Working in food service is a classic first job for many people. It’s usually fairly easy to get into and can teach you some pretty useful skills. And if it’s a tipped position, you could be earning some serious cash!
It’s not just for first-timers either. A lot of people go on to work as servers for a good part of their life. Waiting tables is sometimes seen as a student job, but that’s really not the case.
Ready to take the plunge?
A chain restaurant like Applebee’s is a great place to start. But there are restrictions on the age of employees. So, let’s take an in-depth look at how old do you have to be to work at Applebee’s.
What’s The Minimum Age?
Let’s get straight to it. The lowest age a worker at Applebee’s can be is 16 years old.
Well, there are several reasons. The first is to do with labor laws. As you may already know, they vary from state to state.
Rather than try to navigate different laws in different places, it’s easier for Applebee’s just to have a blanket rule. That protects both them and their employees from doing anything wrong. So even if your state allows under-16s to work, Applebee’s does not.
Unsure about the rules in your area?
Check out the Department of Labour website to find out your local laws. Simply search for your state, and a handy table will appear showing you what’s allowed. It’ll save you and any potential employers from getting in trouble.
Are there any other restrictions?
Unfortunately, yes. Applebee’s restaurants are franchised. That means they’re privately owned and operated. Some owners prefer their employees to be 18 or older, so you’ll need to check with your local restaurant.
And many Applebee’s serve alcohol. Each state has different rules about how old you have to be to do this. In Maine, it’s 17, but in places like Utah, it’s 21. So, depending on where you are, your age might prevent you from taking on certain roles.
If you’re not sure about your state, the Alcohol Policy website can give you all the info you need. It contains clear, easy-to-read information about the serving laws all over America.
What Jobs Are Available at Applebee’s?
So, you’ve checked with your local restaurant and have found out that you’re old enough. Congratulations! But what can you do there?
When you visit a restaurant and are greeted at the door by a bright, smiling face, well, that’s the host. They welcome guests to the restaurant and assist them with finding a table.
The host gives the customer their first impression of the restaurant, so you’ll need to be a people person. You should be friendly and warm, with good communication skills. And you need to dress smartly and look presentable too.
What are a host’s duties?
As well as opening the door and greeting guests, the host takes care of any special needs, such as accommodating disabilities or providing highchairs. They also keep an eye on the features board to tell customers about up-and-coming promotions or events. And when needed, they support servers by dropping drinks or running food.
But the two most important parts of this role are managing the waitlist and rotating servers. To stay on top of this, you need a clear, organized mind because hungry customers and stressed servers can get seriously mad if you mess it up!
Want to start making some of those sweet, sweet tips? Then a job as a server is in your future. It’s worth remembering, though, that many locations will only hire servers who are 18 or over.
Serving is a very physical job. You’ll be on your feet all day, rushing back and forth from kitchen to table. You’ll be required to carry some pretty heavy loads, too, so get ready for a real workout!
Servers have a lot of responsibilities. They are the primary contact for the guest, they communicate clearly with the kitchen, and they have to correctly handle cash. They also need to de-escalate difficult situations and take care of complaints.
This is a role for a confident, upbeat person who loves speaking to people. It also requires someone level-headed who can keep their cool. A busy restaurant can be a stressful place, but it’s worth it when you count your tips at the end of the night!
A carside specialist deals with to-go orders. They’re the first point of call for anyone who wants takeout. They answer the phone, pass orders to the kitchen, then make sure that the guest receives the correct food.
This is a pretty repetitive job and requires workers who are physically fit. Carside employees spend a lot of time running around! They also need to be good at communicating, as it’s easy for misunderstandings to happen over the phone.
In this role, you’ll also be responsible for a lot of the maintenance in the restaurant. There’s a lot of side work to do, like cleaning restrooms, wiping tables, and rolling silverware. Anything that improves the appearance and running of the restaurant; it’s on you.
Like many other jobs at Applebee’s, you must be well-organized. There’s a lot to do, and it’s difficult to stay on top of things. You should also be a team player and stay calm when under pressure.
Not interested in dealing with customers? Maybe a back-of-house role is for you instead. And believe it or not, the dishwasher is one of the most important jobs in a restaurant.
In a busy place like Applebee’s, dirty dishes build up very quickly! And if no one takes care of them, service grinds to a halt. So, a dishwasher needs to get things clean as quickly as possible.
Do your duty…
This job involves using a machine to wash dirty pots, pans, silverware, and just about everything else! If the food touches it, then it’s your responsibility to get it clean. You also have to maintain hygiene standards around the kitchen by wiping down counters and workstations.
This job can be monotonous. But in most kitchens, there’s generally a great sense of camaraderie. This job would be perfect for someone with a tidy mind who is good at working either alone or with others.
If you’re interested in a position at Applebee’s, then take a look at the employment section of the Applebee’s website. You can search by location and job title to find the perfect job for you. Hey, it could be the first step towards a long and full-filling career!
How Much Does Applebee’s Pay?
When you work in foodservice, the pay can vary pretty wildly. This is partly because many states have different minimum wages. But it’s also because some jobs rely on tips.
As a host, you can expect to make anything between minimum wage and $10 per hour. It’s a similar rate for a carside employee as well, though you might pick up some tips here and there too. Dishwashers generally make a little more, getting between minimum wage and about $13 per hour.
However, if it’s your first job, then don’t expect to be at the upper end of the pay scale. Management will want you to prove you can earn that higher rate. If it’s your first job, then you’ll probably be getting minimum wage.
The servers are different, though. In many states, it’s expected that your tips will make up most of your pay. If that’s the case where you live, then your employer will only give you around $2.13!
But you can expect most people to tip around 20%. Do a great job, and you’ll get even more! So even without that paycheck, serving can be an extremely lucrative job!
Just remember to declare those tips to the IRS! (Wink!)
Need More Advice or Other Great Job Options?
Or for other great restaurant career options, take a look at my HomeTown Buffet Application, Gordons Food Service GFS Application, Golden Corral Application, Yard House Application, my Marcos Pizza Application, or how about my Moes Southwest Grill Application.
And, for some superb advice for a great resume, find out How To List Education On A Resume, How Long Should A Cover Letter Be, How To Write An Introduction Letter, Most Important Skills To Put On A Resume, How To List References On A Resume, or How to List Job Titles On Resume.
And for the big day, check out Strengths And Weaknesses For Job Interviews, What To Wear To An Interview, How Would You Describe Yourself, Best Questions To Ask In An Interview, or even How To Answer What Are You Passionate About, What Makes You Unique, and the always tricky, Why We Should Hire You?
Working at Applebee’s can be a challenging experience. When you’re in the weeds on a busy Saturday night, you’ll be running around, stressed, and probably having to deal with some extremely hangry customers! It’s a fast-paced, difficult environment and can be tough both mentally and physically.
But a career at Applebee’s is also rewarding. You’ll meet new people every day, learn new skills, and probably develop a real bond with your colleagues. Plus, in many positions, you can make some pretty decent money!
So, happy job hunting, folks!