Interview

17 Restaurant Supervisor Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a restaurant supervisor, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Restaurant supervisors are responsible for the smooth operation of their establishment. They make sure that waitstaff are taking care of customers, that the kitchen is preparing food correctly, and that the restaurant is clean. They may also be responsible for ordering food and supplies, and for training new employees.

If you’re looking for a job as a restaurant supervisor, you’ll need to be prepared to answer some questions about your experience and your ability to handle difficult situations. In this article, we’ll provide you with some sample questions and answers that will help you prepare for your interview.

Common Restaurant Supervisor Interview Questions

Are you familiar with the local competition and how do you plan to stay ahead of them?

As a supervisor, you need to be aware of the competition and how your restaurant can stay ahead. This question helps employers understand if you have experience with this process and what strategies you plan to use. In your answer, explain which restaurants are in the area and why they pose a threat. Then, share two or three ways that you would help your restaurant overcome these challenges.

Example: “There are several local restaurants that I am familiar with. One is a family-style Italian place called Luigi’s. They offer great food at affordable prices, but their service could use some improvement. Another is an upscale steakhouse called The Grill on Main Street. Their menu is extensive, but it also comes with a high price tag. I think we can learn from both of these places and implement some of their best practices.”

What are some of the most important qualities that a restaurant supervisor should have?

Employers ask this question to make sure you have the right skills and experience for the job. They want someone who is organized, friendly and hardworking. When answering this question, think about what qualities helped you succeed in your previous roles. Try to focus on specific examples of how these traits helped you achieve success.

Example: “I believe that a restaurant supervisor should be highly organized and detail-oriented. These skills help me stay on top of my responsibilities and ensure I’m meeting all of my goals. Another important quality is patience. Working with customers can sometimes be challenging, but having patience helps me remain calm and solve problems effectively. Finally, I think it’s important to be a team player. Restaurant supervisors need to work well with their staff members to create an enjoyable dining experience.”

How would you handle a situation where a member of your staff was not meeting the company’s standards of performance?

An interviewer may ask this question to assess your leadership skills and how you would handle a situation where an employee was not meeting the company’s standards. In your answer, try to show that you are willing to hold your staff accountable for their performance while also being empathetic to their needs.

Example: “If I encountered a situation like this, I would first meet with the employee in private to discuss their performance. If they were aware of their subpar performance but unable to improve it, I would offer them additional training or resources to help them improve. If they were unaware of their poor performance, I would explain what expectations they need to meet and give them a reasonable amount of time to improve before taking further action.”

What is your process for evaluating the success of your restaurant’s current practices and making improvements where necessary?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to analyze data and make informed decisions. Your answer should include a specific example of how you used data to improve the restaurant’s operations.

Example: “At my last job, I noticed that our servers were taking too long to bring out customers’ food. This was causing some tables to get their meals at different times, which led to complaints from customers. To address this issue, I asked my servers to keep track of the time it took them to deliver each course of the meal. After collecting this data for two weeks, we discovered that the average delivery time was 20 minutes. We then implemented a new policy requiring servers to take no longer than 25 minutes to deliver all courses of the meal. This change resulted in fewer customer complaints and increased revenue by 5% within six months.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to manage a budget for your restaurant and explain how you decided which expenses to cut and which to allow.

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your financial management skills and how you prioritize spending. When answering, try to focus on the process of budgeting rather than the final outcome.

Example: “At my last restaurant, we had a tight budget for food costs each month. I met with our head chef to discuss what expenses we could cut without sacrificing quality or customer satisfaction. We decided that we would reduce our portion sizes slightly while also reducing the number of ingredients in some dishes. This saved us money without affecting customer satisfaction.”

If you could only choose one, which would you consider to be your strongest area of expertise when it comes to restaurant supervision?

This question is a great way for employers to learn more about your skills and experience. When answering this question, it can be helpful to identify an area of expertise that you feel passionate about or have developed over time.

Example: “I would say my strongest skill when it comes to restaurant supervision is customer service. I believe that providing excellent customer service is the most important part of running a successful business. In my last role as a supervisor, I noticed that some servers were having trouble with their customer service skills. So, I started offering weekly training sessions on how to provide better customer service. This helped our team develop stronger communication and problem-solving skills.”

What would you do if you noticed that a member of your wait staff was consistently taking longer than average to deliver food to customers?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle employee performance issues. Use your answer to highlight your ability to coach employees and improve their skills.

Example: “I would first speak with the server in private about my concerns. I would ask them what they think is causing the delay, and then I would offer suggestions for improvement. If the issue continues after a few weeks, I would consider training them on new techniques or hiring another server if necessary.”

How well do you perform under pressure and how do you maintain a calm demeanor when things start to get hectic in the restaurant?

When an interviewer asks you this question, they want to know how well you can handle a busy shift and still maintain your composure. This is because working in the restaurant industry often means having to multitask while also managing employees who are also trying to do their jobs. Your answer should show that you have experience with handling pressure and can remain calm under stress.

Example: “In my previous position as a server at a high-end steakhouse, I had to work on some of the busiest nights of the week. On these occasions, it was important for me to stay calm so that I could communicate effectively with my coworkers and customers. I would take deep breaths before answering questions or speaking to anyone. This helped me keep my voice steady and not get flustered when things got hectic.”

Do you have any experience training new employees on how to perform their duties or teaching current staff how to improve their work performance?

An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your leadership skills and how you can help others succeed in their roles. Use examples from past experiences where you helped new employees learn the ropes or coached current staff on improving their performance.

Example: “In my last role as a restaurant supervisor, I had two servers who were consistently missing their sales goals. After talking with them individually, we determined that they needed some extra training on selling additional items during each table’s visit. We created a plan together for how they could improve their sales numbers by 20% within one month. They both met their goal, and I was able to use these same techniques to train other staff members on increasing their sales.”

When is it appropriate to offer customers a complimentary item or beverage?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your customer service skills. They want to know how you interact with customers and whether you can provide excellent customer service while also maintaining profitability for the restaurant. In your answer, explain when it’s appropriate to offer a complimentary item or beverage and what factors influence that decision.

Example: “I think it’s important to offer complimentary items or beverages only when they’re relevant to the customer’s experience. For example, if a customer is celebrating an anniversary, I would be happy to offer them a free dessert. If a customer has a complaint about their meal, however, I wouldn’t feel comfortable offering them anything as compensation. Instead, I would focus on resolving the issue.”

We want to increase customer satisfaction. What would you do to improve our restaurant’s customer service?

Customer service is an important aspect of any restaurant. Employers ask this question to see if you have ideas for improving their customer service and overall experience. In your answer, explain how you would implement these changes. Show that you are a problem solver who can make the necessary improvements to ensure customers leave happy.

Example: “I think one way we could improve our customer service is by making sure all servers greet guests as soon as they sit down. I also think it’s important to check in with them throughout their meal to make sure everything is going well. Another thing we could do is add more staff during busy times so there aren’t long wait times for food or drinks. This will help us provide better service to our customers.”

Describe your experience with using POS systems and other technology used in the food service industry.

The interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your experience with technology and how you use it in the workplace. Use examples from your previous job or a time when you used technology to help improve your work performance.

Example: “I have worked in food service for five years, so I am familiar with many different types of POS systems. At my last job, we used an iPad-based system that allowed us to take orders quickly and efficiently. This helped reduce wait times for customers and increased our sales because we could serve more people per hour. In addition to using the iPads, we also had a computerized cash register where we could enter customer information and track their purchases.”

What makes you the best candidate for this restaurant supervisor position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel about the job. Before your interview, make a list of all your skills and experiences that relate to the position. Think about what makes you unique from other candidates and highlight these qualities in your answer.

Example: “I am passionate about hospitality and customer service. I have worked as a server for five years now, so I understand the importance of making sure customers are happy with their experience. As a supervisor, it is my responsibility to ensure servers are providing excellent service to customers. I also think my communication skills would be beneficial to this role because I can help resolve any issues between employees or customers.”

Which restaurant management techniques do you prefer and why?

This question can help the interviewer understand your management style and how you would approach a variety of tasks in their restaurant. Your answer should reflect your personal preferences, but it’s also important to explain why you prefer those techniques over others.

Example: “I find that delegating responsibilities is one of the most effective ways to manage a team because it allows me to assess each employee’s strengths and weaknesses while giving them opportunities to learn new skills. I also think it’s important to be available for my employees when they need advice or guidance, so I make sure to check in with my team throughout the day to see how they’re doing.”

What do you think is the most important aspect of restaurant supervision?

This question is your opportunity to show the interviewer that you understand what it means to be a restaurant supervisor. Use this question as an opportunity to explain how you would use your skills and experience to help the team succeed in their goals.

Example: “I think communication is the most important aspect of restaurant supervision. As a supervisor, I am responsible for making sure my staff knows about any changes or updates to our menu, specials or promotions. It’s also my job to make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities so they can provide excellent service to customers. In addition, I need to communicate with managers and owners to ensure I’m providing accurate information.”

How often do you make mistakes?

Employers ask this question to learn about your self-awareness. They want to know that you are able to recognize when you make a mistake and how you fix it. In your answer, try to be honest about the mistakes you have made in the past and what steps you took to correct them.

Example: “I am human, so I make mistakes from time to time. However, I always strive to do my best work. If I ever make an error, I immediately apologize to the customer and take responsibility for my actions. Then, I talk with my manager to find out how we can prevent similar mistakes in the future.”

There is a line at the counter. What do you do?

This question is a great way to test your customer service skills. It also shows the interviewer how you prioritize tasks and manage time. Your answer should include steps that show you are organized, efficient and can multitask.

Example: “I would first ask if anyone has been waiting for more than five minutes. If so, I would apologize and tell them we will be with them as soon as possible. Then, I would take care of the customers who have been waiting less than five minutes. After that, I would help the person who has been waiting longer by taking their order or asking what they need.”

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