Hiring the right staff is crucial for the success of your quick service restaurant. To ensure you're recruiting the best candidates, it's essential to ask the right questions during the interview process. In this article, we'll guide you through the top interview questions for quick service restaurants, covering front-of-house staff, kitchen crew, and managerial roles. By asking these questions, you'll gain valuable insight into your candidates' skills, personalities, and work ethics, helping you build a strong, efficient, and customer-focused team.
2. Drive-Through Operator
4. Food Prep
5. Shift Manager
6. Assistant Manager
7. General Manager
The front-of-house staff is responsible for providing excellent customer service and ensuring a smooth dining experience. They are the face of your restaurant, so you'll want to hire friendly, professional, and efficient team members. They should be able to work in a fast-paced environment while being able to satisfy even the most difficult customers.
When hiring for your front-of-house team, consider the following interview questions:
1. What steps do you take to ensure order accuracy?
2. How would you handle a situation where a customer's order is taking longer than expected?
3. Describe a time when you went above and beyond for a customer.
4. How would you handle a difficult or angry customer?
5. How do you stay organized and focused during peak hours?
6. How would you handle a long line of customers waiting to order?
7. What strategies do you use to upsell menu items or promotions?
8. Can you share an example of how you've dealt with a coworker who was not performing their job duties effectively?
9. How would you handle a language barrier with a customer?
10. How do you define excellent customer service in a fast food environment?
The kitchen crew is the heart of your quick service restaurant. They are responsible for preparing food quickly, accurately, and safely. You'll want to hire candidates who are detail-oriented, efficient, and able to work well under pressure. Previous experience working in a kitchen is not always necessary, but your candidates should understand the importance of following sanitary and safety procedures. They should be clean, diligent, and able to memorize various recipes and steps.
When hiring cooks and back-of-house staff, consider the following interview questions:
1. How do you ensure proper food handling and safety procedures are followed?
2. How do you manage your time effectively when preparing multiple orders?
3. Describe a time when you had to adapt to a change in the kitchen, such as equipment failure or running out of an ingredient.
4. What steps do you take to maintain a clean and organized workspace?
5. How do you handle working in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment?
6. How do you communicate with your teammates during busy shifts to ensure order accuracy and efficiency?
7. Have you ever had to handle a food allergy request? If so, how did you manage it?
8. What experience do you have working with various kitchen equipment (e.g., fryers, grills, ovens)?
9. What would you do if a coworker was not following safety or sanitary procedures?
10. How do you ensure that food presentation and portioning are consistent, even during peak hours?
11. What steps do you take to prevent injuries in the kitchen? What would you do if you were injured?
12. Do you have any food allergies that may impact your ability to work with certain ingredients?
Hiring the right manager or leader for your quick service restaurant is crucial to its success. These individuals will be responsible for overseeing operations, managing staff, and ensuring customer satisfaction. This hire should not be taken lightly, as your managers are the foundation of your business. A quick service restaurant manager sets the tone for how customers and employees should be treated while ensuring their team stays fueled and motivated during the craziest of times. A fast food manager is also the team problem-solver. They are the go-to person to de-escalate a customer complaint or find a replacement when someone calls in sick at the last minute. Choosing the right leadership team has the biggest impact on your restaurant's success, so take as much time as needed to find the perfect fit.
When hiring for your quick service restaurant manager, consider the following interview questions:
1. How would you describe your management style?
2. How do you motivate and inspire your team to provide excellent customer service?
3. Describe your approach to managing employee performance and providing feedback.
4. How do you handle conflict resolution among team members?
5. What strategies do you use to maintain a positive work environment and reduce employee turnover?
6. How do you ensure that food safety and cleanliness standards are consistently met?
7. Describe a time when you had to make a difficult decision, and how you handled it.
8. How do you create and maintain a schedule that ensures adequate staffing while controlling labor costs?
9. Can you share an example of a time when you had to address a customer complaint about food quality or service?
10. Describe a time when you had to handle a staffing emergency or shortage. How did you ensure the restaurant continued to operate smoothly?
11. How would you handle an employee who is consistently late?
12. What steps would you take to ensure the safety of your team?
13. How would you approach an employee that you suspect of stealing?
14. How do you plan to increase sales revenue? Do you have some new promotion ideas?
15. What does excellent customer service mean to you?
By asking these targeted interview questions, you'll be better equipped to identify the best candidates for your quick service restaurant. Remember, the success of your business depends on the quality of your team. So, invest time in the recruitment process, and you'll reap the rewards of a thriving and successful fast food establishment. Your ideal team is just a few well-crafted questions away!
Need help recruiting and onboarding for your quick service restaurant? Push is the all-in-one employee management software helping restaurants across North America recruit and retain their team. Our applicant tracking software streamlines every step of your recruitment process. From customizable screening questions to automatically generating and sharing offer letters, Push makes finding the right candidate a breeze. To learn more about how Push can help you recruit the best for your quick service restaurant, schedule a free call today!
“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”
-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations