Top 20 Restaurant Owner Interview Questions and Answers 2024

Editorial Team

Restaurant Owner Interview Questions and Answers

The hospitality industry is one of the biggest industries in the world. It is mainly made up of restaurants, hotels, and events officials. In this article, we will focus more on restaurant owners who fuel the growth of this industry.

In case you are preparing to interview a restaurant owner, this is the perfect article for you. There are several diverse questions that you can ask such individuals to get their perspective of the industry.

This article will look at some of the most assessed areas in restaurant Owner interviews to give you an upper hand. Take a look at the following:

1. Tell Me About Yourself

This is a common opening question asked in interviews to get a person to talk. From here, the interviewer can build other follow-up questions based on your response. When asked about yourself, highlight attributes and qualities that relate to your role or the specific industry.

Sample Answer

I am a highly motivated person interested in making a difference in whichever setting I find myself in. I have a great deal of experience in the hospitality industry and was a restaurant manager at some point. I believe in observing high levels of discipline e both in my professional and personal life, which has seen me grow in this industry.

2. What Techniques Do You Find Most Effective for Hiring New Employees?

Restaurant owners, especially in sole proprietorships, are mandated with sourcing employees. This operational question seeks to understand how you, as a restaurant owner, go about recruiting new hires. Mention some of the techniques that have helped you land good employees.

Sample Answer

Whenever I interview employees, I usually focus less on their education but on experience. I hire people who can drive change and make the industry a better place for everyone. If employees with the least academic qualifications convince me that they can outdo those with the highest, I will give them the job. I also believe in hunting for talents.

3. What Is the Key to Developing a Good Team According to You?

You have to work with a good team if you need to succeed in the hospitality industry. The best approach to this question is to mention a technique you use to put up teams that have seen you grow in this field.  Make sure that it is something workable that someone can emulate.

Sample Answer

When developing a team, a restaurant owner should have in mind the ability and skills of the individuals. You should assign every person tasks that they can handle and which their skill sets can cater for. Also, the team members should be ready to collaborate and embrace diversity.

4. What Are Some Qualities One Needs to Be an Effective Restaurant Owner?

Every job has its inherent qualities that dictate how successful you will be in your work. Even though restaurant owners are usually self-employed, they should have a defined set of qualities to see their entities succeed. Mention the attributes, skills, and behaviors that have seen you get to where you are.

Sample Answers

First and foremost, restaurant owners should be excellent leaders since the entity’s success is highly dependent on them. They should be able to set the right direction for other employees and inspire them towards a common goal. Other qualities include business acumen, organization skills, interpersonal skills, and excellent customer service.

5. What Are the Roles of a Restaurant Owner?

You know your mandates as a restaurant owner, given that they shape the outlook and operations of your restaurant. To answer this question, mention some of the things that you do daily. However, make sure that they are all job-specific. Do not include activities such as dropping your kids at school.

Sample Answer

As a restaurant owner, I coordinate the analysis and planning for my restaurant profitability and the sales levels, manage and direct the restaurant operations, monitor the stock levels and order supplies when required, and finally assist in the planning and managing restaurant menus. (You can also mention other roles such as developing the restaurant strategy, supervising your employees, promoting your restaurant, etc.)

6. Mention a Strategy and Mindset That Helps You in This Role

Every job has a specific way of doing things as well as a guiding perspective. As a restaurant owner, you are the only one who knows how you make things work in your establishment. That is precisely what the interviewer wants.

Sample Answer

A strategy that has seen me lead a successful restaurant is proper delegation of duties. I believe that one should assign jobs based on someone’s skills. If I employ a chef who knows how to serve customers better than how to cook, I will change their roles to fit what they can do best. As for the right Mindset, always wanting the best for your customers and employees work the magic.

7. Mention a Time When You Failed in This Role and The Lesson You Learnt

We all fail at one point in our lives. However, such experiences do not make us incapable or incompetent. Lessons matter more than failure, and therefore, your primary focus should be on what the experience taught you.

Sample Answer

I once introduced a new item on the menu without adequately learning the market and conducting enough research. It turned out to be a total flop since it was not familiar to most of my customers. This taught me the importance of conducting proper market research before introducing any new change in the restaurant or the menu.

8. How Do You Stay Motivated in Your Work?

Restaurants usually have low seasons, which may easily demotivate you as a restaurant owner. Being a manager and, at the same time, a worker in your establishment also poses a range of challenges. Your source of motivations should therefore be bigger than the challenges you face.

Sample Answer

Being a restaurant owner and generally an entrepreneur has its share of challenges. Whenever I feel demotivated, I think of past successes and the glory they brought to my life. I then work twice as hard to achieve the same results.

9.  Do You Have Any Experience in This Field?

Most restaurant owners started as employees before seeing a niche and starting their restaurants. Where are some of the places you have worked and your roles before becoming a restaurant owner?

Sample Answer

I did hospitality in college, which gave me a background in this line of work. I then became a hostel attendant shortly after completing college. I managed to rise in ranks until I became a hostel manager, which I held for seven years. Shortly after quitting, I decided to start my restaurant, which I have built from scratch up to where it currently is.

10.  What is Your Daily Routine?

What are some of the things you do daily in your restaurants? Even though you define your tasks as a restaurant owner, you must do certain activities daily.

Sample Answer

My day starts early. I believe in servant leadership and therefore report to the restaurant earlier than everyone else. After arranging and settling on my desk, I list all the activities that need to be attended to and the tasks that should be assigned. I also check if the fridges are working and everything is in order. I then supervise my employees once they report to work and ensure that everything is going according to plan. I also receive and respond to complaints as well as attend to anything that needs my immediate attention.

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11. How Do You Ensure Obedience to Alcohol Regulations In Your Restaurant?

As a restaurant owner, you need to ensure that all the rules and regulations are adhered to regardless of your management style or risk losing your license. Alcohol consumption is one of the most regulated areas in the hospitality industry. The interviewer how you ensure that your restaurant does not violate these regulations.

Sample Answer

The bar in my restaurant is usually opened and closed at the right time. I have given my employees a strict directive never to serve alcohol before the official time. Also, unless one is noticeably of age to partake in alcohol, we usually request Identification Documents before any alcohol purchase.

12. How Do You Organize, Plan and Prioritize Your Work?

You need excellent organization, planning, and prioritization skills to run a restaurant. You will have a lot on your plate, and without proper planning, you will always be behind schedule.

Sample Answer

I have a planner where I list all the activities of the day. I then start attending to the most technical and urgent ones and finish with those that need the least attention. I also divide my time between the activities and set the alarm to keep me in check.

13. What Do You Like Most About Your Job?

The interviewer wants to know what excites you most about being a restaurant owner. Every job has its perks, and sooner or later, you will realize that a specific one makes you want to wake up every day and attend to your job. Weigh all the perks and mention the one that ranks highest.

Sample Answer

Seeing customers satisfied and coming back to the restaurant makes me happy as a restaurant owner. Knowing that they are satisfied with our services gives me the urge to push on and continue getting better at running my little haven.

14. What Do You Dislike Most About This Job?

This is a follow-up question that you should expect. Inasmuch as each job comes with its fair share of perks, there are the expected lows. You definitely have several things that make your work harder as a restaurant owner. Mention the one you feel ranks highest.

Sample Answer

This job has its challenges, just like any other. However, a negative review from any of our customers really breaks my heart. Even though it is impossible to please everyone, I do not like the feeling of letting down any of our esteemed customers. However, I have learned to take criticisms and make necessary improvements, which has seen me thrive.

15. This Job Also Involves Management. What Is Your Best Management Style?

Your work as a restaurant owner involves managing your employees. You are, therefore, an entrepreneur and manager at the same time. Mention a management style that has worked for you in your work as a restaurant owner.

Sample Answer

I am more of a leader than a manager. I believe in inspiring and rallying my employees towards a common goal. I give them space to work and only intervene when necessary, making them feel trusted and valued. I also believe in feedback and openness. They can freely share their opinions with me, and I will act accordingly. However, this does not mean that I am not strict. I value meeting deadlines and effective service delivery, which I tell my employees on their first day at work.

16. What Are Some of The Reasons Why You Fire Your Employees?

As a restaurant owner, you must have let go of your employees. There are many reasons why you can terminate the services of an employee. However, some warrant immediate dismissal. Tell the interviewer some of the compelling reasons for firing an employee.

Sample Answer

I believe in nurturing and mentoring my employees.  Therefore, it’s pretty rare to find me letting go of them. I mostly correct their mistakes and help them get better, given that I have walked in their shoes before. However, whenever any of my employees blatantly disrespect a customer, and I find out they are on the wrong after investigation, they get the last warning. If it happens again and I find them culpable, I let them go with immediate effect. 

17. What Is Your Proudest Moment as a Restaurant Owner?

The interviewer wants you to mention a time when you felt the most accomplished. This may follow a win or milestone in your restaurant that left you highly excited. Mention an event that is close to your heart, and that made you feel very proud. If possible, explain why.

Sample Answer

My proudest moment as a restaurant owner was when I set up this entity. I was just from quitting my job as a manager, having been fed up with employment. I, therefore, wanted to try out something elsewhere where would be my own manager. It was pretty difficult at the start since I had no employees and did everything myself. However, I managed to wade through and drive this restaurant to what it is today.

18. Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?

The interviewer wants to know some of your ambitions and plans for the future-five years to be specific. Do you want to improve your restaurant or open another one? All in all, your answer should be related to the hospitality industry, restaurants to be specific.

Sample Answer

I want to widen my operations and increase my online presence. Therefore, in the next five years, I hope to have opened new restaurants under the same name in five different cities. I also envision a commanding online presence where people can get quality food anytime in the comfort of their houses. ( Just mention some of your long term or five-year plans)

19. How Many Hours Do You Normally Work?

As a restaurant owner, you are your boss. Therefore, you define your working hours and how you operate. The interviewer wants to know your availability in this role and how flexible you are.

Sample Answer

I have managed to preserve the life I lived when I was a manager. I work the most prolonged hours among all the employees in the restaurant. I usually report the earliest, at 6 am, and leave the restaurant at 7 pm. I believe that my commitment and hardworking have helped me get where I am. However, I do not work during the weekends as I treat Saturdays and Sundays as my time off work. (Be honest. You do not have to come off as too dedicated when you have already delegated duties)

20. What Have You Learnt So Far as a Restaurant Owner?

The interviewer wants to know some of the lessons you have learned as an entrepreneur and a restaurant owner. You must have overcome several challenges to be where you are and to lead a successful restaurant. Mention a few takeaways from this position.

Sample Answer

People are often attracted to quality services. When running a restaurant, you should be more focused on customer satisfaction than increasing your profits. Once customers know that they can get quality food from you, then profits will follow.


These recommendations sum up some of the commonest restaurant owner interview questions that you should expect. Your answers should be brief and concise. We also advise that you think of other twenty questions that the interviewer may ask you for even better preparation. We wish you all the best in your interview.