27 Red Robin Interview Questions (And How To Ace Them)
You’ve finally landed an interview at Red Robin, the popular casual dining restaurant chain. This could be your big break—the job you’ve been dreaming of to launch your career in the food service industry. However, to stand out among other applicants and ultimately get the job offer, you need to arrive fully prepared to shine.
In this blog post, we’re going to give you insider access to the most commonly asked interview questions at Red Robin and suggested detailed answers to help you nail each response. By diligently studying these questions and answers, you’ll walk into your interview with unbridled confidence, giving you an undeniable edge to secure the position. Your opportunity is here—don’t let it slip away due to lack of preparation.
Let’s get started.
Red Robin Company Information
As you prepare for your interview with Red Robin, you must understand the company inside and out. Take the time to review the key facts and information about Red Robin in the following section—including details on their history, culture, mission, values, growth, and key initiatives.
When you can speak knowledgably about why you’re passionate about Red Robin and what appeals to you about the company and role, you will stand out as an informed and dedicated candidate. Equipping yourself with this knowledge and being able to speak to it with confidence will empower you to succeed in your upcoming interview.
Read on and commit these important details to memory—your preparation will pay off.
|Trade Name||Red Robin|
|Type||Casual dining restaurant chain|
|Headquarters||Greenwood Village, Colorado, United States|
|Menu||Burgers, Sandwiches, Salads, Appetizers, Entrees, Desserts|
|Signature Items||Royal Red Robin Burger, Whiskey River BBQ Burger, Burnin’ Love Burger, Bottomless Steak Fries|
|Number of Locations||510+ (US & Canada)|
|Core Values||Honor, Integrity, Knowledge-Seeking, Fun|
|Competitors||Cardinal, Applebee’s, Five Guys, Nightwing, Shake Shack, Chili’s, Fuddruckers, Damian Wayne|
- Red Robin was originally named Sam’s Tavern after its owner, Sam, and was located in Seattle, close to the University of Washington campus.
- In 1969, Gerry Kingen bought the tavern and started adding food to the menu, completing a remodel and reopening with a bang.
- Brothers Mike and Steve Snyder loved Red Robin so much that they opened the first franchise in Yakima, Washington in 1979, and the chain continued to grow from there.
- Red Robin launched Burger Works in 2011, a “fast-casual” model with a Build Your Own Burger menu, but it closed in 2016, with only three locations rebranded as Red Robin Express.
- Red Robin constantly introduces new burgers to impress their burger-loving guests, including burgers inspired by their Kids Cook-Off contest, which was held annually from 2006-2010.
- Red Robin launched a “secret menu” in 2011, which allows guests to customize pretty much any burger to their liking.
- The chain’s original location was closed in 2010 after the building was deemed too much of an investment to get the old structure up to par with other restaurants.
- The “Cure Burger” was a limited menu item introduced in 2015 as a hangover cure.
- Bottomless steak fries have been a part of Red Robin’s menu since 1994.
- Red Robin’s unhealthiest meal combination is the “Monster” double burger, bottomless fries, and a milkshake, totaling 3,540 calories.
- Red Robin has had success in introducing to-go options and catering menus, including the Red Robin Burger Bar, which allows for ultimate customization.
- Red Robin has had issues with minimum wage spikes and a lawsuit in 2015 involving servers sharing tips with kitchen workers.
- Red Robin currently has more than 510 locations between the U.S. and Canada.
Red Robin Mission Statement
Make it fresh, fun and memorable. And above all, make ’em smile.
Red Robin Interview Questions
Can you tell me about yourself?
This common yet broad interview question is asked to get a better sense of who you are as a candidate and your potential fit for the role and company culture. The interviewer wants to understand your background, skills, and goals to determine if you would be a good match for the position and have potential for growth at Red Robin.
To answer this question successfully, highlight relevant experience and strengths. Focus on your background in food service or hospitality and customer service skills that would be valuable for the role. Mention key skills that would apply to the job like teamwork, communication, and time management. Explain your future goals and how the role fits into your longer-term career plans. Keep your answer brief and structured, around 2-3 minutes when speaking, and be authentic and passionate.
Here is an example answer:
“I recently graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management. For the past few years, I have worked part-time as a server and bartender at a busy restaurant, where I developed strong customer service skills and the ability to thrive under pressure while maintaining a positive attitude. I’m looking to bring my experience and skills to a company like Red Robin, where I can grow my career as a manager. My goal is to work my way up to an Assistant Manager position within the next few years. The fast-paced, team environment of Red Robin appeals to me, and I would appreciate the opportunity to contribute to your service and operations.”
By highlighting relevant experience, emphasizing key skills, and expressing genuine goals and enthusiasm for the role and company, you can effectively convey why you are a great candidate for the position.
Why are you interested in working for Red Robin?
This question is designed to assess your motivation for the role and fit with the company culture. The interviewer wants to determine if you have researched the company and have legitimate reasons for pursuing a job at Red Robin versus another restaurant chain.
To effectively address this question:
- Do your homework. Visit Red Robin’s website and social media to learn about their brand, values, and company mission. Understanding what is important to them will help you relate your goals to their priorities.
- Share relevant experience. Highlight restaurant experience or skills that would be useful for the position and company. Explain how you can contribute to their success. Show a genuine passion for food and service.
- Express enthusiasm. Convey genuine excitement for the prospect of growing your career at Red Robin. Mention location, growth opportunities, training, or other aspects of the company and role that appeal to you.
For example, you could say:
“I’m extremely interested in joining the Red Robin team. I love your focus on serving high quality, creative burgers and your dedication to providing a memorable dining experience. With five years of experience in the fast food industry, I share your commitment to fresh, made-to-order food and delivering outstanding customer service. I’m looking to grow my career as a line cook at an established, growing company like Red Robin. The training and opportunities for advancement at your restaurant, as well as the fun brand spirit, really appeal to me.”
This response demonstrates how you’ve researched key brand attributes and can align your relevant experience and goals with what Red Robin seeks in a strong candidate.
What experience do you have in the hospitality industry?
The interviewer is asking this question to assess if you have the necessary experience to serve customers in a fast-paced, high-volume restaurant environment. Red Robin prides itself on delivering legendary service and hospitality, so the interviewer wants to ensure you have the skills and experience to do so.
When answering, highlight any previous experience you have working with customers in a service-oriented role. Mention key skills that would be relevant, such as patience, active listening, problem-solving, and the ability to remain positive and composed under pressure. Explain how you would apply these skills to provide great service to Red Robin guests.
As an example, you could say:
“While I don’t have experience specifically in the restaurant industry, I have over two years of customer service experience in a retail setting. I assisted a wide range of customers with questions and issues, and learned to listen actively, think on my feet to troubleshoot problems, and maintain a friendly demeanor even during busy or stressful periods. These skills would directly translate to providing exemplary service to guests at your restaurant. For example, if the kitchen was backed up and guests were waiting longer than expected for their food, I would check in with them regularly, apologize for the delay, offer a complimentary side or drink, and make sure they feel informed and appreciated for their patience and understanding. My goal would be to represent the welcoming hospitality Red Robin is known for, even in less-than-ideal circumstances.”
Can you describe your customer service skills?
This common interview question is asked to assess your qualifications for providing excellent customer service, which is crucial for any restaurant position. The interviewer wants to evaluate if you have the right attitude, skills, and experience to deliver a great experience to every Red Robin guest.
To answer this question, focus on relevant experience and your customer-first mindset. Discuss how you are able to listen actively, be attentive to guests’ needs, and resolve issues or complaints with a positive attitude. Highlight hospitality skills like taking accurate orders, checking back on tables, and thanking guests for their visit. Explain that you thrive in a fast-paced environment and work well as part of a team to provide quick, friendly service. Most importantly, convey genuine passion for delivering amazing experiences and exceeding expectations.
Here is an example of how to incorporate this into your answer:
“My customer service skills are focused on hospitality and creating a welcoming experience for every guest. In my current role as a restaurant server, I have refined my ability to listen, take accurate orders, and adapt to challenging requests or issues. For example, if a guest’s order is incorrect, I apologize and immediately work with the kitchen to remake it and bring it out fast and hot. I have strong teamwork skills to ensure excellent service even during our busiest rushes. Most of all, I have a genuine passion for delivering amazing experiences. At Red Robin, I would utilize my skills and enthusiasm to provide fast, friendly service that delights guests and makes them want to return again and again.”
By emphasizing relevant experience and the right mindset, preparing some examples, and conveying authentic passion, you can stand out as a strong candidate with the customer service skills to thrive at Red Robin.
How do you prioritize your tasks when working in a fast-paced environment?
This question is aimed at assessing your ability to manage a busy workload, prioritize tasks, think on your feet, and stay calm under pressure.
To answer this effectively:
- Discuss your logical approach to prioritization based on urgency and importance. Explain you would determine what needs to get done right away versus what can wait. Highlight your strong time-management skills and ability to create a pragmatic schedule.
- Note you thrive in fast-paced environments and fast learning curves don’t faze you. Discuss how you stay organized, create to-do lists, and ask clarifying questions if needed. Emphasize you can take initiative and don’t need excessive oversight.
- Relate your experience in a fast food or high-volume restaurant.
“At my current job, the pace can be extremely fast, especially during busy rushes. I’ve learned to prioritize tasks by urgency, determine what can be delayed if needed, and ask coworkers for help if we get in the weeds. Even when it’s chaotic, I stay focused, level-headed, and ensure all customers are served with a smile.”
By emphasizing your relevant experience, problem-solving skills, and composure under pressure, you’ll convey why you’re a strong candidate to handle Red Robin’s fast-paced work environment.
Can you give an example of a time when you had to multitask in a hospitality setting?
The interviewer is asking this question to assess your ability to juggle multiple demanding tasks at once in a fast-paced, guest-focused environment like Red Robin. As a server or host, you will frequently need to multitask to deliver an enjoyable experience to every guest. The interviewer wants to know you can prioritize, think on your feet, and handle pressure well.
To answer this effectively, discuss a relevant experience where you had to simultaneously manage several pressing responsibilities. Explain the tasks, your process for prioritizing and executing them, and the positive results. Mention skills that would be useful for this role like communication, time management, and composure under pressure. Show, don’t just tell the interviewer you have these skills.
Here is an example answer:
“A good example would be when I worked as a host at a busy restaurant and had to seat guests, answer phones, and handle to-go orders simultaneously during the dinner rush. When multiple groups walked in at once or the phone was ringing while I was seating guests, I stayed calm and quickly prioritized. I would seat guests at tables first to avoid leaving people waiting, then grab phone calls to note any to-go orders, and in between seat more guests as tables became available. Even when it felt chaotic, I was able to juggle the demands, communicate well with guests and colleagues, and ensure all tasks got done promptly and accurately. This experience demonstrates my ability to multitask efficiently and deliver great service even when very busy.”
How do you handle stress in a busy restaurant setting?
As a fast-casual restaurant, Red Robin is a busy, high-energy environment. This interview question is meant to assess if you have the composure and skills to thrive under pressure while delivering great service.
The interviewer wants to see that you understand the demands of the role and have strategies to effectively deal with a stressful work situation.
Some tips for answering:
- Highlight relevant experience. Mention any previous experience in a fast-paced work setting. Discuss how you stayed organized and prioritized tasks. For example, ‘At my last serving job, the dinner rush could be very demanding. I learned to anticipate what was needed, prepare in advance, and remain calm through the chaos.’
- Emphasize a customer-first attitude. Explain that you always put customers first, even when under stress. Note how you would focus on completing each task well and check in on customers’ needs. For example, ‘Even when busy, I would make each guest feel like my top priority by being fully present when taking their order or addressing any issues.’
- Discuss coping strategies. Share healthy ways you cope with stress such as taking a quick breather, relying on a strong team, or using humor to diffuse tensions. For example, ‘If feeling overwhelmed, I would take a second to refocus, rely on my coworkers for help, and try to maintain a positive attitude. Laughter can be a great way to release stress and bond with coworkers/guests.’
Overall, convey a ‘can-do’ attitude and highlight relevant experience and skills that would allow you to thrive in Red Robin’s dynamic environment. With preparation and the right strategies, you can manage the rush and deliver excellent service.
Can you provide an example of a time when you went above and beyond to make a guest’s experience memorable?
The purpose of this interview question is for the interviewer to assess your guest service skills and commitment to delivering a memorable experience. Red Robin is focused on providing high quality service and memorable visits for all guests, so the interviewer wants to know that you will go above and beyond to achieve this.
To answer this question effectively, first acknowledge the importance of memorable guest experiences. Then, explain how you are passionate about service and always willing to go the extra mile to wow a guest. Mention some personality traits that would enable this, such as being friendly, attentive, positive, and solution-focused. Finally, share a specific example that demonstrates these traits and your initiative to provide memorable service.
For example, you could say:
“There was a time when I noticed an elderly couple struggling to read the menu in dim lighting. I brought them brighter menus and larger print ones we had available. Then, I took the time to walk them through the options and recommendations to help them find something perfect for their tastes. Seeing their gratitude and enjoyment of their meal made all the effort worthwhile. Going above and beyond to meet guests’ needs, even in small ways, is important to me to deliver a memorable experience.”
Overall, to answer this interview question well, express your service-oriented mentality and provide a concrete example showing how you made a meaningful effort to enhance a guest’s experience.
What specific skills or qualities do you possess that make you stand out from other candidates for this position?
When an interviewer asks this question, they are trying to assess what unique strengths or abilities you can bring to the role and the company. This is your opportunity to highlight what sets you apart from other applicants and emphasize why you would be an excellent choice for the position.
To answer this question effectively, focus on relevant skills and experiences that would be highly valuable for the specific position and company culture. For a role at Red Robin, strong communication skills, the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment, and a passion for providing great customer service would be ideal qualities to mention. Share one or two concrete examples that demonstrate these skills or traits. Be authentic and speak genuinely about your strengths – if you don’t truly possess the qualities you claim to, it will likely come across as inauthentic.
A solid answer could be:
“Thank you for the question. Two qualities that make me a great fit for this role at Red Robin are my strong communication skills and ability to remain positive and efficient under pressure. In my current serving position, I have refined my ability to listen, take orders, and resolve issues, often with a line of customers waiting. I also genuinely enjoy providing great service and maintaining a upbeat attitude, even during our busiest rushes. I feel these skills would allow me to exceed in the fast-paced, team environment of Red Robin.”
By highlighting relevant skills and giving specific examples, you show the interviewer why you would stand out as a candidate and be a great hire for the company.
What would you do if a guest had a food allergy or dietary restriction?
As a casual dining restaurant, Red Robin frequently serves guests with food allergies or dietary restrictions. This interview question is posed to assess how you would handle a potential sensitive situation with care, caution, and customer service. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the seriousness of food allergies/restrictions and would take the proper steps to accommodate the guest’s needs.
To answer this question, first emphasize safety as your top priority. Explain that you would politely and carefully inquire about the nature of the allergy/restriction to understand how to avoid problematic ingredients/cross-contamination. Reassure the guest you take their condition seriously and will be cautious in preparing/serving their meal. Highlight how you would communicate clearly with the kitchen staff and verify the meal is prepared properly. Finally, mention you would follow-up to ensure the guest is satisfied and take feedback to continually improve processes.
For example, you could say:
“Safety is my number one concern. I would respectfully ask the guest about their specific allergy or restriction to fully understand how to best accommodate them. I would clearly convey the details to the kitchen staff and verify the meal is prepared properly to avoid any issues. I would check-in with the guest after the meal to get feedback and look for ways to enhance our procedures. Guests with allergies or dietary needs should feel well cared for, and I would take great care to provide that experience.”
By emphasizing safety, communication, verification, and follow-up, you demonstrate the conscientious and service-oriented approach Red Robin would value in handling food allergies and restrictions. With a thoughtful, well-rounded answer and relatable example like this, you can feel at ease going into your interview knowing you are prepared to address this common and important question.
How do you ensure that the restaurant is clean and presentable at all times?
As a casual dining restaurant, cleanliness and presentation are crucial to Red Robin’s customer experience and brand. By asking this question, the interviewer wants to assess your understanding of this importance and your approach to fulfilling the responsibility.
To answer this question, here are some tips:
First, convey that you recognize cleanliness and presentation are essential to guest satisfaction and the restaurant’s success. Explain that if hired, this would be a top priority in your role. Highlight relevant experience maintaining high standards of cleanliness in a fast-paced environment. Mention key responsibilities like sanitizing surfaces, taking out trash, sweeping and mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, and ensuring all areas including the dining room are tidy. Express a diligent and detail-oriented approach to these tasks.
Second, discuss how you would tackle challenges to keep the restaurant clean and presentable, such as during busy rush periods or if short-staffed. For example, you might say you would strategically prioritize the most important cleaning duties first, find ways to clean more efficiently, and ask others for help if needed to avoid any areas being neglected. Your answers should demonstrate resourcefulness, a proactive mentality, and a genuine commitment to delivering a great guest experience through a spotless restaurant.
Here’s an example answer:
“Cleanliness and presentation are crucial to a restaurant’s success, so ensuring the restaurant is well-maintained at all times would be a priority if I were hired. With 5+ years of experience as a line cook and server in a fast food restaurant, I’m familiar with the cleaning responsibilities and demands. I have a diligent, detail-oriented approach to tasks like sanitizing surfaces, mopping floors, cleaning bathrooms, and tidying the dining room and all areas. Even during rushes or if short-staffed, I would strategically prioritize important duties, clean efficiently, and ask others for help to avoid neglecting any areas. I understand how vital cleanliness is to guest satisfaction and would bring a proactive mentality and strong commitment to delivering an impeccable restaurant environment and experience.”
Can you give an example of a time when you had to make a quick decision on the job?
This common interview question is designed to assess your ability to think and act quickly under pressure while on the job. The interviewer wants to see that you can evaluate situations rapidly, make sound judgments, and take decisive action when needed. To answer this effectively, first acknowledge the important of quick, thoughtful decision making in a fast-paced work environment like Red Robin. Then, provide an honest example of a time you had to think on your feet to resolve an issue or prevent a problem.
Some things to highlight in your example:
- The situation and what was at stake. For example, having to quickly fill in for a sick coworker during a busy rush to prevent orders from taking too long.
- The options you evaluated and why you chose the course of action you did. For example, reassigning tasks to other staff and jumping in to help cook/prepare meals yourself.
- The positive outcome or lesson learned. For example, orders were filled promptly, guests were happy, and you gained a new appreciation for how hectic the kitchen can get during busy periods.
To give a solid example answer, you might say:
“At my current job as a barista, a few weeks ago we were extremely understaffed during our busiest time of day due to some last-minute call-offs. The cafe was packed, the line was long, and orders were piling up. As an acting shift lead, I knew I had to act fast to help get things under control and take care of our customers. I immediately reassigned responsibilities, had those with less experience focus on simpler tasks, and jumped into making complex drinks and serving food myself. While it was a chaotic few hours, we were able to serve everyone in a reasonable time thanks to our team collaborating and being flexible. It was a great reminder of how important it is to be able to adapt in the food and service industry when things don’t go according to plan.”
How do you handle last-minute changes or unexpected situations?
As a fast-paced restaurant, Red Robin values team members who can adapt to change and handle unexpected situations with poise and problem-solving skills. This interview question is designed to assess if you have these qualities that are crucial for success in a dynamic work environment like Red Robin.
To respond effectively, demonstrate that you are calm under pressure, resourceful, and able to think on your feet. Highlight relevant experience and convey a positive, solutions-focused approach.
For example, you could say:
“At my current job, schedules and tasks often change unexpectedly. When that happens, I take a moment to understand the new objectives and any constraints. Then, I work with my manager and team to delegate revised responsibilities and develop an action plan to achieve the adjusted goals. Unforeseen situations are simply another opportunity to exercise flexibility and push myself outside my routine comfort zone. If hired as a server at Red Robin, I would apply this same solution-oriented mindset to quickly adapt to any changes that arise and ensure excellent service.”
This example answer emphasizes a practical, team-oriented strategy for addressing changes and unexpected events. The approach of clarifying the situation, collaborating on a solution, and maintaining a positive outlook shows you would be well suited to Red Robin’s fast-paced, service-oriented environment.
With this type of relevant experience and attitude, you will demonstrate to the interviewer that you can adapt and respond well to the unpredictable nature of the role and work environment.
Can you describe your experience with suggestive selling or upselling?
The interviewer is asking this to assess your ability to effectively sell additional menu items to customers and increase the restaurant’s sales and revenue.
To answer this question, first acknowledge the purpose of suggestive selling and share your understanding of its importance for a restaurant’s success. Then, highlight relevant experience you have, even if not specific to food service.
For example, you might say:
“Suggestive selling is critical for boosting sales and guest satisfaction. In my current role, I frequently recommend additional items or higher-margin products to customers to increase the average transaction total. For example, when selling electronics, I highlight compatible accessories or protection plans that provide value to the customer. I would leverage this same approach at Red Robin, recommending complementary meals, beverages, or desserts based on a customer’s order. The key is being genuine and highlighting legitimate recommendations that truly enhance the guest experience.”
This answer conveys your awareness of why the technique is important and gives a relevant example of how you’ve successfully used suggestive selling in the past. You express the intention to apply the same mindset and approach to help achieve Red Robin’s sales goals if given the role.
How do you handle a situation where a guest is dissatisfied with their food or service?
The interviewer is asking you this question to assess how you would handle difficult customer service situations. They want to see that you are able to remain calm under pressure, think on your feet, take responsibility, and resolve issues to the customer’s satisfaction.
To answer this question effectively, first acknowledge the seriousness of the situation and express empathy for the dissatisfied customer’s poor experience. Then, outline the steps you would take, including:
- Apologize and take responsibility on behalf of the company. For example, “I’m very sorry to hear that. Please accept my apologies, we clearly dropped the ball on your experience today.
- Listen to the customer and understand the exact issue. Ask open-ended questions to get the full story.
- Take action to make things right, such as offering a free meal or voucher. Explain what you can do to resolve the situation.
- Thank the customer for their feedback and for giving you the chance to make things right.
Here is an example of how you might respond:
“I understand how frustrating it is when your meal or service does not meet expectations. As a manager, my top priority is customer satisfaction, so if a guest told me they were unhappy with their experience, I would immediately apologize on behalf of Red Robin and take responsibility. I would listen closely to the concerns, ask questions to fully understand the issues, and determine how best to make things right, whether that’s a replacement meal, a gift card, or other form of compensation. The customer is always right, and I would do whatever it takes to resolve the situation and leave the guest feeling happy. I believe turning dissatisfied customers into loyal regulars is key to a restaurant’s success, and I would work hard to recover every guest experience.”
How would you handle a situation where a guest has been waiting for an extended period for their table?
As a Red Robin server or host, providing excellent customer service is critical to the guest experience. This interview question is trying to gauge your ability to recover and delight guests in stressful situations. The interviewer wants to see that you understand the importance of acknowledging the guest’s frustration, taking responsibility, and doing what you can to make things right.
To answer this question, first express empathy for the guest’s wait. Acknowledge that waiting a long time is unacceptable and that you understand why they would be upset. Take ownership for the poor service and apologize sincerely. Then, reassure the guest you will get them seated as soon as possible and find a way to make their experience more positive.
For example, you might say:
“I apologize for the excessive wait. That is not the service we aim to provide, and I take full responsibility. Please let me get you seated right away and your first round of drinks will be on the house. Is there anything else I can do to ensure you have an excellent experience from this point on?”
This response shows you grasp the key steps to resolving issues: empathy, responsibility, solution, and follow-up. With this approach, even an upset guest can be turned into a loyal customer.
How do you ensure that tables are turned over efficiently during busy times?
The interviewer is asking this question to assess your ability to prioritize tasks, work efficiently under pressure, and find solutions to problems. Red Robin gets extremely busy during peak hours, and they need hosts and servers who can effectively turn tables to maximize sales and customer satisfaction. As a candidate, emphasize these key skills in your answer.
Explain how you would remain calm under pressure, set priorities, and take a systematic approach to seating and serving customers as quickly and courteously as possible. Mention how you would collaborate with coworkers to tackle the busy period as a team. Using relatable examples of high-stress situations you’ve navigated in the past will help convey your relevant experience.
Here is an example answer:
“During busy times, it’s important to keep a level head and not get overwhelmed. I would prioritize seating customers promptly to minimize wait times, then efficiently take orders and deliver meals to get food in front of guests quickly while still providing great service. I have experience working in a fast-paced environment at another restaurant, where on busy nights we would divvy up tasks, like one person seating, one taking orders, and two running food. I would work with my coworkers at Red Robin to employ a similar systematic approach, delegating tasks and helping each other to turn over tables as fast as possible. My goal would be to get customers their meals within 20 minutes of being seated so that we can then fill the table with the next set of guests. With teamwork and an optimized process, we can serve more customers and increase sales, while still delivering top-notch service.”
Can you tell us about a time when you had to work collaboratively in a team to solve a problem?
This Red Robin interview question is seeking to understand your ability to work with others to overcome challenges. The interviewer wants to assess your teamwork skills, problem-solving approach, and communication abilities. To answer this question effectively:
Focus on a genuine example of collaborative teamwork from your work or academic experience. Discuss the problem your team had to solve, your collective approach to solving it, and the results or outcome. Highlight your specific contributions and what you learned. Showcasing real teamwork examples adds authenticity and relatability.
Share your adaptable and cooperative mindset. Mention being open to diverse perspectives, dividing work, compromising, and effectively communicating. The fast food industry involves seamless collaboration, so emphasizing relevant skills is key.
“Absolutely, I have extensive experience working collaboratively in teams to solve problems. One relevant example was when I worked as a server at another restaurant during a busy summer season. The kitchen was understaffed one night during a huge rush and orders were taking forever to get out. My fellow servers and I saw many tables of customers getting frustrated with the long wait times. We got together as a team and came up with a solution. We decided to work together to pre-bus and reset tables in between courses to save time, we combined trips to the kitchen to pick up multiple orders at once, and we helped run each other’s food and drinks when we could to speed things up. By working as a collaborative team and not just individual servers, we were able to turn the night around and provide much better service, which led to better tips and happier customers. It showed me the power of a team coming together to solve problems.”
Using this approach in your answer will demonstrate you have the skills Red Robin is seeking. Convey your relevant experiences with confidence and positivity for your best interview performance.
Can you tell us about a time when you had to resolve a conflict with a coworker?
This question is assessing your conflict resolution skills and ability to work with others. The interviewer wants to see that you can address issues professionally and calmly with colleagues. They are evaluating if you take responsibility for resolving problems, listen to different perspectives, and find mutually agreeable solutions.
To convey this, discuss a specific conflict with a coworker and the steps you took to resolve it. Explain how you handled the situation maturely and maintained a positive working relationship.
For example, you could say:
“At my last job, a coworker and I disagreed on how to best serve a regular customer with a restrictive diet. We both wanted to provide great service but had conflicting approaches. I suggested we compromise by combining the best aspects of each approach into a new solution. We discussed the issue openly and listened to each other’s perspectives. By focusing on the shared goal, we were able to resolve our differences and create a solution the customer loved. From that experience, I learned the importance of open communication and finding common ground in a team setting.”
By preparing an example that demonstrates your conflict resolution skills in a professional manner, you can go into your Red Robin interview feeling confident in your ability to handle workplace issues effectively. Show that you are a team player who can think on your feet and serve the customer well, and you will present yourself as a strong candidate for the role.”
What do you already know about Red Robin and our company values?
As a candidate interviewing for a position at Red Robin, you can expect interview questions that assess your knowledge of the company and brand values. This question is designed to evaluate how much research you conducted about the company and if your priorities align with their goals.
To answer this question effectively:
Do your homework. Visit Red Robin’s website and thoroughly review their company values and mission. Note key points like their emphasis on creating memorable experiences, promoting teamwork and growth opportunities, and community involvement. Mention 2-3 specific values and how you align with them.
Share relevant experience. Highlight related experience you have that enforces these values. For example, describe a time you went above and beyond to deliver great customer service or worked with a team to tackle a difficult problem. Explain the skills and lessons you gained that would benefit Red Robin.
Be enthusiastic. Express genuine passion for Red Robin’s brand and convey authentic interest in being part of their team. Your positivity and energy will show your potential as a strong culture fit.
With preparation, you can craft an answer such as:
“Through my research, I’ve learned that Red Robin holds community, teamwork, and memorable experiences as core values. Two values that resonate strongly with me are delivering memorable experiences and growth opportunities for employees. In my current role, I actively look for ways to personalize service and create “wow” moments for customers, such as remembering regular’s names and order preferences. I also stepped up to mentor new team members, helping them gain skills and confidence. I would love the opportunity to contribute to Red Robin’s commitment to high-quality experiences and support my coworkers’ development. My passion for service excellence and knack for bringing people together would allow me to thrive in your work environment.”
Can you tell us about a time when you had to adapt your communication style to better connect with a guest?
This interview question is trying to assess your ability to adapt to different guest situations and communication styles. The interviewer wants to ensure you have strong emotional intelligence and can connect with a diverse range of patrons.
Some tips for answering:
- Mention observing the guest’s body language and tone to assess their preferred communication style (e.g. more casual/laid back vs. direct/efficiency-focused)
- Emphasize using an open and friendly tone while mirroring the guest’s language to build rapport
- Discuss asking follow up questions and directly addressing their concerns or feedback to make them feel heard
Here’s an example of how to answer based on your experience:
“During a busy lunch rush, I noticed a guest becoming increasingly frustrated while waiting to place her order. I observed she was very direct and efficiency-focused in her communication style based on her crossed arms and terse tone with others ahead of her in line. To best connect with her, I used a straightforward yet polite tone in addressing her and asking how I could take her order as quickly as possible. I mirrored her direct language in confirming the details of her order and providing an accurate estimate of the wait time. She seemed relieved I understood her time-sensitivity, and it defused the situation. Adapting my style to guests’ individual needs and personalities is key to delivering strong service and a positive experience.”
What do you think sets Red Robin apart from other restaurants?
This question is the interviewer’s way of assessing your knowledge of the company and what makes them unique in the fast food and casual dining industry.
To answer this question successfully, do your research ahead of time on Red Robin’s brand positioning and key differentiators.
Some things that set Red Robin apart are:
- Their signature Bottomless Steak Fries and Freckled Fruit accompany many entrees, allowing for a shareable and customizable experience.
- They are known for their creative burger flavors and toppings, like the Banzai Burger and Smoke & Pepper Burger, catering to those looking for unique flavor profiles.
- They have a family-friendly atmosphere and often offer kid-friendly promotions to appeal to families and parents.
- Their service model focuses on delivering fast, friendly service in an upbeat, welcoming environment with energetic teams.
Mention a couple of these key differentiators in your answer and relate them to your own experiences with or passion for the brand.
For example, you could say:
“Having frequented Red Robin as a customer, a few things that stand out to me about the brand are their signature steak fries and unique burger options as well as their family-friendly atmosphere and promotions. I really value these differentiators and would appreciate the opportunity to contribute to delivering a positive customer experience aligned with the Red Robin brand.”
In your answer, highlight why these aspects of the company appeal to you and are important for success in the fast food and casual dining market. With this approach, you demonstrate your knowledge and passion, revealing to the interviewer why you would be a great fit for the role and the company culture.
How would you handle a situation where you noticed a coworker wasn’t performing their job duties effectively?
As a candidate interviewing for a position at Red Robin, you may be asked how you would handle an underperforming coworker. This question is aimed at assessing your leadership abilities, accountability, and teamwork skills. The interviewer wants to know that you can address issues proactively and sensitively, think of the business impact, and work with others to resolve problems.
To answer this question successfully, first acknowledge the delicate nature of addressing a coworker’s underperformance. Explain you would approach the situation with a solution-focused mindset and compassion. Clarify how you would privately and respectfully discuss the specific issues you’ve noticed, while also listening to their perspective. Highlight ways to help them improve, such as additional training or a revised workload. Note you would bring in a manager if the underperformance persisted or hindered team productivity.
For example, you might say:
“If I noticed a coworker struggling, I would sensitively address it with them privately first. I would cite specific instances of missed responsibilities and listen to any challenges they’ve been facing. I would propose a reasonable improvement plan, such as retraining or a lighter workload during a slower period so they can build confidence. If their performance did not improve, I would inform a manager so the team’s goals would not suffer. My goal would be to support my coworker’s success and the restaurant’s service.”
By demonstrating your strong yet caring approach to handling workplace issues, you can convey your leadership potential and team-oriented attitude to the interviewer. Preparing an example answer based on the fast-paced restaurant environment also shows your understanding of the job requirements.
Can you tell us about a time when you received negative feedback? What did you learn from the experience?
This interview question is common in Red Robin interviews. The interviewer is trying to assess how you handle criticism and whether you are able to learn from your mistakes.
To answer this effectively:
- Be honest and open about receiving negative feedback. Don’t claim you’ve never received any.
- Discuss what specifically you were criticized for, e.g. being late to a shift, messing up food orders. Keep the example relatable to the fast food industry.
- Explain what you learned and how you grew personally and professionally. For example, “I learned the importance of double-checking orders and being more organized to avoid delays.” Show that you can reflect and improve.
Here is an example answer:
“My manager once criticized me for being late to a couple of shifts in a row. I had underestimated traffic and did not give myself enough time to arrive. From this experience, I learned to anticipate delays and give myself buffer time so that it would not impact my punctuality or job performance again. I also asked my manager what I could do to make up for it, such as staying later on other shifts. This example taught me the value of being responsible and maintaining a strong work ethic, which are traits that would serve me well in a role at Red Robin.”
The example answer conveys the key points around accepting feedback, learning from mistakes, and demonstrating a solution-focused mindset. With this guidance and sample response, you can feel more equipped to shine in your Red Robin interview. Just be genuine and show that you are committed to consistently delivering great results.
What are your long-term career goals, and how does this position at Red Robin fit into those goals?
The interviewer is asking about your long-term goals to assess your vision, motivation, and fit for the role and company. They want to see that you have thought about your career path and have concrete objectives, and that this position is aligned with those goals.
To effectively answer this, first discuss 1-2 of your key long-term goals. For a role at Red Robin, you might mention goals such as progressing to a managerial role or expanding your skills in restaurant operations. Then, explain how the position you’re interviewing for will help you achieve those goals. For example, you could say you aim to advance to a managerial role, and this position would allow you to gain invaluable experience in various restaurant functions and leadership opportunities to prepare you for a management track.
For example, you might say:
“My long-term goal is to take on more responsibility as a manager at a casual dining restaurant. I have always enjoyed the fast-paced, team environment of restaurants, and Red Robin’s focus on delivering an exceptional guest experience through great food and service is inspiring. This position would allow me to fully immerse myself in the day-to-day operations of a busy restaurant and hone my leadership and problem-solving skills. I hope to exceed sales targets and provide strong leadership to become a strong candidate for a management opportunity in the future. Overall, this role aligns perfectly with my goal of a long-term career in restaurant management at a company like Red Robin.”
As a job candidate interviewing for a position at Red Robin, you may be asked to describe your favorite menu item and how you would pitch it to a guest. This question is designed to assess your product knowledge, salesmanship, and ability to translate features into benefits for customers.
To answer it effectively:
- Do your homework and be familiar with the menu. Select an item you genuinely enjoy and can speak to authentically.
- Highlight the item’s key features and benefits for guests. Mention ingredients, flavors, presentation or portions to paint a vivid picture.
- Share your passion and enthusiasm to sell the item. Explain why you find it crave-worthy and the types of guests who would love it. Use vivid and appetite-inducing language.
For example, if your favorite item is the Royal Red Robin Burger, you might say:
“I love the Royal Red Robin Burger because of its creative blend of flavors and ingredients. It features a fresh, never-frozen patty cooked to perfection and topped with roasted garlic aioli, crisp bacon, melted Swiss cheese, crispy fried onions and leaf lettuce—all on a toasted brioche bun. The combination of savory, smoky and sweet flavors is irresistible. I would describe it to guests as Red Robin’s premium signature burger, perfect for those who crave a gourmet twist on a classic. The quality ingredients and mix of flavors make it a burger you won’t soon forget.”
What days and times are you available to work? Are you willing to work weekends and holidays?
This common interview question is asked to determine your availability and willingness to work the necessary hours and shifts to meet the needs of the business, especially in the food service industry.
As a casual dining restaurant, Red Robin requires staffing for early morning prep, late evening cleaning, and weekends/holidays when business is busiest.
By asking about your availability, the interviewer wants to ensure you understand the demanding hours of the job and can reliably meet them. It is important to convey flexibility and a team-focused attitude.
To answer, first affirm your ability to meet Red Robin’s needs. For example, say you are able to work weekends and holidays, and have open availability for morning and evening shifts as needed. Then, note how you can accommodate a flexible schedule, such as having minimal obligations or the ability to find childcare if needed. Explain that you understand the importance of reliable staffing and are willing to work as a team to get the job done, whatever hours are required. Ultimately, convey a positive attitude and that the work schedule is not an obstacle for you.
Here is an example answer:
“I understand Red Robin needs reliable staffing for early mornings, late nights, weekends, and holidays. I have open availability and flexibility to work the necessary shifts to support the team and meet the restaurant’s needs. I do not have major obligations preventing me from a varied schedule and, if needed, can secure childcare for late evenings or find coverage for the rare occasion I cannot be there. Having worked in food service before, I recognize the demands of the job and am willing to work as a team to get the work done on time and provide great service to customers whenever I’m on the schedule.”
Questions to Ask the Interviewer in Red Robin Interview
As your Red Robin interview comes to a close, your interviewer will inevitably ask if you have any questions from them. This is your opportunity to leave a lasting positive final impression and to gather useful insights into the role and company.
The purpose of this question is twofold: 1) To assess your interest level and enthusiasm for the position and company, and 2) To get a sense of the types of questions and topics you are curious to learn more about. The questions you ask provide a window into what is important to you and what you prioritize.
To make the most of this opportunity, prepare thoughtful questions in advance that demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm, as well as your knowledge of the company and role. For example:
- What does success in this role look like?
- What are the key metrics that Red Robin uses to measure performance in the this role?
- What is the career path for this position?
- What opportunities are there for growth and advancement within Red Robin?
- What’s most important for employees to be successful at Red Robin?
- Can you tell me more about the company culture and values at Red Robin?
- How does Red Robin prioritize customer service and guest satisfaction?
- Can you provide more information about the training and onboarding process for new employees?
- How does Red Robin handle guest complaints or feedback?
- How does Red Robin prioritize employee safety and well-being?
- Can you provide more information about the benefits and compensation package for this position?
- What are the specific expectations and responsibilities for this role on a daily basis?
- How does Red Robin prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion within the company?
- Can you tell me more about the management structure and team dynamic within the restaurant?
- What challenges or opportunities do you foresee for this position in the current industry climate?
- How does Red Robin differentiate itself from other restaurant chains in the market?
- How does Red Robin involve and engage with the local community and charitable organizations?
These types of questions show your motivation and preparation. Of course, you can also ask questions based on topics that came up in your conversation that you want to explore in more depth.
The key is to listen to the responses with genuine interest. Take notes if needed and ask follow up questions. End the interview on a high note by thanking the interviewer for their time. If you have demonstrated your potential to be a strong candidate and a great culture fit, you’ll maximize your chances of being selected for the role.
Red Robin Hiring Process
As you explore career opportunities at Red Robin and apply for an open position that matches your skills and experience, it is helpful to understand their hiring process. Going into the process informed and prepared will boost your confidence and likelihood of success.
The hiring process at Red Robin does vary depending on the specific role, but here is an overview of the common steps you can expect:
Once you submit your application via Red Robin’s careers website, you may receive a text or be contacted to take an assessment to screen for basic qualifications. If your skills meet the requirements of the role, you will be invited to a phone interview to discuss the position and your experience in more detail. This initial conversation allows the recruitment team to get a sense of your personality, communication skills, and fit for the role and Red Robin’s culture.
If the phone interview goes well, you will be invited to an in-person interview with the hiring manager and team members currently in a similar role. Expect scenario-based questions to evaluate how you would handle common situations in the applied position. Be ready to share examples of your relevant experience and what you could bring to the team. Showcase your genuine passion for the work and company mission.
Once interviews are complete, the recruitment team will evaluate candidates and determine the best fit for the role. If selected, you will receive an offer letter outlining the details of the position, compensation, and benefits. The offer is contingent on successfully completing background and reference checks. Do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have about the process or role.
The hiring process timing varies depending on the position but usually takes several weeks due to required checks. Stay positive throughout, and keep the lines of communication open with your recruitment contact. If you demonstrate a great fit, the opportunity to join the Red Robin family will be worth the wait.
Red Robin Interview Tips
What to Wear to Red Robin Interview
As you prepare for your interview at Red Robin, it’s a great idea to understand their dress code and use it as a guide for what to wear.
According to Red Robin’s policy, employees are required to maintain a casual, professional appearance. Servers wear black shirts, dark blue jeans, and slip-resistant shoes. Hosts wear black shirts, black pants, and non-slip shoes. All employees must demonstrate good grooming and hygiene. While facial piercings and visible tattoos are permitted if in good taste, offensive or vulgar tattoos must be covered during work hours.
For an entry-level position like server or host/hostess, wearing business casual or slightly dressier casual attire is appropriate. For men, this could be dark jeans or khakis, a button-down shirt, and dress shoes. For women, black pants or a skirt, a nice blouse, and dressy flats or heels would be suitable. Showing that you are putting in effort to look professional and polished for the interview will be impressive.
If interviewing for a managerial role, business casual is the way to go. For men, wear slacks and a button-down shirt, potentially with a tie or vest. For women, wear slacks or a knee-length skirt, a blouse, and potentially a blazer. Closed-toe shoes with a modest heel are ideal for both men and women. This demonstrates that you are capable of dressing professionally and in line with a manager’s responsibilities.
For any corporate-level positions, wear formal business attire. For men, this is a suit and tie, and for women, this is a pantsuit or skirt suit. This shows that you are able to present yourself professionally and are capable of handling high-level responsibilities.
By understanding Red Robin’s dress code and company culture and emulating an appropriate level of professional attire for the role you’re interviewing for, you can feel confident that you are putting your best foot forward.
Now that you are armed with insight into Red Robin’s interview process and the types of questions they ask candidates, you can prepare thoroughly and walk into your interview with confidence.
Practice your answers ahead of time, highlight relevant experience, and show your genuine passion for great customer service and teamwork. If you demonstrate your skills and personality are a great fit for their culture, you have a strong chance of moving on to the next round. Good luck!
Don’t stop applying and interviewing at other restaurants after speaking with Red Robin, however. Expand your search to similar casual dining chains like Zaxby’s, Shake Shack, Applebee’s, Chili’s, TGI Fridays, and more. With the insights and preparation you’ve gained, you’re in a great position to shine in additional interviews as well.
Stay optimistic and keep putting your best foot forward—the ideal opportunity is out there and will be that much closer with each application you complete and connection you make. You’ve got this!