food and beverage underground

Finding a Restaurant Manager with the Ability to Solve Problems

waiter, server, waiter with tray

When interviewing potential candidates for a restaurant manager in your business. Make sure you give the right approach to allow your potential candidate to gauge the ability to problem solve in real life situations. Set up scenarios to measure the ability to react in real time.

This structured approach has these steps:

  1. Define goals and opportunities that want to explore.
  2. Map out the problems in your system that you would like to change.
  3. Think of scenarios to fit your needs.
  4. With those scenarios, think of your boundaries.

When discussing a problem scenario, the potential restaurant manager should demonstrate the ability to:

1. Define the problem and goals: Have the candidate identify what went wrong by including both a cause and an effect in the definition of the problem he or she solved.


  • because three new competitors have opened nearby, our business declined.
  • after we started opening for lunch and dinner, we have a hard time filling our staffing need.
  • we had a serious problem with theft and our waste is getting out of hand.

2. Define the objectives: Have the candidate explain the outcome he or she wanted to achieve as a result of solving the problem.


  • by starting guerrilla marketing push; contacting all of the businesses in the neighborhood.
  • Consider trimming the lunch menu to avoid as much prep needed to serve lunch, so that the same staff could continue through the evening.
  • Establish a bank system as well as strict inventory before and after the shift.

3. Allow alternatives: Did the candidate generate alternatives? Could he or she validate the costs necessary to implement these ideas? This is the area in which the potential restaurant manager can demonstrate creativity and resourcefulness as a problem solver.

4. Develop an action plan: Have the candidate recap a detailed action plan. Most action plans for tough problems involve taking several steps over a period of time.

5. Troubleshoot: This is where the potential restaurant manager can recap the worst-case scenarios. What could have gone wrong in this plan?

6. Communicate: How will he or she get his objective to his or her new colleagues. How will he get his staff to implement these actions? Were both front and back of house included in this proposal?

7. Implement: How is this plan going to be implemented and who will help. Develop a strategy to monitor all parties.

Ask the candidate to explain several examples of his or her past problem solving experiences by vivid details in every situation. Find out all of the details, before you find out latter you have been duped.

From Restaurant Manager to Restarant Press

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