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Top 25 Restaurant Manager Interview Questions

Question 1 of 25
How do you handle customer disputes?
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Question 2 of 25
What do you believe is the role of the restaurant manager?
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"The primary function of a restaurant manager is to ensure that the business is a well-oiled machine. When a restaurant is profitable, morale is higher, and this trickles down to the customer service experience. Could you tell me more about the areas you would like for me to focus on in the first 90 days?"
The interviewer wants to know that you fully understand the importance of your role as a restaurant manager. As a manager, you need to ensure that the business is profitable, gaining momentum, strong reviews, retaining employees, and delivering a great product. Express your understanding and confidence in your ability to provide all of these things.

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Entry Level Example
"I believe the role of a restaurant manager is to create an unforgettable customer service experience while helping retain staff and reduce costs. As a manager, I am prepared to follow the instructions of the business owner and help them to achieve their short and long-term vision."
Experienced Example
"I see the restaurant manager position as a balance of leading a team and managing the customer experience. If I can hire and train a great staff, the customers will have extraordinary service and will continue to visit us again and again. I like to orchestrate the daily operations so that our staff wants to come to work and our customers want to come back."
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Question 3 of 25
Do you have experience with terminations?
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"I have worked with employees on performance plans when they are under-performing but have not directly terminated anyone. This task is left to our regional manager who ensures that all of our human resource policies are followed to a tee. I am confident that I can successfully follow through on terminations while keeping HR policies top of mind."
Terminating someone's employment is never easy, and your goal is to ensure that most of these situations are seamless transitions for everyone involved. You also need to ensure that you are conducting terminations in a manner that abides by your region's laws. Discuss how you might coach an employee to perform better, or talk about a time that you put a performance plan into action to save an employee from termination. If you do not have experience in employee terminations, focus on discussing what you feel would be the most moral way to let an employee go.

More Answer Examples
Entry Level Example
"I have only once needed to terminate an employee. I had a server who was never on time and was not getting along well with the other staff. I met with him on three occasions to discuss our attendance policy and coached him a bit on his communication issues. Ultimately, I had to let him go, and it was better for the team. Terminations are never pleasant. However, I don't mind following through on these tasks to benefit the team and profitability of the business."
Experienced Example
"I have many years' experience with terminations and onboarding. Although the task of terminating an employee is not fun, I understand that it must be done from time to time, for the benefit of the organization. I focus on making healthy hires and keeping employees engaged, so my termination rate has thankfully been low over the past few years."
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Question 4 of 25
What will you do if a particular dish on the menu is not selling?
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Clear communication between a restaurant manager and a chef is a crucial component to the profitability of a restaurant. Feedback can be tough to give at times but remember that your role as a leader is to encourage open conversation.

Discuss how you would ask the chef if they have heard any feedback from the servers about why the dish is not being requested. It may be a situation where the plate is merely not being promoted enough, and you may put together a game plan for how to 'push' the dish in the dining room.

Perhaps you decide with the chef that you need to spruce up the dish and release it with new wording on the menu. Or, maybe yourself and the chef determine that you are going to pull the recipe and replace it. Sometimes, 'out with the old and in with the new' is the best decision to make.
More Answer Examples
Entry Level Example
"If a particular dish is not selling, I prefer to come into the situation not demanding change but, rather, asking the chef for suggestions. They are the experts after all. I believe that strong collaboration is best and I will create a collaborative environment as much as possible."
Experienced Example
"I am comfortable communicating directly with the chef on menu needs. I would approach them and share what we see in the dining room. If there is customer feedback that I can share, I will start with that. Otherwise, I would see if there is an opportunity for us to improve the dish or encourage our servers to romanticize the dish and increase sales."
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Question 5 of 25
What actions will you take to ensure our food costs stay below 30%?
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"Keeping food costs low is crucial to the success of any restaurant. If food costs are creeping up, I will first look into waste and how we can avoid occurrences. Secondly, I will work with the chef on creating more cross-ingredient dishes, so that food ordering becomes simpler."
Profits are always top of mind for restaurant owners. A restaurant owner needs to know that the manager they are hiring is just as invested as they are when it comes to cost savings and profitability. Some options for reducing food costs may include cutting portion sizes, streamlining the menu, simplifying dishes, or creating more cross-ingredient dishes.

More Answer Examples
Entry Level Example
"Here are some ways that you can reduce food costs in a restaurant kitchen: - Reevaluate the menu plan. What is the cost to serve your customer versus their final bill? - Create menu loss leaders to attract customers to spend more on appetizers, desserts, or drinks - Only buy food in bulk that will not spoil. Buying in bulk can save money but only if you use the product in full - Work with the chef on their menu plan and work on creating dishes that use the same ingredients"
Experienced Example
"In my current role, we have kept food cost under 30% for the past three years, ever since I took over. I work closely with our chef to ensure that our ingredients are used in multiple dishes. We only order bulk for non-perishables and frequently used ingredients. Also, I have strong connections in the industry which gives me excellent buying power with suppliers."
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Question 6 of 25
What would you do if you saw a server about to deliver a poorly plated meal to a customer?
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Question 7 of 25
What do you know about our restaurant?
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Question 8 of 25
We are struggling with leadership in our restaurant. How will your leadership make us better?
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Question 9 of 25
You just noticed the chef using expired ingredients. How do you handle this situation and what do you say?
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Question 10 of 25
Tell me about the last restaurant you worked in. What was the overall vibe?
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Question 11 of 25
What makes an interviewee stand out, in your opinion?
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Question 12 of 25
Why are you leaving your current position?
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Question 13 of 25
What experiences do you have in the restaurant field?
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Question 14 of 25
Tell me about your management experience.
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Question 15 of 25
How extensive is your wine knowledge?
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Question 16 of 25
What are your experiences with hiring staff?
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Question 17 of 25
What new trends have you discovered in the food industry?
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Question 18 of 25
What trends would you like to implement at this restaurant?
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Question 19 of 25
What is your experience managing inventory?
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Question 20 of 25
How well do you get to know the customers that visit your establishment?
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Question 21 of 25
Do you feel that you are currently paid what you are worth?
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Question 22 of 25
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
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Question 23 of 25
Do you have any questions for me?
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Question 24 of 25
When would you be available to start?
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Question 25 of 25
You have a few gaps in your resume. Can you explain these?
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About Restaurant Manager

December 18th, 2014

Restaurant management is the profession of managing a restaurant. Associate, bachelor, and graduate degree programs are offered in restaurant management by community colleges, junior colleges, and some universities in the United States.

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