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7 real-life restaurant server interview questions

A Restaurant Server is a key personnel in the hospitality industry, primarily responsible for taking orders, serving food and beverages, and ensuring a high-quality dining experience for guests. This role requires extensive knowledge of menu items, excellent communication skills, the ability to work in a fast-paced environment, and a strong commitment to customer service.

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These restaurant server interview questions are directly sourced from real hiring managers and they are ready to use.

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7 good restaurant server interview questions

  1. How knowledgeable are you about “x” food?
  2. What are the varietals in burgundy wine?
  3. What restaurant POS systems have you worked with before?
  4. What is the maximum number of covers you have served before?
  5. How do you define hospitality?
  6. How well do you work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment?
  7. What does good table service mean to you?

Here are 7 interview questions with sample answers, based on real hiring managers, to help you identify the best candidates for this role.

1. How knowledgeable are you about “x” food?

Assesses understanding and expertise in specific cuisines.

Sample answer:

“I have extensive knowledge about Italian cuisine, having worked in an Italian restaurant for two years. I am familiar with a variety of pasta dishes, regional specialties, and authentic Italian cooking techniques. This knowledge helps me to recommend dishes and answer any guest queries confidently.”

2. What are the varietals in burgundy wine?

Evaluates wine knowledge, important in fine dining settings.

Sample answer:

“Burgundy wines primarily include two varietals: Pinot Noir for reds and Chardonnay for whites. I understand the characteristics of each, such as the earthy and fruity notes of Pinot Noir and the dry, full-bodied nature of Chardonnay, which assists me in making suitable wine recommendations to our guests.”

3. What restaurant POS systems have you worked with before?

Checks experience with common restaurant technology.

Sample answer:

“I have experience with several POS systems, including Square and TouchBistro. My familiarity with these systems allows for efficient order processing and billing, contributing to a smoother service flow.”

4. What is the maximum number of covers you have served before?

Tests capability to handle high-volume service.

Sample answer:

“The maximum number of covers I’ve managed single-handedly is around 30 in one shift. This experience honed my ability to multitask, prioritize, and provide attentive service, even during peak hours.”

5. How do you define hospitality?

Gauges understanding of the essence of customer service.

Sample answer:

“To me, hospitality is about creating memorable experiences for guests. It’s not just serving food but doing so with a warm, welcoming attitude, anticipating guests’ needs, and going the extra mile to ensure their dining experience is enjoyable and satisfactory.”

6. How well do you work under pressure and in a fast-paced environment?

Assesses adaptability and stress management.

Sample answer:

“I excel in high-pressure, fast-paced environments. I find that staying organized, maintaining a positive attitude, and effective communication with my team are key to managing busy shifts without compromising the quality of service.”

7. What does good table service mean to you?

Probes into service quality standards.

Sample answer:

“Good table service means being attentive, responsive, and courteous. It involves being knowledgeable about the menu, providing timely service, ensuring the table is always neat, and addressing any guest concerns promptly and efficiently.”

What does a good restaurant server candidate look like?

A good Restaurant Server candidate is someone with a strong knowledge of food and beverages, including special diets and wine pairings. They should have excellent communication skills, a friendly demeanor, and the ability to work well under pressure.

Experience with various POS systems and handling a high volume of customers is a plus. A good candidate demonstrates a passion for hospitality and a commitment to providing exceptional customer service.

Red flags

Red flags include a lack of knowledge about basic food and wine, poor communication skills, and difficulty handling stress or multitasking. A candidate who shows little enthusiasm for customer service or is unfamiliar with restaurant operations and technology may struggle in this role.

Frequently asked questions

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