If you possess a passion for management and derive satisfaction from working in the dynamic food and beverage sector, pursuing a profession as a restaurant manager could be the ideal path for you. Dedicate time to adequately prepare for an impending restaurant manager interview, as it will empower you and boost your self-assurance.
What are the methods that you will use to reduce operational costs?
In order to effectively manage a restaurant, it is essential for restaurant managers to keep themselves updated on the operational aspects of the establishment. By possessing prior experience in reducing expenses in other dining establishments, the potential candidate will possess the ability to identify strategies for cost-cutting within your restaurant.
To optimize the financial operations of our restaurant, I regularly review the pricing structures of our vendors every three months, diligently seeking out the most competitive rates available. Additionally, I implement a strategic approach to menu creation by utilizing seasonal produce on a quarterly basis.
Did you ever have to discipline any worker who misbehaved?
Restaurant managers play a crucial role in the smooth functioning of the workplace and are responsible for ensuring that the staff adheres to established protocols. The perfect candidate for this position would possess the necessary expertise in dealing with disciplinary measures and employee terminations, particularly in cases where their actions violate company policies.
During my role as a restaurant manager, I issued two formal warnings to an employee that eventually resulted in their termination. The waiter consistently arrived late for their scheduled shifts on numerous occasions and frequently took unauthorized breaks, both of which were clear violations of the company’s policies.
As a manager, have you ever used any restaurant automation tools?
Managers bear the responsibility of overseeing all financial records, yet there exist applications specifically crafted to enhance the efficiency of the process and ensure precise calculations. The perfect candidate should possess prior familiarity with software systems utilized for staff scheduling, payroll management, and inventory control.
Over the course of six years, I have gained extensive proficiency in employing automation tools to streamline various tasks. One notable example is my utilization of ADP for payroll management, where I have garnered substantial expertise. Additionally, I have used Toast POS for generating end-of-day revenue reports and ensuring the seamless updating of our online menus.
How will you talk to the chef about unpopular items on the menu?
Effective communication between restaurant managers and their staff is crucial. The perfect candidate for this role will recognize the significance of conducting meetings with cooks to address underperforming items. Occasionally, disagreements may arise between the manager and chef regarding a particular dish.
To devise fresh concepts for our menu or identify a replacement dish, I would arrange a meeting with the chef. This collaborative effort is typically encouraged by cooks, so that we can concur whether it is necessary to eliminate a poorly performing dish or improve it.
How will you accommodate a customer with special dietary restrictions?
Individuals possess allergens and personal convictions that influence their dietary choices. The perfect candidate will possess prior expertise in catering to diverse customers by adapting their menu to accommodate various preferences. The prospective employee should be knowledgeable about specific dietary requirements and lifestyles.
During my previous role as a restaurant manager, I provided alternative choices to ensure that every meal we served was free from meat, dairy, and soy. Although it wasn’t possible to eliminate gluten from all our dishes, I diligently documented the dishes that were gluten-free. This allowed me to suggest these options to guests who were seeking non-gluten selections.
Your shift might get busy and stressful. How will you manage your role then?
Restaurant managers have the crucial role of recruiting, instructing, and supervising various personnel in the establishment. Given that a restaurant’s operations typically revolve around peak meal hours, it is imperative for restaurant managers to be well-prepared to provide continuous support and motivation to their team.
By actively participating in the tasks at hand, I enhance my ability to motivate servers to engage in side work when the workload slows down. Demonstrating my dedication to staying ahead of the game serves as a powerful motivator. Moreover, I make it evident that my purpose is to assist them, fostering a culture of personal initiative even amidst the busiest of times.
Why do you want to work at our restaurant?
The interviewer may ask fundamental questions like this to gain insights into your professional background and work approach. These questions are also employed as a tactic to gather information that can be utilized in later queries. When responding, you have the opportunity to elucidate how your past experiences and aspirations harmonize with the responsibilities of the position.
I applied for this position due to my profound admiration for your cuisine and the exceptional level of service you consistently deliver to customers. Moreover, your restaurant’s scale and dining ambiance align perfectly with my previous experience as a manager in a seafood restaurant, rendering me an ideal candidate for this role.
Have you dined at our restaurant before? What was your experience?
Recruiters frequently ask questions based on your previous responses. It is crucial to maintain honesty when answering these questions to avoid any discrepancies. Elaborate on the aspects of the experience that you found appealing and provide a few recommendations to assist the restaurant in accomplishing its goals.
Having had the pleasure of dining at your esteemed restaurant on multiple occasions. During my recent visits, I couldn’t help but notice the limited selection of desserts on your menu. As a result, my companions and I concluded our meals and sought out a nearby food truck to satisfy our craving for ice cream. By expanding your dessert options, you have the opportunity to offer a complete dining experience to your valued customers.
What do you do if your employees are not performing well enough?
Your responsibility is to supervise and manage a diverse team comprising wait staff, chefs, and other kitchen employees. During the hiring process, it is likely that the hiring manager will inquire about your leadership and managerial abilities through behavioral questions. In response to such a query, it is important to highlight your leadership style.
I enhance the efficiency of my team by equipping every member with the appropriate tools, resources, and training required to excel in their roles. Upon the arrival of a new team member, I assign a seasoned senior team member to serve as their mentor until they complete their training period. Additionally, I conduct monthly evaluations with each team member.
How did you overcome the biggest challenge in your previous role?
Interviewers pose this question to assess your aptitude for problem-solving and ascertain your ability to tackle comparable challenges in your prospective position. Begin by delineating a particular obstacle you encountered in your previous employment. Elucidate on the measures you undertook and expound on how you successfully attained the desired outcomes.
During one of my past positions, I held the role of a restaurant manager at a renowned resort that attracted a diverse range of international tourists. As the hotel guests hailed from various countries, the predominant hurdle I faced was the language barrier. Frequently, the restaurant patrons were unfamiliar with English, posing a significant challenge for our servers to effectively convey the intricacies of the menu.
What do you think a typical day at work will be?
The hiring manager poses this inquiry to gain insight into your approach to work and ascertain if you possess the necessary expertise to autonomously oversee a restaurant of significant magnitude. This question offers you an opportunity to exhibit your acquaintance with diverse responsibilities of a restaurant manager while also highlighting your soft skills.
Upon reaching the restaurant for my shift, my first order of business is to inspect all the kitchen equipment to verify their proper functionality. I proceed to formulate a comprehensive task schedule, meticulously assigning specific responsibilities to all. Additionally, I talk to the head chef regarding the day’s specials, ensuring seamless communication of these culinary delights to the front office team.
Did you have to fire anyone who violated a rule? What was the outcome?
When participating in an interview for the position of a restaurant manager, you can expect that a major portion of the questions will revolve around the operational and behavioral aspects. It is advisable to provide concise and precise answers, enabling the interviewer to inquire further if they desire a more in-depth exploration of the topic.
There are instances where it becomes necessary to address the conduct of an employee through disciplinary actions or termination. However, I make every effort to prevent such circumstances by establishing clear expectations from the outset and equipping them with the necessary resources to carry out their duties.
Are you following any new trends and developments in this restaurant industry?
The restaurant industry sector is highly competitive, and in order to thrive, restaurants must stay abreast of the latest developments in dining and entertainment. Restaurant managers should possess a strategy to achieve this and be capable of discussing it during the interview.
Undoubtedly, the latest advancements in our field have been directly influenced by the global pandemic. Numerous restaurants have not only faced closure but also had to devise innovative concepts for their menus, locations, service options, and other aspects to sustain their operations. Throughout the past year, I closely monitored these progressions and successfully implemented multiple fresh approaches.
Which new trends would you like to implement under your management?
Interviewers often pose follow-up questions when they display a keen interest in a particular topic or wish to delve deeper into it. Whenever you respond to an interviewer’s question, it is crucial to anticipate a subsequent question.
Among the emerging patterns I previously mentioned, the ones I would propose incorporating here encompass revamping the interior layout to facilitate increased social distancing, capitalizing on the available outdoor dining area, and enhancing the menu by introducing offerings that can be prepared and enjoyed expeditiously.
What will you do before an upcoming health inspection?
Ensuring the well-being and safety of customers is of utmost importance to every dining establishment. While providing an exceptional customer experience, top-notch food quality, and excellent service are vital, a restaurant that fails to meet health inspection standards faces the risk of closure and potential business failure. It is crucial to articulate your strategy for upholding health and safety measures overall, as well as preparing diligently for health inspections.
Ensuring the well-being and safety of every restaurant under my management holds significant significance for me. My approach encompasses various measures aimed at upholding health and safety standards. These include providing thorough training to the staff regarding health and safety requirements, ensuring strict adherence to established rules, and conducting regular spot inspections to ensure full compliance with health protocols.
What did you like and dislike in your previous workplace?
The perfect candidate should demonstrate integrity by providing truthful information about their experience and refrain from fabricating responses. It is essential for the manager to possess a favorable perspective regarding their past roles and effectively articulate the reasons behind their departures.
I enjoyed my previous employment because I had the opportunity to collaborate with a group of individuals who possessed a deep enthusiasm for the restaurant sector. However, one aspect that I found unsatisfying was the lack of upward mobility within the company.
According to you, what are the qualities a successful restaurant manager must have?
When you’re in an interview for a restaurant manager position, your interviewer wants to know about the unique qualities you possess that will contribute to your success in the role. Talk about all the good skills every manager must hold, particularly leadership and organizational skills.
In this position, success is not solely determined by academic and experience qualifications. I firmly believe that possessing the right personal attributes plays a crucial role. As a restaurant manager, effective communication between customers and the business is of utmost importance. Furthermore, customer service skills are indispensable as you directly interact with patrons. Additionally, the ability to solve problems is vital since it enables you to address any issues that may arise in the workplace.
What are the biggest challenges that you might encounter in this role?
When addressing this question, it is essential to delve into the potential challenges that could impact this particular industry in the future. You can talk about any problems that you have almost come across in the past or something else in regard to the new restaurant you are interviewing for.
The primary obstacle I anticipate in this particular industry is its inherent unpredictability. Given the ever-changing nature of the world, there is no assurance that the customers who dined with you today will return to order the same items from the menu. Tomorrow, they might express a desire for something entirely unexpected. Furthermore, it’s possible that fewer customers will show up today compared to yesterday. Naturally, you have diligently planned and allocated resources for your menu, but a significant amount of food is likely to go to waste.
How do you stay motivated at work?
The interviewer is interested in understanding what inspires and drives you in your job. You can discuss your accomplishments as the sources of motivation.
My utmost priority during work is ensuring customer satisfaction. Witnessing contented customers who relish the diverse range of food and beverages we offer serves as a perpetual source of motivation for me to strive for continuous growth in my career. Some patrons even express their appreciation through generous tips bestowed upon the waitstaff.
What will you do first when a customer enters the restaurant?
Your interviewer is interested in understanding your approach to welcoming customers when they visit the restaurant. Discuss how you would warmly greet and guide them throughout their experience.
As soon as guests enter through the door, I would extend a warm greeting. Subsequently, I would cordially welcome them, employing suitable and respectful titles, and guide them to their seats. I will proceed to offer them the menu while addressing any queries they may have. Additionally, I will provide detailed explanations regarding the ingredients and various types of cuisine available.
Suggest an efficient customer feedback system.
Come up with a creative idea that both your hiring manager as well as your future customers might enjoy.
Gathering customer feedback is crucial for a manager. To facilitate this process, I recommend employing comment cards placed on every table, each with distinct sections. Customers can simply mark the relevant checkboxes and provide their feedback.
With the above-listed questions and answers, you can stay completely prepared to become a manager at any restaurant of your choice. Remember to answer honestly and confidently.