How old do you have to be to work at Waffle House

How Old Do You Have to be to Work at Waffle House?

Waffle House is a privately held, short-order restaurant company founded in 1955 in Avondale Estates, Georgia by Joe Rogers and Tom Forkner. Operating over 1,900 locations in 25 states, the headquarters are located in Norcross, Georgia . Waffle House employs over 35,000 associates to serve a diverse base of customers and communities 24 hours per day, 365 days per year.

“We are not in the food business; we are in the people business” – Founder Joe Rogers, Sr.

If you want to get hired in an entry level position at Waffle House as a Server, Host, Cook, or Manager Trainee, you must be at least 16 years old. No matter the position, working at Waffle House is a fulfilling, fun, and rewarding career.

Ever since they opened their doors in 1955, Waffle House restaurants have been a great career choice for thousands of Associates. They hope to see you soon “Under the Yellow Sign®”.

Teen Jobs at Waffle House and Age Requirements

Server (Hourly)

As a Server (also known as a Salesperson) at Waffle House, you’ll be working in a tip-based position that offers the training and development you need to earn well above what you might earn as a Server at other similar restaurants. Your job is all about delivering the Waffle House experience to your Customers.

The server's job is all about delivering the Waffle House experience to Customers. You can expect to be on your feet, doing everything from taking orders to making sure the restaurant is clean and inviting

Waffle House does have a team environment, but servers do not share tips. The busiest time is the weekends, where you can take home the most tip money. So, they will  require you to be available to work weekends and some holidays

You must be at least 16 years old to work as a Server at Waffle House.

Host (Hourly)

At Waffle House, the Hosts and Hostesses are members of the “Door Corps” -- greeting and seating Customers and helping keep the dining area clean.  You will be the first impression a Customer gets when they enter the restaurant.

Waffle House hosts must be friendly and enthusiastic team players with a positive attitude, who are reliable and hard working.

Responsibilities include:

  • Serves as the Customer’s first impression of service in the restaurant
  • Greets all incoming customers with a smile and by opening the door
  • Warmly invites the Customer to find a table wherever they’d prefer, or shows them to the waiting chairs along the front, ensuring them of a short wait
  • Manages the order of waiting Customers to ensure that they are seated promptly as tables become available.
  • Diligently thanks Customers as they are leaving and invites them to come back.
  • Stocks and maintains the self-service coffee bar for waiting Customers. Hands menus to waiting Customers. Answers Customer’s questions regarding the menu, basic Waffle House food preparation and wait times

You must be at least 16 years old to work as a Host at Waffle House.

Cook (Hourly)

Since all Waffle House food is cooked to order, as a Cook (also known as a Grill Operator) you are taught to prepare the orders the “Waffle House Way”.   Your skill, teamwork, attitude and coach-ability all factor into the ranking process.  

Additionally, 2nd Shift Supervisor and 3rd Shift Supervisor opportunities are available to those who want additional responsibility.  With continuous training, Waffle House Grill Operators become leaders in food safety as well as service and production.

You must be at least 16 years old to work as a Cook at Waffle House.

Manager Trainee (Salary)

There is no restaurant simulator, and Waffle House believes in learning by doing.  On day one of your management training, you’ll put on the uniform, walk into a real Waffle House restaurant and start working alongside a Training Unit Manager.  

You’ll do everything they do until it becomes second nature.  During this period, you’ll receive extra training from senior managers as well.  Here are some more details:

  • 6-on-2-off rotating shift schedule (Work 6 days then you’re off 2 days) This form of Guaranteed Schedule is unmatched in the restaurant industry
  • Begin at 6:30AM, end around 4:30PM daily
  • 9-12 weeks management training to learn how to run the business, including:
    • 3rd-shift rotations
    • Waffle House University course work
    • Practice management by running different restaurants before being checked into your restaurant
    • Trainees become familiar with team leadership, business systems, hands-on culture
  • All Promotions From Within -- At Waffle House, they believe in “Homegrown Leadership,” which means every Manager in Operations begins their career as a single unit manager.  
  • Stock Ownership
    • Annual Stock Options Granted – based on % of your compensation
    • Career Stock Options Granted – at hire and with each promotion
  • Health Insurance: Medical, Dental, Vision, And Life Insurance — available for you and your family
  • Vacation – three 10-day vacations each year
  • Paid Maternity Leave – 6 Weeks (8 Weeks for C-Section)
  • Advancement – steady growth = promotion opportunities
  • Culture – fast pace, teamwork, winning

In this role, you’ll need leadership skills and a can-do attitude. They want you to be comfortable interacting with customers and associates and, at the same time, manage production on the grill while adhering to Food Safety regulations. Ultimately, you will ensure your Waffle House restaurant runs smoothly and customers have pleasant dining experiences.

To get started in the management training program at Waffle House, you must be at least 16 years old.

Can a 15 Year Old Work at Waffle House?

As a rule, the minimum hiring age at Waffle House is 16. However, some locations may hire a 15-year-old with a work permit.  For more options, view the page on our website specifically for 15-year-olds to find a potential employer.

Can a 16 Year Old Work at Waffle House?

Yes! You can get a job at Waffle House if you’re 16. You can also check out our page specifically for 16-year-olds for more options.

How Much Does Waffle House Pay Part-Time Workers?

Waffle House pay rates do vary by state and restaurant location because of minimum-wage laws. But, we can give you a general idea for each position

Server (Hourly)

Servers at Waffle House are paid an hourly server's wage plus tips. Servers do not share their tips. Depending on the shift worked, a server can expect to make approximately $15 to $35 per hour.

Host (Hourly)

Hosts at Waffle House usually start with an hourly wage between $10 and $13. This rate can increase based on length of service. And, shift sales and production bonuses can create extra earning opportunities.

Cook (Hourly)

Your earnings as a Waffle House cook are based on the rank you earn as a Grill Operator, Master Grill Operator or RockStar Grill Operator.  Once certified, pay rates range from $10/hour to $16/hour. Production bonuses based on shift sales can also create extra earning opportunities.

Management Trainee (Salary)

Earnings do vary in the training program, but Waffle House managers usually make between $55K and $69K annually. This number will continue to go up as you advance through the different management levels.

How Much Experience Do You Need to Work at Waffle House?

You do not have to have any job experience to work at Waffle House because they regularly hire teens for entry-level hourly positions. 

What Should You Wear to a Job Interview at Waffle House?

When you show up to your interview, wear a business casual outfit (nice shirt and slacks) and make sure your clothing isn't wrinkled or stained.  You don't want to go too casual, like wearing a t-shirt and jeans. But, you don't have to dress in a suit.

Waffle House Interview Questions

The interview process at Waffle House can consist of one or two interviews where you will talk to different managers who will all have different questions. They will most likely ask you basic interview questions to get to know you better. 

How do you deal with stress?

Why are they asking?

They are asking you this because a Waffle House job can get very busy and stressful, especially during rush hours. They want to make sure you can handle working in a fast-paced environment.

What’s the ideal answer?

You don’t want to tell them that you start to yell or scream, or completely shut down. The best way to answer how you deal with stress is to say that you smile, take the time to breathe, focus on the task at hand, and manage your time as well as you possibly can.

Do you work well as part of a team?

Why are they asking?  

Working in a fast food or quick service restaurant requires a lot of teamwork. Everyone has a specific job to do to make the process run smoothly, and they want to make sure that you can be part of a team.

What’s the ideal answer?

The best way to answer this question is to say that you can definitely work well as part of a team because everyone has a part to play to make the restaurant successful. One person can’t do it alone. Instead, it takes a team of people knowing their role and doing it well. 

What’s an example of how you have led a team?

Why are they asking?  

If you are interested in the management program at Waffle House, they want to know if you can work well with others and someday lead a restaurant. Since their structure is to only hire management from within, they aren’t just looking for people to make waffles. They are looking for people who are  interested in a future with the company.

What’s the ideal answer?

Think of a time in your life when you have had to lead a team. It can be as part of your family in a game or at school, working on a project. Don’t make something up. Find something from your own personal experience where you can tell them how you handled being in charge of others.

Benefits of Working at Waffle House 

Waffle House offers a meal discount to all employees, but most other benefits are available for full-time workers only. 

Benefits include:

  • Health Insurance: Medical, Dental, Vision, And Life Insurance — available for you and your family
    • Full-time Associates are eligible to enroll immediately with coverage beginning 30 days later
    • Three different medical plans to suit your needs (essential care plan, minimum value plan, comprehensive care plan)
  • Flexible Schedules — full-time/part-time, day/night shifts, weekends/weekdays
  • Stock Ownership — eligible to purchase waffle house stock for up to 10% of your pay after one year of service
  • Paid Maternity Leave — six weeks (eight weeks for c-section) if eligible after two years of continuous service working at least 30 hours/week
  • Paid Time Off (PTO) — begins accruing immediately one hour for every 30 hours worked
  • Career Advancement — opportunity to advance to master or rock star grill operator, 2nd or 3rd shift supervisor, or restaurant management
  • Direct Deposit Or Pay Card — electronic pay every week

What it’s Like to Work at Waffle House

How to Apply at Waffle House

If you are interested in working at Waffle House, apply on the company website for any restaurant in the chain (by state and zip code). You can also apply in person at the location you are interested in, or on sites like GlassDoor and Indeed.

If you’re interested in joining the Waffle House family, you can learn more at whcareers.com.

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