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Does Denny’s Hire Felons in 2021?

By Last update November 9, 2018
jobs for felons, company profile, Denny's, restaurants

You’ve been a server in the past and want to get back into it. You might be wondering, does Denny’s hire felons? Here at Relaunch Pad, our goal is to help you get hired wherever you want, including Denny’s!

Denny’s offers employee benefits and has many restaurant locations across America. Working here will give you experience in the service industry, and beyond.

This article can help you get an interview and answer the following questions:

  • Does Denny’s hire felons?
  • How do I apply?
  • Does Denny’s hire people with misdemeanors?
  • Does Denny’s do background checks?
  • What do I need to know about the company?

To make this process simple for you, Relaunch Pad reached out to Denny’s directly to determine if they are open to hiring felons. Even better, most of the writers on our team have either worked inside correctional institutions or have been incarcerated themselves, so they know how to help you.

This article is dedicated to making the application process at Denny’s as easy for you as possible. Relaunch Pad is an organization dedicated to helping former felons achieve their professional goals in our community.

Even though you still need to work hard, this article will make it as easy as possible to get a job at Denny’s with a felony.

Does Denny’s hire felons?

jobs for felons, company profile, Denny's, restaurants

Official company policy for hiring felons

When our company contacted Denny’s to see if they hired former offenders, they said:

“You can apply in person at the Denny’s location of your choice. Ask to speak to the General Manager who can provide you with information regarding current or future job openings. Please speak with the General Manager for details in regards to employment opportunity availability and the requirements of the positions available.

Also, if you are interested in applying for a newly developing Denny’s location that has not yet been constructed, information in regards to how to apply may be posted on the site closer to the opening date. You will need to fill out an application on site or speak with a representative for details.”

While Denny’s would not confirm that they have previously hired felons, we have reports from other sources that they have.

Has Denny’s hired felons in the past?

Denny’s leaves this decision up to their individual restaurants and hiring managers. Their ability to view your criminal record depends on which state you live in, and some states can use this information as a deciding factor. However, some online comments suggested you could get a job at Denny’s with a felony conviction.

Does Denny’s hire people with misdemeanors?

While Denny’s avoids having an official policy on candidates with misdemeanors or felonies, they keep the option open to hiring managers.

Is Denny’s on the Ban the Box list?

Unfortunately, Denny’s is not on the Ban the Box list. Companies on the list commit to not asking about criminal history on job applications. However, 11 states currently enforce Ban the Box rules.

These states are: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

As part of President Obama’s Fair Chance Business Pledge, many companies across the country have committed to not judging potential candidates based on their criminal records. The Pledge pushes for equal treatment. While Denny’s has not taken the Pledge, they do hire on a case-by-case basis.

Does Denny’s have special programs for hiring felons?

No, they do not, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply.

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

Average likelihood of being hired with a felony

Relaunch Pad gives your chances of being hired at Denny’s as average. Although they leave it up to store locations, we know from other sources that they’ve hired former offenders before.

You can increase your odds, however. If you are willing to work the graveyard shift, then your odds of being hired go way up! Let’s look at how get hired at Denny’s.

What are some entry-level jobs?

Entry-level jobs usually require shift work, including weekends and nights. You don’t usually need a high level of education for these jobs. And, bonus, you don’t need a lot of experience. They’ll do on-the-job training with you.

Some examples of entry-level positions at Denny’s include:

  • Server or Food Runner
  • Shift Leader or Store Manager
  • Bartender or Chef
  • Dishwasher or Busser

You’ve seen these kinds of roles before. They are your first step in the Denny’s door.

How to get hired at Denny’s with a felony

You can increase your chances of getting hired with the right strategy. First of all, Denny’s has a very specific vibe as a company. Their marketing always emphasizes values like friendliness and teamwork. Therefore, the right attitude can make a big difference.

When filling out your application for Denny’s, you should emphasize your people skills and ability to work as part of a team.

If you are applying jobs in dishwashing or food preparation, then experience will be more important than your people skills. However, if you want to be a server, they will be critical to that job.

An important part of applying to a job is building a good resume. How to write a good resume? Check out this guide.

Don’t forget to include any work experiences from prison, especially related to food preparation and serving. Also, include solid personal and professional references. References and referrals are great ways to land a job!

When you meet the hiring manager, you should show them that you have a positive and friendly attitude. Getting along with other people is one of the biggest parts of succeeding at work.

If you lived with a ‘cellie’ in prison, then you learned valuable skills for dealing with all kinds of people.

If you don’t hear from Denny’s after a week or so, you can call and check. This shows them that you care about getting hired. If this doesn’t work, then move on — but at least you tried everything.

At the interview, just be yourself and relax. Try to answer the questions to the best of your ability, including how your personal and work experiences relate.

Also, be ready for silly interview questions, like your favorite movie character! According to reports we read, Denny’s hiring managers ask questions like that.

Does Denny’s do background checks?

Yes, they do complete background checks. This is pretty common, though.

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

Some states don’t even consider information more than seven years old. This means that if your offense was six years ago, you’ll want until next year to apply. This is also great news for former felons living in these states! 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.)

Even better, there are states that don’t consider court cases were you were found not guilty. Eight states are currently on this list:

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

However, there are still some states that will look at your whole record. This includes your not guilty verdicts. Be aware, if you live in one of these states, that they will see everything:

  • 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

They were rated 3.2 out of 5 on

Denny’s is a restaurant with locations all across the country, known for serving all three meals 24 hours a day. This can lead to long hours for employees, which leads to some bad reviews. However, some past employees also had good things to share.

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

Obviously, crimes related to stealing will be concerning for a hiring manager, although not necessarily a deal-breaker. You may not be able to work with money, but there are other jobs in the back.

Any charges involving minors, though, will prevent you from getting certain jobs. If you can’t talk to or be near the patrons, you can’t really be a server. However, you could look to a job like line cook or night shift janitorial.

Does Denny’s drug test?

Denny’s has been reported as saying that they only ask for drug tests for managers, supervisors and corporate employees. But they also make sure to show they’re a drug-free workplace, so it’s good to keep that in mind. Some Denny’s locations also serve beer, wine and even hard alcohol as part of their menu. If you have concerns about the presence of alcohol in the workplace, then you need to consider if this is the right environment for you.

Have you applied to a job or worked here? Share your experiences!

If you know how to get hired at Denny’s, then you know how the hiring and application process works. Share what you learned here! Telling your story helps the next applicant.

Best of luck applying!

Blaine Leal photo
Blaine Leal
Counselor & Reentry Educator

Blaine Leal has worked in the prison system within mental health and counseling roles for over 5 years. Blaine values diversity, especially as it related to the LGBTQ+ Community, having written extensively for organizations related to this cause. He is also a writer with a BA in English from Cal Poly University, SLO. He is very passionate about recovery and wellness, especially for those who have experienced incarceration in the past and who are seeking to improve their lives.