Looking for a restaurant manager? Use these questions to find the perfect candidate. (Photo: EyeSpy)


We get it. Hiring is a big headache. Especially in the restaurant industry. In fact, the restaurant industry is facing a hiring crisis. It’s a tough time for hiring and the whole process can be really frustrating. 


But it doesn’t have to be if you approach hiring with a little patience and preparation. After all, when you’re hiring someone to be your right hand, you need to take time to make sure you are making the right decision. 


But how do you find the right candidate? And in most cases, how can you hire quickly and make sure your hire is ready for the job? Well, interview questions are still the best way to vet potential employees and find out what makes them tick. And just a few of the right questions can help expose a bad candidates while also helping shine a light on the best ones.


Here are 5 questions for restaurant managers that help you find and hire the right one: 


1. Have you had to fire or discipline a server or kitchen employee who violated a restaurant’s policies? How did you handle it? 

An ideal hire will have experience not only managing people but also experience in disciplining them, too. With great power comes great responsibility, and a good candidate will be confident in their answer, with a focus on team performance and improvement.

Their displincing style will tell a lot about their character and how they work with others.


2. What kind of experience do you have with restaurant automation and POS systems? What kind of planner or task manager are you?

Managers need to juggle a lot of balls. And in this day and age, they need experience working with computers and automated POS systems like Toast. They also need time-management, accounting and scheduling skills. Managing a payroll or inventory can also help a manager succeed in a lead or GM roll. 


3. As a restaurant manager, what will you look to do to reduce and manage costs? 

A restaurant manager is required to be on top of daily operations and pretty much aware of every aspect of the restaurant. Having experience lowing costs, or cutting costs while maintaining operations could lead to savings over time. 

An ideal candidate will be a critical thinker, detail-oriented and have a defined operational plan. Ask the potential hire to open up about their strategy and what they’d do for your operation once they have the job. 


4. As a restaurant manager, how do you talk to a chef about an item that isn’t selling well? 

Restaurant managers need to be excellent communicators – they need to know not only how to talk to customers but to staff, too. A good candidate will have a strong, likeable and influential personality.


5. As a restaurant manager, how do you feel about accommodating a customer’s special diets or allergic concerns? 

Considering the highly concise consumer focused on vegan and gluten-free diets, a good restaurant manager should be open and willing to embrace new dietary trends. They should be proactive about learning about what allergens and personal beliefs can impact what a customer eats. 


No, you don’t need to hire someone with industry experience, but it helps. With proper restaurant onboard training and employee handbooks, you can teach the skills you’re looking for.  

At the end of the day, you should be looking for a candidate that will uphold your level of service and operations and strive to improve them. A good restaurant manager is one that balances both his relationship with employees while focusing on moving the business forward. 


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