Everyone has to eat to survive, unless we talk about some religious mystics and other social outsiders. For the lucky of us eating is actually way more than just a means to and end. It is an experience, with all the flavors and smells that belong to a food we eat in a good restaurant, ideally with someone we love. But somebody has to prepare the food, serve it, clean the dishes, and so on. Actually tens of millions of people work in the restaurants all around the world–and you can become one of them. But before it happens, you have to succeed in an interview…

Generally speaking, interviews in restaurants do not belong to difficult job interviews. Many places struggle with hiring staff, and employee turnover is high in the entire hospitality industry. Hence they won’t typically torture you with some tricky behavioral questions, or assessment tests. But in almost all places you will get one question: “Why do you want to work in this restaurant?” And if you remain silent after you hear it, they won’t hire you

Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. My list includes both conventional and unorthodox choices. Below the answers you will find some additional hints and explanations. Enjoy!


7 sample answers to “Why do you want to work in this restaurant?” interview question

  1. This is simply my favorite place to eat. I love the vibe of the place, the location is excellent, and you deliver here great customer service. It will be amazing to join the staff members, and to help deliver this level of dining experience to the guests. Of course there are also other good restaurants, but this is my favorite one and definitely my first choice. Not only because of the food. It’s the overall experience.
  2. Speaking honestly, I chose your place based on your location. It’s just ten minutes away from my apartment, walking, so I can arrive here in no time. In my last job I spent two hours each day commuting to work, which was really a waste of time. Of course, just like any other restaurants, you have your pluses and minuses. Something works better here and something would benefit from improvement. But in my opinion it’s the same story everywhere. And I hope that I can make this place better, with my hard work, commitment, and enthusiasm.
  3. KFC is one of the strongest brands in the hospitality industry. You have an excellent system in work, and I know that I can succeed here without having any previous experience in the field. Simply because you have a great training program in place, and the entire franchise works like a Swiss watch. What’s more, I also like the job security. When we talk about small restaurants, half of them, if not more, will bankrupt in the first five years. That’s definitely not the case with KFC. Here I do not have to be afraid of losing the job. As long as you are satisfied with my work, I won’t lose it.
  4. It’s just the atmosphere of the place, the dining experience. There’s something special here, something in the air, as they say, not necessarily something one can describe with words. But it resonates with me strongly, I feel good here, and I am sure I will feel good working here as well. I can tell you that I dine outside pretty often, but there are just a few places in the world where I felt the same as I feel here…
  5. I want to work in your restaurant because I am a vegan, and I could not work in any places where they work with meat. This is my lifestyle, my philosophy, and I believe that I will fit well in your team, sharing the same values and attitudes to life and animals with other team members. Of course, there are also other vegan places, but this one looks for a new staff member right now. And that was a clear sign for me to apply, because at the moment I am looking for a job.
  6. The reason is simple–your menu. I’ve been working as a cook for ten years, and if I have some specialty, it’s definitely Italian cuisine. You specialize here on Italian dishes, I studied your menu carefully, as well as your reputation and reviews online. I believe that I am able to prepare all dishes from your menu, and even suggest some new recipes, some specialties your target customer will appreciate. To sum it up, I see this is a great match, and look forward to prove my words in the kitchen.
  7. To be honest with you, I like the stability I see in this place. I’ve been frequenting restaurants and bars in this area for years. In most places the waitresses change often. You see new faces each year, in some places almost each month. To me this indicates that something’s wrong–perhaps they are not paying them, or not sticking to their promises, or there are some problems with the managers, the climate is not good. In your restaurant, however, I’m seeing the same waitresses and cooks for years. This is a clear indication that things work well here, that people are satisfied and treated fairly, and with respect. This is what caught my eye on your job offer, and the reason why I want to work in this restaurant, and not in some other place…


If you can, praise them for something

Every restaurant manager likes words of praise. Try to find something that makes their place stand out–in good means, of course. Amazing reviews on social networks, great vibe, the same people working there for years, best food in town, special offer of dishes, particular cuisine--it can be anything, as long as it makes sense.

In an ideal case you should visit the place in advance and dine there (with your partner, friends, or even alone if you do not mind eating alone in restaurants). That’s the best way to assess the quality of their service, and spot something worthy of praise.

Refer to location or shifts in an ordinary place

It may easily happen that you apply for a job in an average restaurant–or even a below-average one. In some cases it may be pretty hard to find something to praise… In such a case, your best bet is referring to their location, or shift patterns, or something other that suits you.

For example you live close to the place (see sample answer no. 2 as an example), and won’t waste hours commuting to work each day, just like many people do, in all corners of the world. Or maybe you have some other commitments–young kids, another job, school you attend, etc.

You cannot afford work at certain time, and their schedule, shift patters, their opening hours, or flexibility they offer to their part time employees, suits you perfectly. That’s definitely a good enough reason to mention, in any restaurant.


Strong brand, your diet, culinary specialization

In certain cases you can go for one of these answers, depending on the situation. When applying in a famous restaurant chain–think KFC, Olive Garden, McDonald’s, BK, etc, you can refer to the strength of their brand, and the job stability–such places rarely have to close down. They are just too popular, and will always have their customers.

Another interesting scenario is when you have a special diet–vegan, vegetarian, you name it. I’ve been on a plant based diet for years, and cannot imagine working in some place where they process and cook meat. You probably feel the same (if you are on a specific diet), and can definitely refer to it in your answer.

The third interesting case is a culinary specialization (or other specialization). If you’re a seasoned veteran in the hospitality world, and have been working as a cook or waitress for years, you probably know what you do the best–what sort of dishes you can prepare better than the others, etc. If the restaurant where you apply for work specializes in such dishes, you have a great answer ready…

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Make sure to check also 7 sample answers to other tricky interview questions you may face while trying to get a job in a restaurant:

Matthew Chulaw
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