Top 15 Must-Ask Food and Beverage Interview Questions

Hiring the right employees is crucial in the Food and Beverage Industry (F&B). Ask the right questions during interviews to find the perfect fit for your establishment. Whether you're a seasoned HR professional or a restaurant owner conducting interviews, asking the right questions can make all the difference.

To help you reduce restaurant employee turnover, here are 15 must-ask questions that cover experience, skills, customer service, and teamwork. Incorporating these questions into your interview process can help you build a talented and dedicated team.

Essential F&B Questions to Ask in an Interview

1. Can You Share Your Work Experience in the F&B Industry?

The first question you should ask is about the candidate's previous work experience in the F&B industry. This question helps gauge the candidate's familiarity with the industry, expertise level, and understanding of F&B operations. Look for candidates who can provide specific examples of their past roles and responsibilities.

Example: "Tell me about your experience working in a busy restaurant. How did you handle high-pressure situations, and what was your role in ensuring a smooth operation?"

2. How Do You Handle Customer Complaints?

Customer service is essential in the F&B industry. A candidate's ability to handle customer complaints with professionalism and grace is essential. This question assesses the candidate's ability to remain calm and provide excellent customer service even in challenging situations. Look for candidates who can demonstrate strong interpersonal skills and a commitment to customer satisfaction.

Example: "Can you share a time when you successfully resolved a customer complaint? What steps did you take, and what was the outcome?"

3. How Do You Stay Updated with Hygiene Standards and Food Safety Regulations?

Food safety is non-negotiable in the F&B industry. Ensure that candidates are knowledgeable about food safety regulations and are committed to maintaining high standards of hygiene and safety in the workplace. This question is crucial to determine the candidate's knowledge of food safety protocols and their commitment to maintaining a clean and safe environment.

Example: "What steps do you take to stay informed about the latest food safety regulations, and how do you implement them in your daily work?"

Teamwork Interview Questions for F&B services

4. How do you handle conflicts or disagreements within a team?

Teamwork is crucial in a fast-paced restaurant environment. Assess a candidate's ability to collaborate with colleagues and contribute to a positive team dynamic.

Example: "Tell me about a time when you had to work closely with a team to achieve a common goal. How did you contribute to the team's success?"

Behavioral Interview Questions

5. How Do You Handle Stressful Situations?

Working in the F&B industry is often fast-paced, especially during peak hours, which means dealing with high-stress situations. It's important to hire individuals who can maintain composure and make sound decisions under pressure.

Example: "Could you share a time when you were really stressed at work and tell us how you handled it?"

6. What Steps Would You Take to Upsell Menu Items?

Upselling is a valuable skill in the F&B industry. Candidates who can suggest additional menu items or specials can significantly impact a restaurant's revenue.

Example: "Imagine a customer cannot decide what to order. How would you go about suggesting additional menu items or specials to enhance their dining experience?"

Scenario-Based Questions for F&B jobs

7. What Would You Do If a Colleague Called in Sick at the Last Minute?

Unexpected problems with staffing can happen in the food and beverage industry. Check if the candidate can deal with such situations.

Example: "If a colleague called in sick just before a busy Friday night shift, how would you react and ensure smooth operations?"

8. How Would You Handle a Dissatisfied Customer?

Test a candidate's customer service skills by presenting a hypothetical scenario involving a dissatisfied customer. This question helps assess the candidate's ability to handle complaints effectively and their commitment to customer satisfaction.

Example: "If a customer complained about their meal and asked for a refund, how would you handle the situation while maintaining a positive customer experience?"

F&B Interview Questions about Skills

9. Have you worked with any specific POS systems or restaurant management software?

This question helps determine the candidate's familiarity with relevant technology, crucial in today's technologically-driven F&B industry.

Example: "Can you please share your experience with any particular Point of Sale (POS) systems or restaurant management software that you've used in your previous roles? How comfortable are you with utilizing these technologies to enhance restaurant operations?"

10. How do you handle inventory management and ensure optimal stock levels?

This question allows candidates to showcase their knowledge of inventory management system, such as FIFO (First-In, First-Out), ABC analysis, and ordering strategies. Their response can provide insights into their ability to monitor stock levels, and attention to minimizing wastage and optimizing costs.

Example: "Can you describe how you managed inventory in your previous F&B job? How do you ensure that stock levels are optimized to meet customer demand while minimizing waste?"

Cultural Fit Questions

11. What motivates you to work in the F&B industry?

Understanding a candidate's motivation helps determine if they are a good cultural fit for your restaurant. This question allows candidates to share their passion for the industry, motivations, and alignment with your establishment's values and goals. For example, if your restaurant prides itself on innovation and creativity, you'd want to hire candidates motivated by culinary innovation.

Example: "What motivates you to pursue a career in the F&B industry? Can you share a specific experience or aspect of the industry that inspires you?"

12. How Do You Adapt to F&B Trends or Changing Menus and Specials?

The F&B industry is known for its ever-changing nature. Candidates need to demonstrate their flexibility and adaptability to stay relevant.

Example: "Can you give an example of a time when you effectively adopted a new menu concept or trend?"

Future Goals & Career Objectives Interview Questions

13. Are You Willing to Learn New Skills?

The F&B industry is always evolving. Assess a candidate's willingness to acquire new skills and adapt to industry trends.

Example: "Our restaurant is planning to introduce a new cooking technique. Are you open to learning and mastering it?"

Closing Questions to Ask Candidates

14. Can You Provide References?

Ask candidates for references to verify their qualifications and work history. References can also help assess a candidate's character and interpersonal skills. Former employers or colleagues can provide valuable information about how well the candidate works with others and their attitude in the workplace.

Example: "Could you please provide us with references from your previous F&B positions?"

15. What Are Your Salary Expectations?

Knowing the salary expectations of candidates allows employers to allocate resources effectively during the hiring process. It helps focus attention on candidates whose expectations align with your budget and market salary standards. Recruiters can use a salary checker tool to ensure a fair and competitive compensation package is offered to potential F&B staff hires.

Example: "What are your salary expectations for this position?"


It is important to ask the right questions when hiring qualified F&B workers for your restaurants or cafes. These food and beverage service job interview questions help you cover experience, skills, customer service, cultural fit, teamwork, and future goals, gathering valuable insights and enabling informed decisions to build a talented F&B service crew.

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