Teens, Get a Job at a Fast Food Restaurant

Mixed race teenage boy working in cafe
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Jobs at fast food restaurants offer valuable opportunities to teens. They will gain work experience in a fast pace employment area, learn how to deal with the public and gain an understanding of work-life stress. While it may not be a glamorous job, many of the restaurants in the fast food industry offer incentives to teens who work for them, like scholarship opportunities. You can help your teen obtain and keep a job at a fast food restaurant by following the steps below.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: One Month

Here's How:

  1. Talk to your 16-year or older teen about what working in a fast food restaurant will be like, what will be expected of them and what their expectations are. For instance, do they prefer cooking or taking orders? They may be asked to do both. Make this a positive talk with your teen, reminding them of the benefits of working along with the responsibilities and your confidence in them.

  2. Have your teen list out their abilities that will help them with getting a job at a fast food restaurant. Are they punctual, easy-going, organized, have a good memory, can cook, pleasant speaking, trustworthy, can make change, fast leaner and can they use a computer? This list will help your teen fill out their application.

  3. While some fast food places have applications at the restaurant, many are turning to the internet to take care of them. Call before you stop in to see which is the preferable way to apply.

  1. Be sure your teen has all of the information they will need to fill out applications when they go to do so. Social security number, dates of other employment and reference information will be needed.
  2. A week after filling out the applications, encourage your teen to make call-backs to the fast food restaurants they applied to, ask if there are any openings and if their application is being considered.
  1. Role play interviews with your teen until they are comfortable answering questions about themselves. This is also a good time to go over how many days a week you will allow your teen to work, as they will be asked that question in an interview.
  2. Be willing to drop off and pick up your teen without showing that it was a hassle. Fast food restaurants have odd work hours for their part-time staff.
  3. Be willing to change your curfew on work nights. Many fast food restaurants are open until late at night and will ask your teen to work these hours. If your weeknight curfew is 10 p.m. you may have to change it to 11 p. m. or midnight on your teen’s work nights.


  1. Check-in with your teen about their hygiene before an interview. Clean cut may not be necessary, but walking into an interview with BO isn’t going to get them the job. And longer hair on a boy may be in style, but it will force him to endure wearing a hair net if he is working over a stove flipping burgers. Therefore, he may want to get it cut now – before the interview – rather than later. Also, clean finger nails devoid of chipping nail polish is something your teen will want to avoid.

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