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50+ Restaurant Interview Questions To Ask When Hiring

Last Updated: May 29, 2024

Hiring the right staff is crucial for ensuring a smooth operation and excellent customer experience. 

One key aspect of the hiring process is asking relevant restaurant interview questions tailored to various staff positions.

Though every restaurant operates differently, basic questions are expected to be asked to help you pick the most promising applicant for your team.

To help you prepare for the recruitment process, we’ve gathered effective interview questions to add to your list.

Restaurant Manager Interview Questions

Making restaurant interview questions
Formulating interview questions in a cafe

Here are sample restaurant manager interview questions targeting various skill sets:

General Manager

Leadership and team management

  • “Can you describe your approach to leading and motivating a diverse team in a fast-paced restaurant environment?” 
  • “Provide examples of how you’ve successfully managed conflicts and fostered a positive work culture.”

Operational skills

  • “How do you ensure efficient day-to-day operations in a restaurant, from managing inventory, controlling costs, and restaurant branding to coordinating staff schedules? Can you share a specific experience where your operational skills resulted in increased efficiency and profitability?”
  • “Share an experience, if you have, when you were managing franchise restaurants in your previous roles.”

Customer service and guest satisfaction

  • “In the restaurant industry, customer satisfaction is paramount. How do you prioritize and maintain high standards of customer service? Share an instance where you handled a customer complaint effectively, turning a negative experience into a positive one.”

Adaptability and problem-solving

  • “Restaurants often face unexpected challenges. Can you provide an example of a time when you had to quickly adapt to a difficult situation or solve a problem on short notice? How did your actions impact the overall operation of the restaurant?”
  • “Share some strategies of how you prepare your restaurant for the holiday season all throughout the year.”

Financial acumen

  • “Managing budgets and controlling costs are critical aspects of a restaurant manager’s role. How do you approach budgeting, and what strategies do you use to control expenses without compromising the quality of service or products? Share a specific achievement where you successfully managed financial resources to achieve positive outcomes.”

Bar Manager

Leadership and management skills

  • “Can you describe your experience managing a bar team, including any leadership roles you’ve held?”
  • “How do you motivate and inspire your team to deliver excellent customer service and maintain a positive work environment?”

Beverage knowledge and innovation

  • “What is your approach to creating and updating a diverse and appealing drink menu?”
  • “Can you provide an example of a time when you introduced a new and successful beverage program or promotion?”

Customer service and communication

  • “How do you handle customer complaints or challenging situations in a busy bar environment?”
  • “Describe a time when you implemented strategies to enhance customer satisfaction and engagement at the bar.”

Inventory and cost control

  • “How do you manage and control beverage inventory to minimize waste and maximize profitability?”
  • “Share your experience implementing cost-saving measures without compromising the quality of beverages offered.”

Kitchen Manager

Operational Knowledge

  • “How do you ensure that kitchen operations run smoothly, from inventory management to food preparation and service?”
  • Describe your approach to maintaining quality control and consistency in food production.

Team collaboration

  • “How do you encourage teamwork and effective communication among kitchen staff?
  • “In what ways do you involve your team in decision-making processes, especially regarding menu planning and kitchen workflow?”

Leadership and management skills

  • “How do you encourage a positive and efficient working environment in the kitchen?”
  • “Can you provide an example of a time when you successfully resolved a conflict among kitchen staff members?”

Front-of-House Staff Interview Questions

Bartender with customer talking
Bartender and customer talking over the bar

Here are sample interview questions for restaurant servers, hosts, and bartenders:


Assessing customer service skills

  • “Can you provide an example of a time when you successfully handled a difficult customer situation? How did you resolve it, and how did the customer respond?”

Handling reservations and customer inquiries

  • “In a busy restaurant environment, managing reservations is crucial. How do you prioritize and organize reservations during peak hours to ensure a smooth flow of guests into the restaurant?”

Multitasking and organizational abilities

  • As a host/hostess, you’ll often have to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Can you share an experience where you effectively greeted incoming guests, answered phone calls, and assisted other staff members simultaneously?”


Understanding of the menu

  • “How would you ensure you comprehensively understand your menu to assist customers with their orders and make suitable recommendations?”

Dealing with difficult customers

  • “Can you provide an example of a challenging customer interaction you’ve experienced in the past and how you handled it to ensure customer satisfaction?”

Balancing multiple tables

  • “Restaurants can get extremely busy during peak hours. How do you manage your time and prioritize tasks to ensure efficient service during busy periods?”

Handling mistakes

  • “Everyone makes mistakes. How do you handle situations where you’ve made an error in a customer’s order? What steps would you take to rectify the situation and ensure customer satisfaction?”


These questions help you assess a candidate’s knowledge of mixology, customer service skills, ability to handle busy environments, and capacity for teamwork:

Knowledge of cocktails and beverages

  • “Can you provide examples of when you contributed to creating happy hour menu ideas with popular cocktails and beverages you’ve made in previous roles?”
  • “How do you stay updated on current beverage trends and new drink recipes?”
  • Describe a situation where a customer requested an unfamiliar drink. How did you handle it?”

Customer service and communication

  • “Can you share an experience where you successfully resolved a customer complaint or difficult situation?”
  • “In a busy setting, how do you prioritize and manage customer orders to ensure efficient service?”

Multitasking and time management

  • “Bartending often involves handling multiple tasks simultaneously. Can you provide an example of a busy night where you effectively managed multiple drink orders and customer interactions?”
  • “How do you handle time-sensitive situations, such as preparing drinks during peak hours?”

Teamwork and collaboration

  • “Bartenders often work as part of a team. How do you collaborate with other staff members, such as servers or kitchen staff, to ensure smooth service?”
  • “What role do you believe communication plays in maintaining a positive and efficient work environment behind the bar?”

Back-of-House Interview Questions

Chef in the kitchen
Chef and assistant in the kitchen


Culinary skills and creativity

  • “Can you share an example of a time when you had to improvise or adapt a recipe on the spot?”
  • “Can you share your experience with various cooking techniques and cuisines?”

Ability to handle high-stress situations

  • “Describe a situation where you had to adapt to unexpected challenges in the kitchen. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?”
  • “Tell me about a time you had to collaborate with a challenging team member in the kitchen. What did you do to ensure a smooth and efficient operation?”

Understanding of food safety and hygiene

  • “Maintaining and knowing the importance of food safety and hygiene standards is non-negotiable. Can you discuss your approach to ensuring a clean and safe kitchen and how you train and enforce these standards among your team?”

Kitchen Staff

Teamwork and communication skills

  • “Describe a situation where you had to collaborate with other kitchen staff to complete a complex order or handle a special request. How did you ensure smooth teamwork and communication?”

Efficiency in food preparation

  • “What measures do you take to ensure food safety and sanitation in the kitchen?”
  • “How do you prioritize tasks and maintain efficiency in a busy kitchen to guarantee timely food preparation?”
  • “Can you describe your experience with various cooking techniques and cuisines?”
  • “How do you prioritize and manage tasks in a fast-paced kitchen environment?”


Time management skills

  • “How do you prioritize your tasks in a fast-paced kitchen environment to ensure dishes are cleaned efficiently and in a timely manner?”

Ability to handle repetitive tasks

  • “Sometimes, the kitchen experiences rush and high-demand periods. How do you handle sudden increases in workload, and what strategies do you employ to maintain efficiency during peak times?”

Kitchen cleanliness standards

  • “The cleanliness and sanitation of kitchenware are crucial in a restaurant. How do you ensure that you meet or exceed hygiene standards when washing dishes, and what steps do you take to prevent cross-contamination?”

General Interview Questions for Restaurant

Assessing reliability and work ethic

  • “Can you provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond your assigned duties to ensure customer satisfaction or improve the overall performance of the team?”

Availability and flexibility

  • “How much notice do you typically need before being able to start a shift or cover for a colleague?”
  • “Are you comfortable with the idea of working on a rotating or irregular schedule?”

Previous experience and problem-solving abilities

  • “In your previous roles, have you ever faced a situation where there was a sudden increase in customer demand or a shortage of staff? How do you adapt to ensure smooth service and customer satisfaction during challenging times?”

Incorporating digital restaurant technology into restaurant interview questions

Interactive restaurant menu software
MENU TIGER interface in a tablet

Technology plays a crucial role in streamlining restaurant operations. One example is a QR code menu software like MENU TIGER.

This smart restaurant software allows restaurant owners to effortlessly manage and update their menus in real-time, providing a dynamic and engaging experience for customers and staff.

During the hiring process, assessing a candidate’s adaptability to modern technologies is crucial, especially those integral to restaurant operations.

Incorporating MENU TIGER into the interview ensures you identify candidates who can seamlessly work in your tech-enhanced environment.

Previous experience. You can ask candidates about their familiarity and experience with digital menu technologies and generating QR code menu ideas in their previous roles.

Adaptability. Evaluate the candidate’s adaptability to new technologies by discussing their potential use of MENU TIGER in daily tasks.

Ensuring a smooth onboarding process with interactive restaurant menu software

Efficient onboarding contributes significantly to staff satisfaction and productivity.

This is where MENU TIGER comes into play.

One of the many benefits of QR code menu is it expedites the said process, making it smoother and more accessible for individuals with varying levels of technological proficiency.

Visual aids and interactivity. MENU TIGER provides visual aids and interactive training materials that quicken the learning curve, ensuring that the staff members grasp menu details quickly.

User-friendly interface. Showcase the intuitive nature of MENU TIGER’s interface, emphasizing its accessibility for staff members with different levels of tech proficiency.

Streamline your hiring process with the right questions and MENU TIGER

Formulating and asking effective restaurant interview questions are critical steps in building a skilled and cohesive team.

By using the right questions tailored to each role, you can identify candidates who not only possess the necessary skills but also align with the values and culture of the establishment.

This procedure, coupled with the integration of interactive restaurant menu software, set the stage for a thriving restaurant business.

Now, simplifying tasks and enhancing the overall hiring process becomes a breeze for you. 

Check out further features of the software by signing up for free.



Belle Boralo is a seasoned Content Writer specializing in SaaS and marketing content, known for boosting website traffic. Her background in writing essays and journalism and her love for the outdoors infuse her work with a unique and vibrant energy.