Restaurant turnover is a big problem, and it often comes down to not finding the right person from the start. Sure, you want to focus on professional development and operational support for your staff, but first, you have to find someone to lead them.


You want a manager that understands your vision, can help create a positive work environment and gets things done. That’s why asking the right questions in an employee interview, especially for a restaurant manager, are incredibly important to finding a right fit for the job candidate and you. Here are five interview questions to find the right restaurant manager:


1. How did you positively impact restaurant revenue in your previous positions?

This question can help you understand if the candidate has both experience and success driving revenue. Find out specifics, like what drove the gain and what kind of impact it made.


2. The customer is always right, right? Tell me about a time where you knew the customer wasn’t right – how did you dealt with it?

This question can help you determine what kind of problem solver your candidate is – do they answer diplomatically? How skilled are they at reputation management? The level of professionalism shown here will give you an indication how your customers might also be treated.  

Customers may get upset, but restaurant managers need to stay professional, keep composure and be empathetic to guests, regardless of the situation.


3. Tell me about an employee on your team that was exceptional and why.

This question should give you some indication of the candidates expectations for not just the standout but the staff too. Note the tone and cadence in the voice as he talks about employees. Do he/she sound excited? Did the candidate proudly shine when speaking of the employee? If not, something may be amiss.


4. Tell me about your management style and superpowers?

Exceptional managers think on their feet, are flexible and solution providers versus being problem presenters – and that’s exactly what you’re looking for in the candidate’s answer. How do they build teams? Do they know how to use a restaurant task management system? Do they take advantage of learning opportunities, share those with team members and more importantly, how do they manage?  


5. Do you have any questions for me?

Naturally, you also want the potential employee to have time to ask you questions. Candidates that are truly interested in impacting your organization will inquire about your longer term plans, your business strategy, challenges and what you think success in the role looks like – they’ll be curious to find out more about your business. Let them.     


Staff and operational development take time and you can’t do it alone. Find employees that share your vision and passion for your business and can help you take it to the next level. With proper training, direction and the right candidate, amazing things can happen.  

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