I've done a lot of restaurant work, almost 20 (cringe) years of it, but I hadn't come across such weird, off-putting managers before so I thought I'd share.
Company is a mid-priced Italian restaurant, which is labeling itself as fine dining. I've never done fine dining, but first off this place is priced much lower and has a much simpler menu than any fine dining restaurant that I've been to. I think I have enough experience so I email my resume in response to their Craigslist ad. Manager calls me, briefly states that they're so busy they need more staff and I "seem to have some serving experience here and there." Uh, what? My resume is, like I said, almost 20 years of that with a few office jobs sprinkled in because I thought if I ever finished my degree it would be good to have some on the resume. But, I don't correct the guy. Just agree to an interview time the next day.
So, next day I am five minutes early. Check in with the hostess and I am told to sit in the lobby. While I'm waiting some guy comes in and fills out an app, turns it in to the hostess, and then is taken to see the same manager I've been waiting to have an interview with. WTF? The hostess realizes, Oops this chick has been sitting there for 1/2 an hour. Manager and hostess apologize and I finally sit down with the manager.
The manager emphasizes how busy they are, this quarter is up 25% over last year's, etc. Meanwhile he's excusing himself to go take care of who knows what throughout the interview. Ok, so I've gotten a really bad impression all around. Interview continues, during which he makes it clear that he doesn't think I am cut out for working there by emphasizing that they did 120 covers for lunch (uh yeah, I've worked in restaurants where I did that myself in a shift) and that the servers make their own drinks and salads. Then he asks me what my family status is, do I have kids or am I married. Which I think is illegal, as it's discrimination. At this point I'm just baffled, I've never met a FOH manager with such a piss poor attitude and I'm just about ready to say forget it and leave. Then the general manager comes over and goes through ever aspect of my resume with me. Now I'm kinda glad I stayed, because for entertainment value this guy can't be beat. He doesn't understand what a cashier or a server trainer is, and he barely speaks English so I have to explain every detail to him. It was hilarious! How someone manages a restaurant in a country whose language they barely grasp, I have no idea.
All in all this was a disaster. I don't think they'll call me and I'm pretty sure I would hate the job even if they did offer it to me. Anyone else ever go through such a bad interview process that it turned you off to the place entirely? Or did you have a feeling that the restaurant was going to be horrible but you took the job anyway?