Cheesecake Factory Interview Questions & Tips

Hiring process information for an interview at Cheesecake Factory

Submitting Forms and Gaining Consideration

With nearly 200 restaurants in operation across the country, The Cheesecake Factory almost always boasts job openings to fill nationwide. Workers obtain employment only after successfully completing each step of the official hiring process, which includes a series of job interviews. The hiring process commences with the online submission of forms necessary for employment consideration and completion of personality and intelligence tests. Based on the data received from applicants, hiring managers determine which job seekers to interview and contact the selected candidates to schedule the meeting.

When Will I Know If I'm Selected for an Interview?

Candidates chosen for Cheesecake Factory interviews often receive notification within two or three days of applying for employment. Some applicants even receive same-day notification, while others end up procuring interview invitations by personally visiting the appropriate restaurant and speaking to a manager directly. The length and complexity of the interview process generally hinges on the nature of the particular job opening. Securing entry-level jobs, like host or server, usually entails participation in two interview sessions often held consecutively. For prospective managers, the interview process frequently involves an extensive walk-through of the restaurant, possibly followed by additional interviews with district or regional management.

Entry-Level Workers

The Cheesecake Factory prefers to hire entry-level workers with some previous experience in the restaurant industry. Interviewers often probe for related experience or knowledge of basic restaurant operations by asking questions like, "If multiple groups are seated in your section at the same time, who do you greet first: the party of six or the party of two?" and "Describe a dish served at your last employer in as much detail as possible." Interviewees also consistently face queries such as, "Why do you want this job?" and "What does the Cheesecake Factory brand mean to you?", which reveal their level of interest in the position. Other common interview questions ask candidates to describe times of going above and beyond for customers, resolving disagreements among coworkers, or otherwise implementing job-related skills in constructive ways. Hiring managers typically interview entry-level job seekers one-on-one.

Managerial Candidates

Applicants seeking managerial employment often begin the Cheesecake Factory interview process with a preliminary phone screening before going to the designated restaurant location to observe a work shift. While onsite, managerial interviewees have the opportunity to tour the restaurant, interact with employees, and sample menu items. Candidates need to show the qualities necessary for managing a restaurant by bringing positive energy to the interview, engaging the staff in professional conversation, and demonstrating passion for the food. Interviewers want potential managers knowledgeable about restaurant cooking and culinary processes in addition to front-of-house operations. After the tour and tasting, which often lasts about two hours, advanced managerial candidates usually go through an additional, 1:1 interview with a Cheesecake Factory regional manager. Questions posed to prospective managers often include: "Why should I hire you over the other candidates?", "What do you know about the culture of The Cheesecake Factory?", and "If you had to discipline an employee, would you do it immediately or wait until the shift ended?"

Dressing for Cheesecake Factory Interviews

Appropriate dress for Cheesecake Factory interviews ranges from casual business wear for entry-level applicants to formal corporate attire for managerial candidates.

Other Considerations

On the day of the interview, arrive a bit ahead of time and prepare to stay for at least an hour, as The Cheesecake Factory often conducts first and second interviews back-to-back. Potential managers should set aside at least two hours for interviews. Exhibit the friendly and outgoing personality generally sought by management by smiling regularly and graciously acknowledging everyone you meet at the interview site. Before the interview wraps up, find out how long the restaurant chain usually takes to hire employees officially and express thanks to the attending staff for the interview opportunity.

Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate: At the Cheesecake Factory, I basically cut cheesecakes. I wasn’t a server. I just was behind the cheesecake bar and prepared them on the plate and took to go orders, things like that. I would also run food out to people’s cars.

Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate: It was pretty hectic. There was always a lot of people. It’s in a big shopping area, so there’s just a lot of people, a lot of really picky eaters and stuff like that. Just that there was a lot of employees, so I just always felt it was really hectic.

Interviewer: Please describe a typical day as an employee.
Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate: Just stocking, getting dishes and machines ready, pulling cheesecakes out of the freezer. They would have to thaw it out and things like that. We cut a lot of strawberries for the strawberry cheesecakes. We would make espresso for people also, coffee drinks. Clean up, basically.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate: Application and things were pretty easy. I didn’t have a lot of experience at the time working in that environment. I remember I had written that I wasn’t very familiar with that type of environment, but when I talked to the manager, when I turned in my application, I told them, but I said I was really willing to learn and really wanted to work there, and so that went well for me.

Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate: Experience was big, if I had worked in a full-service restaurant before. Basically, why I would want to work there? It’s a typical question. I can’t really remember everything, but…

Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate: I think my enthusiasm and just willingness to learn how the company works and things like that. I think positive attitude what probably set me apart.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Cheesecake Factory Counter Associate: I think probably… I mean, I can only go from my experience, but my positive energy and willingness to do whatever it takes to learn the company and learn all of their giant menu – I think that set me apart, so I would recommend that.

Cheesecake Factory Server Interview Video

Video Transcript

Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Cheesecake Factory Server: Well, I was a server there. I was a server for the first year, and I was pretty much just waiting tables and taking orders and stuff and doing to-gos. Then after a year or so, they really liked me, and I knew what I was doing pretty well. I knew the menu, so they had me become a designated trainer, which you go do a class, like a week-long class. You get paid for it. They explain to you how to train somebody in what to do, and then after that, when they hire new servers, when they do their walkthroughs, you can be one of the people. They give you a pin.

Interviewer: How would you describe the application and interview process?
Cheesecake Factory Server: For me, a standard application. I filled it out. I did not get drug-tested. I went in once… or they said you had to have two years of serving experience in order to work there, which I had. I went in there the first time. They turned me… they kind of told me to take off. I was a little bit discouraged, but I went in there again, and like the golden time was 2:00 to 4:00 Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. I went in there another time, and the second time I went in there, instead of saying, like turning in my application the old-fashioned way, I went up to the host and said, “I need to speak to a manager.”

The manager – he was like a lower-ranking manager – came around and said, “Yeah, how can I help you?” Thought I was a customer. I said, “Hey, you know, I’m just turning in my application. I was wondering if I could get an interview or something today.” He was a little bit turned off that it wasn’t like a food-related problem, but he said, “Yeah, I’ll give you an interview.” So, he sat down. It was very, very, very difficult. He opens up this gigantic binder. He asks you a series of questions and tells you, “I’m going to ask you these questions, and you have to answer them to the best of your ability. You can’t ask me to explain the question more, so if you don’t understand it, either make something up or it’s too bad.”

So, he just asked me them all, and I just got every single one right. You couldn’t… I mean, they were just like your standard serving questions, like: “If a table of six sits down, a table of four sits down, a table of two sits down, who do you greet first?” He’d ask questions like that. He liked me pretty well. He shook my hand, and he said, “I’d like you to meet with our general manager.” I came back in there two or three days later. We had an appointment set up. I sat down there with the general manager. I think I probably interviewed with him for maybe two minutes. He asked me the six-, four-, and two-table questions, asked me like maybe one other question and said, “Welcome aboard,” and shook my hand.

That was like May 16, I think, and they do a serving class at the beginning of certain months. So, he says, “Well, you’re hired now, but we won’t have you come on until June 1.” In that two-week period, I really didn’t… I had absolutely no contact with them. June 1 came around. They take you… there’s me… there’s myself and probably like six other people. They take you to a room in the back. Every Cheesecake Factory has a small classroom in the back, and you just sit there and watch slide after slide after slide of just different menu items, trying to memorize them and memorize the ingredients. At the end of that, you take a 400-question test about what all is on it for food. Then, you take a 125-question test for bar drinks. Then, you have a week of follows. Like if you pass the test, you follow somebody for a couple shifts, and you have like a shift where you and another server split a section. Then, you get certified by a lead trainer, and after that, it’s all you.

Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Cheesecake Factory Server: My advice would be to be aggressive with the managers to get interviews, because you will not get hired there if you don’t have an interview. They’re not going to like… they’re never going to call you. You have to understand. They’re not going to call you. I don’t think any place would do that nowadays. Then once you get hired, you just have to be friendly, ridiculously friendly.

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4 thoughts on “Cheesecake Factory Interview Questions & Tips

  1. Alfredo Escobar

    what should someone wear or how should I dress if I work at cheesecake factory?

    Reply
  2. jenny

    wear clothes you would wear for a cheesecake factory job interview,thats what the page says lol…goodluck

    Reply
  3. chase

    Do they do drug tests at the cheesecake factory?
    -random
    -post hire
    -pre hire
    -etc

    Reply
  4. jimmy

    Is it a pee or hair test?

    Reply

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