Jan 31, 2023
Since its inception in 1946, Chick-fil-A has become one of the largest members of the restaurant industry. The company currently employs approximately 140,000 people, most of whom work in its restaurants.
As such a large employer, Chick-fil-A may be on your radar if you’re a former felon looking for a job.
Here, we answer whether Chick-fil-A hires felons and look at common questions about its hiring practices.
Can a Felon Get a Job at Chick-fil-A?
Fast food outlets are some of the best places to apply for felons that need a job, making Chick-fil-A an attractive proposition. However, the company doesn’t have a blanket policy on hiring felons.
That’s because each Chick-fil-A restaurant is a franchise, meaning each has a different business owner. Though each restaurant follows certain franchise rules, each of these business owners implements their own hiring practices.
Even so, many Chick-fil-A restaurants will hire somebody who has a criminal record or felony. Most approach applicants on a case-by-case basis, taking your experience and rehabilitative efforts into account just as much as your conviction.
Ultimately, your chances of securing a role with Chick-fil-A depends on the restaurant. Each Chick-fil-A is an independently owned restaurant under the company’s franchise model.
This means that each restaurant is owned by a franchisee who implements their preferred hiring practices. These independent franchisees can choose whether or not to hire somebody based on their felony record.
While this may mean that a franchisee chooses not to hire you, it also means you shouldn’t lose hope. Applying at a different restaurant can lead to you getting a job, assuming a different franchisee is willing to hire a felon.
Pro Tip: Chick-fil-A has its own application process, but it’s worth creating a resume before applying for a role.
This process allows you to figure out what useful experience you have that you could discuss on an application or in an interview.
Also, check out food delivery jobs for felons.
What Jobs Can a Felon Get a Chick-fil-A?
A team member is the most obvious job choice at Chick-fil-A for felons. Though this is an entry-level position, it offers you a chance to get your foot in the door.
Plus, the company provides all of the training you need and opportunities for advancement within the restaurant.
Team members perform several duties related to guests and food preparation. On the guest side of things, a team member may greet customers, take orders, and complete transactions using a cash register. Food preparation includes cooking, creating sandwiches, and keeping a hygienic kitchen.
You can find your nearest Chick-fil-A restaurant using the company’s restaurant locator page. Enter your city and state to find restaurants where you can apply to work.
Job website Indeed reports that the average salary of a Chick-fil-A team member is $13.67 per hour. The site states that this is approximately 12% above the national average, making Chick-fil-A a more attractive option than other fast-food companies offering similar roles.
You also become part of the company’s referral program, which offers bonuses when you refer other potential applicants to the franchise. Plus, team members get an employee discount on any food they buy from the franchise.
Chick-fil-A also offers corporate roles, ranging from entry-level positions and internships to roles for more experienced professionals. Each of these roles has its own qualification criteria.
Still, a felon may be able to land one of these jobs if they meet or exceed Chick-fil-A’s requirements. You can check the company’s corporate careers page for information about available roles.
Does Chick-fil-A Perform Drug and Background Checks?
Chick-fil-A restaurants require all employees to pass a drug test within their first five days of employment. Note that this doesn’t mean you must pass a drug test to apply to the restaurant.
Still, Chick-fil-A takes drug usage seriously. The franchise reserves the right to test any individual it suspects is using drugs or other illicit substances.
An independent third party carries out Chick-fil-A’s drug testing, which removes the potential of bias affecting the results. The policy applies to all employees, regardless of age or tenure with the company.
A Chick-fil-A drug test may include examinations of saliva, blood, urine, and hair. Returning a positive test is grounds for immediate termination.
As for background checks, almost every Chick-fil-A franchise will look into your background. Restaurants conduct these checks to learn as much about you as possible. However, what shows up on the background check depends on the state in which you live.
For example, you may live in one of the 37 states or 150 cities that have passed “ban the box” laws that prohibit asking about past criminal records on applications.
These laws aim to provide felons with a fair chance at employment without the stigma of their criminal convictions hanging over them.
Suppose you live in a state that operates these laws. In that case, your criminal history and felony record won’t be required as part of the application process.
A Chick-fil-A background check typically takes five days and is part of your application process. The company uses a third party to conduct the checks, ensuring they’re free of bias.
You can also apply for jobs that don’t require a background check.
Quick Tips for Applying for a Job at Chick-fil-A With A Felony
All Chick-fil-A applicants must be 16 or older, which is a criterion that all felons will meet. Follow this process to start the application process:
Locate the Chick-fil-A restaurants nearest to your location using the company’s restaurant locator tool.
Visit the restaurants you’re interested in applying to and ask the manager if they’re hiring or willing to accept applications.
Assuming the manager is willing to hire, they should give you a standard application form to complete. Fill out the form and hand it back to the manager.
Some restaurants move straight into the interview process, especially if they’re understaffed. You likely have a better chance of getting hired in these cases. Others take their time with your application and will call you back if they wish to interview you.
First impressions matter when applying for a role at Chick-fil-A. Wear business-casual clothing when you visit a restaurant to apply for a role.
Pro Tip: Avoid visiting Chick-fil-A during the peak hours of lunch and dinner. Instead, visit during less busy hours to increase your chances of speaking to a manager.
Chick-fil-A Offers Opportunities to Felons
You have an average-to-good chance of getting hired if you’re a felon applying for a job at Chick-fil-A. The most important thing to remember is that each Chick-fil-A restaurant has its own franchisee owner.
As such, each restaurant develops its own hiring practices. Don’t be discouraged if one Chick-fil-A restaurant refuses your application.
Others may take a more sympathetic approach to your application, increasing your chances of getting a job.