Jobs for Teens at Restaurants

restaurants jobs for teens

Why Teens Working at Restaurant

As a teenager, getting a job can be tough. You’re not old enough to work some places and you’re not experienced enough for others. However, one of the best places to start your working career is in a restaurant. Here are three reasons why working in a restaurant is great for teenagers.

  • First, restaurants are always looking for help. They need servers, dishwashers, hosts, and bussers. So if you’re willing to work hard, you’ll be able to find a job in a restaurant.
  • Second, restaurants are a great place to learn about teamwork. You’ll be working with a lot of different people and you’ll learn how to communicate and cooperate with them.
  • Third, working in a restaurant can be a lot of fun! You’ll meet new people, try new foods, and learn new skills.

With the unemployment rate for teens at an all-time high, many are turning to the restaurant industry for work. The National Restaurant Association estimates that there are more than 1 million restaurant jobs available for teens across the country. While some may view working in a restaurant as a dead-end job, it can actually be a great way for teens to learn important life and work skills.

Working in a restaurant teaches customer service, teamwork, and responsibility – all skills that will be valuable in any future career. So if you’re a teen looking for a job, don’t rule out the restaurant industry – it just might be the perfect fit for you.

Restaurant Jobs and Hourly Wages

Job Positions Entry Level Avg. Wages
Dishwasher Yes $11 per hour
Server / Waiter/Waitress Yes $6 per hour
Host / Hostesses Yes $10 per hour
Restaurant Manager No $14 per hour
Cook No $12 per hour

Reference: PayScale, Nov 09 2022

Minimum Age Working at Restaurant

According to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the child labor regulations, minimum age to work at restaurant is 14, children under 14 years of age may not legally work in a restaurant. Reference: U.S. Department of Labor: Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

14 & 15 Year Olds

  • May only work outside school hours. Read more about jobs for 15 years old for hour and time limitation.
  • Being a cashier, busser, waiter, cleaning service including the use of vacuum cleaners and floor waxers.
  • Food Prep works using dishwashers, toasters, milk shake blenders, warming lamps, and coffee grinders.
  • Cooking on electric or gas grills, but not over an open flame.

16 & 17 Year Olds

  • May work unlimited hours in any occupation other than those declared hazardous by the Secretary of Labor.
  • May not operate, feed, set-up, adjust, repair, or clean power-driven meat processing machines (meat slicers, meat saws, patty forming machines, meat grinders, and meat choppers), commercial mixers and certain power-driven bakery machines.
  • May not drive on the job or serve as an outside helper on a motor vehicle on a public road, except 17-year-olds who meet certain
    specific requirements may drive cars and trucks that do not exceed 6,000 pounds gross vehicle weight for limited amounts of time as part of their job.
  • May load, but not operate or unload, certain scrap paper balers and paper box compactors under certain specific circumstances.

18 Year Olds or Older

Once an employee is 18 years old, he or she is no longer subject to the federal child labor provisions.

Restaurants That Hire Teens

Related Resource: How Old to Work at Restaurants And Cafes

Papa Gino’s

Jobs for teens at Papa Gino’s, a restaurant that’s famous for serving Italian-style pizza. Minimum age to apply is generally 16 years old.

Legal Sea Foods

Jobs for teenagers at Legal Sea Foods, an American fast-food chain that specializes in serving seafood cuisines and offers a private dining experience. Minimum age to apply is generally 16 years old.

Swensons Drive-In

Jobs for teens at Swensons Drive-In, a fast food restaurant chain in Ohio that offers American favorites such as hamburger, fries, onion rings, and many more. Minimum age to apply is 16 year sold.


Jobs for teens at Potbelly Sandwich, a restaurant chain that specializes in serving various kinds of delicious sandwiches. Minimum age to apply is generally 16 years old.