Hiring a Fast Food Manager in Three Steps

fast food restaurant manager

Hiring a Fast Food Manager in Three Steps

Successful fast food franchisees eventually learn one important lesson – they need a manager to help run their restaurants.  As the owner, you can’t be everywhere at once, and you certainly can’t work from open to close, either.  A manager you can trust is the next best thing to you being there.  Typically, fast food managers are hired after a successful job interview, which can take up to an hour.  When you advertise that you’re hiring for a management position, you’ll get hundreds of applications and resumes.  You won’t have time to interview all these people using the traditional job interview method. 

What should you do for your fast food chain?

The answer is a simple but effective three-round interview process.  Each round is like peeling an onion to get to the center.  With this, the “center” that you’ll find is the ideal manager you want to help you run your restaurant franchise.  Signal Connect talked to several owners of fast food chains about their interviewing and hiring processes.  Most of them use a version of this three-step process, which we present it here in its basic form.  If you’re a fast food owner who needs someone reliable to help you run your business, we encourage you to use this to help you when you start looking for a fast food manager.     

Here’s the three-step process we recommend fast food owners use to hire a restaurant manager:

Round 1: Eliminate Applicants Who Don’t Match Up

The first step in the interview process begins before you actually interview a soul.  You must go through the applications and resumes you receive to eliminate anyone who doesn’t have the right skills and/or experience.  If you have time, you should call these people to inform them they didn’t make the cut.  This will save you the time it will take to answer individual calls from many of them who will inquire about the process and where they might be in it.  It also never hurts any restaurant owner to be professional. 

Do you think that telling these folks they’re not going to make it for an interview might make you uncomfortable?  If so, you might want to give your career as a restaurant franchise owner some serious thought.  If you think telling an applicant that they don’t meet your qualifications is tough, imagine trying to fire an employee.  There are few things more uncomfortable than that.  Think of these calls as practice for future human resources management duties you will have to perform so you can enjoy a successful fast food franchise. 

Round 2: Group Job Interview

With your list of possible candidates, it’s time to call them in for a group interview.  When you have the group before you, ask each of them basic questions about the fast food industry to gauge their level of experience.  Remember to ask open-ended questions that allow each candidate to reveal more about themselves through their answers.  In most cases, fast food franchisees want a manager who’s outgoing, personable, and/or detail-oriented.  These qualities often present themselves in their answers to the questions you ask. 

Remember: The pressure and on-the-spot nature of a group interview brings out a lot from people… good and bad.  You’ll see it if you’re paying careful attention.  Make sure you take note what each candidate says, and how he/she says it.  If you get any red flags from an applicant’s answer, you might strongly consider ruling that person out.  Problems that seem small during the interview process only get bigger when and if you hire that person.  Keep this in mind going forward!

Round 3: Performance Evaluation

After the second round is said and done, you will have eliminated many candidates.  Like we mentioned during step two, it’s best to call these people and let them know they’re no longer being considered for the position.  You won’t have time to be answering calls from people wondering when the next step is going to be.  Save your energy for the third round, which is where you’ll spend even more time with the people you really want to be a fast food restaurant manager at your location.

During the third round, you get to see how well each candidate performs while working as a fast food manager.  Put them through a variety of fast food manager duties and responsibilities to see how they’ll do.  As the owner, you should know which professional skills are most important for your manager to have.  Whatever these are, be sure to test each candidate on them, and pay close attention to how each performs.  This will tell you the level of their experience, as well as where your ideal candidate needs additional training. 

Dealing with difficult customers is a huge part of any fast food manager’s day-to-day job duties.  This is why role-playing is another way to test candidates during the third round.  Here’s where your experience as a restaurant owner can come in handy.  When it comes to irate customers, you’ve seen and heard it all, including:

  • Customer complains that the food wasn’t made properly.
  • Someone forgot part of a drive-through customer’s order.
  • Customer says you didn’t give them the proper change.
  • Customer is mad that they can’t get a breakfast item at 10:59AM.

Test each candidate by playing the part of an angry customer to see how they react in the heat of the moment.  The stress and pressure of the job interview will make each situation seem more like its real life counterpart.  Pay very close attention to how each applicant handles these situations and even take notes.  Their reactions will tell you a lot about whether you want them to manage your fast food franchise.

If you’re all about performance, you might find your ideal candidate during this phase.  That said, you should always consider this old human resources management truism: “Hire for attitude, train for skill.”  It means just like it sounds.  You can always teach someone how to do something, but people either have a pleasant attitude or they don’t.  Many human resources experts believe it’s better to place importance on attitude over ability.  If you follow this three-step process, you’ll find the ideal candidate who has both of these qualities!

Bonus Tip: DIRECTV for Fast Food Restaurants

This tip has nothing to do with hiring a manager, but it still helps your business.  When you feature DIRECTV in your lobby/dining area, you’ll increase revenue at your fast food restaurant.  How does this work?  It’s simple, really.  People stay longer when they enjoying their favorite programming.  When they stay longer, they also tend to order more food and desserts, which makes your registers ring.  This is how DIRECTV boosts your business.  This satellite TV service also benefits you and your employees when you enjoy your favorite shows during breaks.  

If you have questions about bringing DIRECTV to your business, call Signal Connect.  We’re an AT&T Preferred Dealer that specializes in delivering DIRECTV to restaurants.  We understand this would be a big decision for any fast food restaurant owner to make.  We’re happy to answer any questions you have, as well as give you the step-by-step of what you can expect when you bring DIRECTV to your fast food franchise.  If this sounds good to you – it should, because DIRECTV will benefit your business – then give us a call at 866-726-4182 , or connect with one of our commercial satellite TV experts below.