What to Wear to a Restaurant Job Interview

What to Wear to a Restaurant Job Interview | 2023 Job Tips

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When it comes to a non-official setting like a restaurant selecting the right outfit can be a bit tricky. You are not alone if you don’t know what to wear to a restaurant interview. There are a thousand and one people out there who also find it difficult to pick the right outfit.

Nonetheless, there are two key things to keep in mind when preparing for an interview of any kind. First, consider the kind of job you are applying for. Secondly, take into account the location of the interview.

For instance, if your interview is for a high-level managerial position in an office, you should consider cooperating attire in a suit and tie, even if the interview holds at a coffee shop. However, dressing up in a suit and tie for a lesser position in a coffee shop might be an overstatement.

No matter the kind you are applying for, a good first impression is always essential. Consequently, understanding the position you are applying for is essential to understanding what to wear to a restaurant interview.

What to Wear to a Restaurant Job Interview

Whether you like it or not, there are still many organizations that love to hold their interview outside the office to reduce tension among the candidate. It also allows the organization to understand its to-be staff in a more casual environment.

Nonetheless, don’t let the location trick you into believing that being in an informal position means you shouldn’t dress appropriately for the occasion.

Ensure you properly investigate what’s best to wear when attending an interview at a restaurant. Also, try to compose yourself properly and ensure that you take care of what you say and how you respond to questions.

Again, be sure to dress appropriately because this is one factor determining whether you will ever get the job.

The way you appear has a lot to tell people about your personality and style. Below are some of the factors that can hinder you from landing your dream job.

There are different types of restaurants. Depending on the type, below are the suitable attires to wear when attending a restaurant interview.

#1. Interview at a Coffee Shop

When attending an interview at a coffee shop, you might not be required to wear full business attire.

However, it is essential to consider the entire scenario. When attending an interview with a startup tech company at a nearby coffee shop, dressing in an al dente top and dark-wash jeans is okay.

Conversely, if you’re applying for a managerial or administrative level position, and the interview is slated for a top-rank coffee shop in a high-rise corporate building, it is essential to elevate your looks to meet the standard.

#2. Interview over a Casual Lunch

If your interview will take place over lunch at a restaurant, the first thing to do is to research the restaurant online to find out if there are dress code ratings for the restaurant. Sites like Yelp and OpenTable can be of help when searching for dress code ratings for restaurants.

However, if the location doesn’t look exclusively expensive and fancy, you might consider going for a well-polished but easy business casual appearance.

Consider light color shirts, relaxed button-downs, and khaki pants or colored denim for men and women. A flat shoe for women is ideal, while a boat shoe for men is excellent.

It is also necessary to consider the season when dressing for an interview. For instance, an al fresco, courtyard-type eatery is not a place that requires you to dress in full business casual attire for an interview.

#3. Mid-Scale Lunch     

A relaxed business formal look is perfect when attending an interview at a mid-scale restaurant. An open blazer over a button-down with no tie or a button-down and tie with no blazers is suitable for men for this kind of interview.

Additional accessories like a vest or a pullover sweat top can also help to spice up your look.

Women can consider a button-down shirt on a knee-length pencil skirt or a tailored dress with flat shoes or low heels.

Besides the interview, this kind of dressing is also suitable for happy hour meetings or drink outings in an upscale environment e.g. a lounge or hotel lobby.

#4. Upscale Lunch

If your interview will take place over an upscale lunch at a five-star hotel, nothing less than full business formal attire is required for the meeting. Men’s formal business attire consists of the following

  • Dress in trousers or a suit  
  • A jacket
  •  A shirt
  • Dark socks
  •  A tie
  •  A dress shoe

For women, classic business attire consists of a suit or dress pants, a blouse, formal dress hosiery, and a shoe with closed toes.

What If the Job Is at A Restaurant?

The position of a Server

There are different positions in the restaurant that you may also be applying for, requiring the appropriate attire for it.

Suppose you are attending an interview for the position of server, hostess, cashier, bartender, barista, or hostess. In that case, it is best to go for an all-black attire A button-up, wrinkle-free black suit for men or a  pencil skirt for women.

A black dress shoe is just perfect for the event. If the position you are applying for at the restaurant is a top rank position or managerial role, you can go for polished business casual attire.

Supervision Position at a Restaurant

While most people suggest a business casual for this kind of position, it is essential to understand the level of the organization to help you determine what attire is best for the interview. For a more casual restaurant, your business casual dressing should include:

  •  Denim pants
  •  A polo top or button-down shirt
  •  Dress shoes for men or flat shoes for women

In a mid-scale or upscale restaurant interview, your dressing code should be business professional, which consists of the following:

  •  Blazers or a business suit and dress pants
  •  Button-down top
  •  Formal outfit or a pencil skirt for women
  •  Dress shoes

Tips on How to Prepare for an Interview  

The following essential tips will help you consider how best to dress for an interview.

  1. When interviewing at a restaurant, dressing in conventional and comfortable apparel is best. If you are not sure of what to wear it can be helpful to study the organization. It will give you an idea of what attire suits them best.
  2. Always wear a comfortable pair of shoes when attending an interview. Avoid too tight or too loose shoes. Sometimes, your interview might require that you demonstrate your skills during the process.
  3. Personal hygiene and appearance are also essential when attending an interview. Many establishments deal with human beings on a daily. Therefore, they ensure that the people they employ for the job are presentable and neat.
  4. Ensure your hair is properly tied to the back to avoid it from obstructing your face, ensure that your beards are properly groomed (for men), and keep your nails low and clean. Wear neat, ironed clothes and avoid the use of excessive makeup, perfume, and other beauty accessories.


Whether you believe it or not, some organizations today love to hold their interview in other locations like restaurants and coffee shops. They believe that these locations reduce tension among the interviewee and help them express themselves properly.

If the hiring manager decides to fix your interview at a restaurant, the problem is often with what to wear to a restaurant interview, which this article can assist you to overcome.

Besides the dressing code, the key to success at an interview is to be ready and prepared for it beforehand. When attending an interview don’t forget to come with the necessary paper works and proof of your qualification.

Also, it is essential to arrive at the interview location in the appropriate attire. While underdressing is a problem and overdressing is unnecessary, the simple rule is to overdress when there is a conflict.         

Again, ensure to keep the conversation flowing during your interview. A conversation lag can be a great turn-off for hiring managers during the interview session.

One way to ensure that the conversation keeps flowing is to ask for relevant information like job responsibilities, company policies, and other essential facts about the company.

While doing this, ensure that the conversation is lively and natural and not artificial and forced.


  • Zippa.com—What to Wear to A Job Interview at a Restaurant (With Examples)
  • Indeed.com—What to Wear to a Restaurant Interview
  • Thebalancecareer.com—What to Wear to a Job Interview at a Restaurant



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