How Old Do You Have to be to Work at Applebee's?

Generally speaking, to get an entry-level job at Applebee’s in the front of the house (host/hostess, busser) or back of the house (prep/line cook, dishwasher) you must be 16 years old. If you are interested in being a server, you must be 18 years old because one of the requirements of the job is to serve alcohol.

Teen Jobs at Applebee's and Age Requirements

Host/Hostess (Hourly)

As a host/hostess at Applebee's, your main job is to greet guests coming into the restaurant, and also to seat them in a friendly and timely manner. This job takes organization skills because you are maintaining the overall guest flow.

When the restaurant is full you will manage the wait list, and you will also provide guest assistance to servers when needed. Other responsibilities include keeping your work area clean and organized, filling out the feature board, and accommodating the special needs of guests (high chairs, booster seats).

You must be at least 16 years old to work as a host/hostess.

Busser  (Hourly)

Being a busser at Applebee’s is one of the busiest jobs in the restaurant. You are responsible for keeping the front of the house neat, clean, and shiny. After guests leave a table, your job is to quickly and efficiently remove all of the dishes and trash from the table, wipe down the table and chairs, and remove any trash or debris from the floor.

You must be able to lift moderate amounts of weight consistently throughout your shift, and you must be able to move quickly on your feet. Teamwork is also a must with this job because you have to work well with the hosts and servers.

To work as a busser at Applebee’s, you must be at least 16 years old.

Prep/Line Cook  (Hourly)

A prep/line cook at Applebee’s is responsible for preparing the menu items for all of the recipes. This includes both hot and cold food prep, setting up and breaking down workstations, and maintaining a sanitary work environment.

You must be at least 16 years old to work as a prep/line cook at Applebee’s.

Dishwasher/General Utility  (Hourly)

As a dishwasher at Applebee’s your job is to clean all of the dishes, utensils, and cookware in the restaurant. Your specific job functions include scraping and pre-rinsing food from the dirty dishes and putting them into the dishwashing machine. You will also have to wash pots, pans, and trays by hand.

You will also have to remove all of the trash in the dishwashing area, clean the work table, walls, and floors, and place clean dishes on high and low shelves. The work environment is hot and damp, and extremely fast-paced.

You must be at least 16 years old to work as a dishwasher.

Server  (Hourly + Tips)

An Applebee’s server accommodates all guests’ needs in a friendly and timely manner. They serve all food and drinks, answer questions, make suggestions, and talk to the guests to create a friendly and upbeat atmosphere.

A server also enters all orders into the computer system which relays them to the kitchen and service bar. And, you will present the check to the guest and complete all payments via credit cards, gift cards, or cash.

Servers also have cleaning duties, including wiping down tables and chairs and removing trash and debris from the floor.

Can a 15 Year Old Work at Applebee's?

Because the minimum age to work at Applebee's is 16, 15-year-old’s can’t work here. But we do have a page on our website specifically for 15-year-old’s that you can view instead.

Can a 16 Year Old Work at Applebee's?

Yes, Applebee's does hire 16-year-old’s for a variety of entry-level positions. We do have a page on our website specifically for 16-year-old’s that you can also view for more options.

How Much Does Applebee's Pay Part-Time Workers?

The hourly earnings for employees at Applebee's vary because of state and city minimum wage laws. However, we can give you a general idea of what the hourly pay is for each position.

Host/Hostess (Hourly)

As a host/hostess at Applebee’s, you will be making somewhere between $8 and $12 per hour. If you are coming in at entry-level without any prior experience, then you will most likely be in the lower end of the range. After a few months on the job, you can earn a raise or a promotion to server if you are 18 or older.

Hosts also receive a tip share percentage from the servers based on shift sales, so that will raise your hourly wage. But, how much you make will vary between shifts.

The average hourly rate for a Applebee's host/hostess is $9.

Busser (Hourly)

The rate of pay for bussers is between $8 to $10 an hour. This is an entry-level position, so if you do not have any prior work experience, chances are you will be on the lower end of the range.

Prep/Line Cook (Hourly)

The pay range for prep/line cooks at Applebee’s is between $9 and $13 an hour. If you have some experience, you will have a starting wage at the higher end of the range, but if you are entry-level,  you will most likely be at the lower end.

The average hourly rate for a prep/line cook is $11 an hour.

Server (Hourly + Tips)

The minimum serving wage varies in different states, but the average is around $3 an hour, which means that your pay is primarily through tips. The timing of your shift will determine how much money you make. For example, if you work on a Friday night, you will most likely make more money than a Wednesday lunch shift because of the amount of tables you will serve and the size of the bills.

Most people tip a percentage of the bill, so the more customers you serve and the higher your food and drink sales, the more money you make. It is not out of the question for you to bring home $100 in tips during a dinner serving shift. But, there are also shifts where you might not make more than $30 or $40.

The good thing about being a server is that you have a lot of control over how much money you make. If you give good, fast, and friendly service you can often make an average hourly rate close to $20.

How Much Experience Do You Need to Work at Applebee's?

Applebee's is an entry-level friendly company, so you can apply for a position without any experience and get hired as a host/hostess, busser, prep/line cook, or dishwasher. You can also get a server job without any experience, but you must be 18 years old.

What Should You Wear to a Job Interview at Applebee's?

Applebee's is a casual dining restaurant, so when you show up for your interview you will want to be dressed in business casual attire. Consider something like a buttoned-down shirt with nice slacks and dress shoes. You do not want to show up too casual in a t-shirt and jeans, but you don’t need to overdo it and show up in a suit.

Applebee's Interview Questions

There can be many different possible questions in a job interview, and it always depends on the interviewer. But, there are some common questions that they do often ask. At a restaurant interview, you will most likely talk to a few different managers, including the front of the house manager, back of the house manager, and general manager. Here are some questions that they have been known to ask during interviews.

How confident are you in your teamwork abilities?

Why are they asking? 

Working in a restaurant kitchen requires an enormous amount of teamwork. Everyone has a specific job to do for each order that comes into the kitchen, and they want to know if you are able to do your part to make sure each order gets to the customer quickly, but it also needs to be accurate.

What’s the ideal answer?

The interviewer wants to hear that you work well as part of a team. You can give them personal teamwork examples from school or other activities that you are involved in, like sports, music, or clubs. Let them know that you have no problem working with others, and you enjoy being part of a successful team.

How would you handle an angry customer?

Why are they asking? 

If you are applying for a front of the house position, like host/hostess, server, or busser, they will ask you this question to get an idea of how you would deal with an unhappy customer. There are times when a customer will not have the best experience, that’s just part of the job. But, how you handle the situation is key when it comes to working in customer service.

What’s the ideal answer?

The interviewer wants to know that you are not going to get into a confrontation or argument with a guest. Tell them that if a customer is angry, you will do what you can to make them happy. Say you would ask the customer what is that you can do to make them happy, and if you can’t make it happen then it is time to get a manager and bring them in to handle the situation.

What is your favorite food?

Why are they asking? 

If a manager asks you this question, they are trying to get to know you a little bit better. You are applying for a job in food service, so your food knowledge is important -- especially if you are applying to be a server or cook.

Being able to make suggestions to the customer is important, and knowing the menu is crucial for you to be successful in the restaurant business.

What’s the ideal answer?

Be honest about what your favorite food is, but don’t insult their food in the process. If you aren’t a fan of Applebee’s food, that is not something you want to share during an interview with them. And, if there is something specific on the menu that you really love, let them know. Compliments are always a good idea.

Benefits of Working at Applebee's

Everyone who works at Applebee's gets a 50 percent discount on a meal for each shift. However, the benefits they offer are for full-time workers.

Benefits include:

Paid time off and paid sick days



Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance

What it’s Like to Work at Applebee's

How to Apply at Applebee's

If you are interested in working at Applebee's, you can apply directly on the company website, which is the most accurate source for up-to-date job listings. You can fill out your application online, and it will be sent to the specific restaurant you are applying to.  You can also apply in-person at the location you are interested in.

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