8 F&B Interview Questions (With Sample Answers And Tips)
Updated 5 August 2023
The food and beverage (F&B) service industry is the commercial part of the food industry, which includes preparing and serving food and beverages for customers as part of casual and fine dining. It aims at providing quality food and ensuring customer convenience. If you want to work in the F&B service industry, learning about commonly asked interview questions and how to answer them can help you increase your chances of getting hired.
In this article, we highlight some F&B service interview questions and their sample answers to help you draft your responses and provide tips to help you prepare for your interviews.
Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.
8 F&B Service Interview Questions
F&B service interview questions comprise general, behavioural and industry-specific questions that assess the knowledge and skills of preparing and serving food and beverages. Depending on the position, interviewers may ask questions to understand your insights on the functioning of professional kitchens, serving food and drinks, supervising and training employees or inventory management. Here are some questions along with their sample answers you can use as a guide:
1. What motivates you to join the F&B service industry?
Interviewers ask this question to understand what motivates and inspires you about the profession. Describe your reasons for choosing F&B as a career and provide examples to support your answer. Use any information that can help distinguish you from other candidates.
Example answer: We have a family-run restaurant in Delhi which is my culinary inspiration to join the food and beverage space. As a teenager, I saw my parents serve delicious and accessible Indian food at our restaurant with authenticity, flavour and richness. They designed a menu with utmost care to appeal to the Indian palate. The fast-paced environment and opportunity to meet people of different age groups and cultures inspired me to join the F&B sector.
2. Can you elaborate on the steps to design a new menu?
Interviewers ask this question to learn if you can design exceptional menus and make necessary improvements when required. Briefly describe the steps on how to create a new menu that can increase profitability and enhance customer experience and aesthetics. You can also talk about other factors that go into designing a menu, such as price points, cost of production, logistics and customer preference.
Example answer: The first step to designing a new menu involves listing the menu items and placing them in a spreadsheet in different categories, such as appetisers, entrees, breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and drinks. The next step is to set prices based on sales data from the restaurant. Next, the focus is on creating menu descriptions that sound appealing to the guests.
You can then design the layout for the menu and decide on a colour scheme, font choice and composition of the menu. It is also important to choose high-quality food images. The last step is to finalise the menu layout, send it to stakeholders for approval, proofread and print it.
3. Do you have experience training others?
The potential employer wants to know if you can train others as an F&B professional. You can share your past experiences with training other people and highlight relevant details in your answer. Focus on skills like leadership, delegation, communication and empathy.
Example answer: I worked as a head chef, where I got the opportunity to train the kitchen staff. I helped develop a structured training programme by incorporating training goals and understanding employee needs and gaps. I trained interns during peak seasons to help them transition into their positions effectively and provided them with information about the menu, ingredients, daily specials and procurement. Providing superior employee training helped us lower the employee turnover rate.
4. Can you tell the difference between a cocktail and a mocktail?
F&B professionals require a strong knowledge of beverages, trends and best practices. Interviewers may ask this entry-level question to understand your knowledge of drinks. Briefly state the differences in your answer by talking about the defining ingredients.
Example answer: A cocktail is a drink that primarily contains alcoholic spirits or base, such as gin, whisky or rum along with modifiers like egg, aromatised wines or liqueurs. They can also contain fruits, herbs, honey or soda along with standardised garnishes, such as olives, cherries or lemon wedges. Mocktails do not contain alcoholic spirits. They usually contain carbonated water, syrups or juices.
5. What skills do you possess to be a part of the F&B team?
Interviewers ask this question to determine if you have the relevant skills for the required position. Make sure to mention skills such as communication, multitasking and strong customer service skills in your answer. You can also share some instances where you applied your skills.
Example answer: I am a strong communicator who can assist in creating a warm and welcoming environment for guests. I can also handle multitasking by taking multiple food and beverage orders from guests and communicating it to the kitchen and bar promptly. I also exude good customer service skills by familiarising myself with the menu and restaurant offerings and answering any food and beverage-related queries the guests may have.
6. Can you tell the type of glasses used to serve different drinks?
Using the right crockery can improve drinks and food presentation style. Interviewers may ask this question to understand if you are familiar with glassware and terms associated with food and drinks. Briefly mention the names of glasses used to serve various drinks with examples.
Example answer: We serve cocktails in a martini, shot or margarita glass. Highball and Collins glasses are ideal for serving drinks like vodka, gin, iced tea and some non-alcoholic drinks. We serve beer in beer goblets or pilsner glasses and whisky in rock glasses or old-fashioned glasses. Flute glasses are ideal for champagne cocktails and sparkling wine.
7. What is the consideration for a menu compiling?
Menus are important in food service operations and represent the core identity of restaurants. Interviewers often expect candidates to have a strong understanding of menu planning. Focus on factors such as the restaurant's identity and branding, profitability, sales, inventory, ease of preparation and culture.
Example answer: Menu planning involves considering factors such as establishment policies, nutritional qualities, government policies, operational aspects and aesthetics. It is also essential to consider costs, production and other management issues in planning the menu. The equipment and personnel involved in producing and serving food and beverages, along with food habits and sociocultural background, are also important factors.
8. What interests you about our company?
It is important to research the company you are applying to, which includes learning about its mission, values, offerings and target customers. Interviewers often ask this question to understand your willingness and interest in joining their company. Mention the reasons in brief.
Example answer: I am excited to work for a company that uses a sustainable approach to procuring, preparing and packaging food. I feel I am a good fit for the role with my skill set and values similar to the company, which includes strong customer service and innovative solutions. Your mission resonates with me and I believe the positive work environment to be a great opportunity to hone my skills.
Tips To Prepare For An F&B Service Interview
Here are some tips to help you prepare for an F&B service interview:
Familiarise yourself with food terminology and techniques
Employers often expect candidates to be familiar with terms associated with food and drinks and preparation techniques. This includes knowledge of local and international cuisines, food preparation techniques, customer service, good personal hygiene habits, food and beverage serving and safe food-handling procedures. Depending on the position and experience, you can get relevant training and focus on understanding various aspects of working in this industry.
Stay current with food and beverage trends
It is important to have a strong understanding of customers' changing needs and the latest standards of dining and hosting. You can also try t gain knowledge of sustainability, food safety and hospitality trends, depending on the position. Interviewers expect you to stay up-to-date on technology trends, such as leveraging enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions to streamline business activities and improve the supply chain.
Develop transferable skills
F&B services include food prepping, event planning, training personnel, table prep, serving and reception, which require a strong skill set of hard and soft skills. Skills that employers often look for include customer service skills, safety consciousness, strong verbal communication skills, attention to detail, hospitality and teamwork. You can hone these skills in different ways, such as through internships, working in a professional kitchen and earning certifications.
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