy in place. When asked about your earnings, you can give an example of what you are currently earning, or provide a minimum baseline of what you would accept.

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  • 25. Choose a dessert from our menu and sell it to me.

      How to Answer

      This question serves two purposes. One, the interviewer is looking to see if you have researched their menu before your interview. Two, the interviewer is checking to see if you have the ability to upsell and romanticize the menu items enough to have a customer choose a dessert before asking for their bill.

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  • 26. This position requires you to work around children. Will you agree to a full criminal background check?

      How to Answer

      Pre-employment background checks are very reasonable requests in the family restaurant industry. A responsible employer will take the time to properly vet you for a role where you are working around children. Assure the interviewer that you can pass a criminal record check. If you have a criminal record, this is the time to disclose it.

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  • 27. Company ABC likes to hire individuals who want to grow with us. Where do you see yourself in 2-5 years?

      How to Answer

      Interviewing, hiring, and onboarding is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor for any company, but the restaurant industry has an exceptionally high turnover rate compared to many industries. The interviewer wants to know that, if engaged, you will see this as a longer-term fit. Discuss your career plans, goals, and how those fit with what Company ABC is offering. Describe your passion for this opportunity, and what you like about the company for which you are applying.

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  • 28. Do you have reliable transportation?

      How to Answer

      Even if you're not expected to drive for the job, you will need to have some form of reliable transportation. If you take the bus or ride a bike, that works too! Merely share that you have the means to get to work consistently and on time.

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  • 29. Tell me about your experience with Point of Sale systems.

      How to Answer

      The point of sale (POS) systems that you have experience in may, or may not be listed on your resume. The interviewer is looking for an idea of the systems and programs that you have used before.

      Some common POS systems include:

      - Toast POS
      - Square POS
      - Lightspeed Restaurant
      - TouchBistro
      - NCR Silver

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  • 30. What questions do you have for me?

      How to Answer

      It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the queries you have are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of items you could have found the answers for from merely watching a video on their company site!

      Here are some sample questions:

      - When would you like to have this position filled?
      - How long has this role been vacant?
      - Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
      - What is your favorite part about working here?
      - What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
      - Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
      - What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
      - Is there any reason why you would not hire me?

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