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Does Buffalo Wild Wings Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update September 27, 2018
does Buffalo Wild Wings hire felons as servers and cooks

Looking to get a job in the restaurant industry, but have a record? Chances are you’re wondering, does Buffalo Wild Wings hire felons? We’re going to show you how to get hired at Buffalo Wild Wings with a felony.

Buffalo Wild Wings was founded in 1982 and currently has 1,238 locations around the world, including in all 50 US states. You can certainly find one where you live. If you want to work in the restaurant industry, let us help you realize that dream.

We’ve spoken directly with Buffalo Wild Wings about whether or not they hire former felons, so we can walk you through the whole process. We’ll look at their hiring requirements and other critical information you need to know before you apply, like:

  • Does Buffalo Wild Wings hire people with misdemeanors?
  • Does Buffalo Wild Wings hire felons?
  • What kind of jobs can you get without much experience and with a record?
  • How do I survive an interview?

Here at Relaunch Pad, we make a point to hire people who have felony convictions ourselves because we believe everyone deserves a second chance. Our staff is therefore uniquely qualified to help you on your job search!

Here’s the lowdown on how to get a job at Buffalo Wild Wings with a felony.

Does Buffalo Wild Wings hire felons?

does Buffalo Wild Wings hire felons as servers and cooks

Official policy for hiring felons

When we asked Buffalo Wild Wings about their policy for hiring people with felony convictions, they responded with the following:

We accept and review all applicants that come by. A felony would not automatically disqualify a candidate. Each candidate is assessed on a case-by-case basis. There are three interview steps that need to be completed before anyone is hired.

We’ll get into those steps later in the article, guiding you forward with how to get hired at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Has Buffalo Wild Wings hired felons in the past?

Buffalo Wild Wings did not confirm or deny if they have hired felons in the past. However, our conversations with them indicated that they have. We found statements from people who say that Buffalo Wild Wings hired them despite their record.

Does Buffalo Wild Wings hire people with misdemeanors?

We think Buffalo Wild Wings will hire people with misdemeanor convictions. We base this on the official statement above, as well as the firsthand reports we have stating they have hired people with felony records. Getting hired depends on the nature of the charge, and we’ll cover that in a minute.

Is Buffalo Wild Wings on the Ban the Box list?

If you’ve heard of the Ban the Box campaign, then you know how important it has become. In an effort to help former offenders get farther into the hiring process, many companies have removed questions about criminal convictions from their applications.

We actually filled out one of Buffalo Wild Wings online applications (their preferred method for applying) and they do not ask questions about criminal history.

They also offer people the option of filling out an application at the desired location you want to work at, but we don’t know what that application looks like. It shouldn’t ask about your criminal history, either. That’s great news!

Unfortunately, Buffalo Wild Wings has not yet signed the Fair Chance Business Pledge. This is a government initiative to eliminate employment barriers for those with a criminal record, much like Ban the Box. However, since their hiring practices are in-line with these mandates, we don’t consider this a mark against them.

Does Buffalo Wild Wings have any special programs for hiring felons?

Buffalo Wild Wings doesn’t have any special programs for hiring felons.

What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?

High likelihood of being hired with a felony

We think you have a good chance of getting hired by Buffalo Wild Wings with a prior conviction. As their response to us said, a felony doesn’t automatically disqualify you.

The good news is that the restaurant industry is always looking for dedicated employees. As unemployment rates go down, restaurants are having a hard time keeping employees. Why is this good for you? Because they will be more willing to take a chance on you, even with a prior felony conviction.

What are some entry-level jobs?

There are always plenty of entry-level jobs at restaurants, especially if they are located in popular tourist areas. At Buffalo Wild Wings, these jobs include hosts, servers, cashiers, cooks, bartenders, table bussers and cleaning crews. If you have management experience already, you may even be able to get a lower-level management job.

Restaurants have high employee turnover rates. Therefore, even if the location you want to work at is not advertising for positions, you can always stop in and speak to a manager.

For many entry-level restaurant jobs, you do not need any special skills. Usually these types of places will train you for the job you are hired for. If you do have experience in the restaurant industry, that is a plus.

Buffalo Wild Wings will want you to have excellent people skills. In the restaurant industry, it is important to be able to communicate well with others. This includes being personable and friendly. You also must be able to follow directions well and listen to your supervisor.

How to get hired at Buffalo Wild Wings with a felony

We’re taking their official statement to heart. First, visit their online hiring site that lists available jobs and apply directly — remember, you don’t need to disclose your conviction here. You can also visit the location you want to apply at and ask for an application. We encourage people to follow-up or apply in-person whenever possible.

Before you go to the location, make sure you look like someone who should be taken seriously. Dress nicely, be groomed and brush your teeth. All of these little things add up to make a good first impression. It’s important you don’t look like someone who has done time. Cover your tattoos and be as friendly as possible.

Sometimes you pick up certain language and gestures in prison that aren’t good for a professional environment. Be sure to speak clearly to potential employers. Most importantly, don’t curse or use inappropriate slang.

Get a referral. If you know someone who works here, this is your golden ticket. However, a letter of recommendation works as well. Essentially, you now have someone else saying you are worth hiring!

If you get asked for an interview, you should prepare yourself with some sample questions. Practice answering questions like these:

  • Why do you think you’re a good fit for this company?
  • Do you have any experience in the restaurant industry?
  • Could you please explain your criminal convictions?

Talk to yourself in a mirror or use your phone to playback the video or audio. Recording your answers to these questions can help you see where you can improve and gives you an outsider’s perspective. Practice is a good thing.

Make sure you show up for the interview dressed nicely. If you don’t have the appropriate attire, many local job placement agencies provide them for free.

Does Buffalo Wild Wings do background checks?

They do, sometimes. When we looked at multiple reports online, we saw that some people say they do perform background checks and some people say they don’t. Even when Buffalo Wild Wings does do a background check, they don’t discriminate against felons.

This is due to a few things. About half of the locations are owned directly by the company while the other half are owned by independent franchise owners. That means their hiring methods can differ concerning background checks.

Background checks are more common with sensitive positions such as management. So, does Buffalo Wild Wings do background checks? They might, so be prepared.

Here’s what you need to know about background checks:

If your felony conviction was seven years ago, these states won’t even look at them in the check:

  • California
  • Colorado*
  • Kansas*
  • Maryland*
  • Massachusetts
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire*
  • New York *
  • Texas *
  • Washington*

(* sometimes certain pay or salary bracket positions require one.)

Eight states don’t consider your not guilty verdicts:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Be aware, if you live in one of these states, that they will see everything (including not guilty verdicts):

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Company ratings

Buffalo Wild Wings has over 2,000 reviews on, giving us a pretty good picture of what it is like to work there. They have a 3.3 rating out of five, with 57 percent of people saying they would recommend the job to a friend.

Most people say there is a good working environment. The main complaints are against management, but that’s pretty typical with most jobs. A bad review about management doesn’t apply across the board or even that you will have the same issues.

What felony convictions might have a difficult time getting a hired here?

You now need to know if your felony will count against you. Certain felony convictions could stop them from hiring you. For example:

  • Convictions involving robbery or theft will work against you for jobs that require you to handle money. After being with the company for a while and earning their trust, you may move into these positions (think server or bartender).
  • Certain sex crime convictions may disqualify you from being a host or a server. However, you may be able to get a job that doesn’t involve regular contact with the public, such as a cook or cleaner.

Does Buffalo Wild Wings drug test?

We could not find any information directly from the company stating whether or not they perform drug tests. Our research shows they do not drug test at hiring, but will do so if they have to.

Many restaurants drug test cooks and managers. They will also test you if there is an incident. Being aware will help you prepare.

Have you worked at or gotten an interview here? Share your experiences!

Getting hired after coming out of prison may not be easy, but it is possible. Did you land a job at Buffalo Wild Wings? What roadblocks did you stumble upon? We want to hear your experiences in the comments below about how to get hired at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Good luck with your job search!

Allen Watson
Reentry Educator

Allen has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and a Master's Degree in Teaching from Coastal Carolina University. He has worked in education, EMS, and law enforcement. Allen has worked extensively with people who are re-establishing their lives after leaving prison.