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Does Waffle House Hire Felons in 2021? 

By Last update January 29, 2020
Does Waffle House hire felons as cooks

Looking for a job that offers a flexible schedule and smells like a tasty breakfast? You might want to know: Does Waffle House hire felons?

Relaunch Pad aims to level the playing field for former felons by directly contacting employers about their hiring policies. We firmly believe maintaining employment is central to succeeding on the outside and we’re here to help that happen. We know how tough the hunt can be, so we encourage you to use us as your resource when finding jobs.

At Relaunch Pad, we don’t just help former felons find jobs — we employ them too! Helping former felons isn’t just business for us. It’s personal.

Stay tuned and we’ll show you how to get a job at Waffle House with a felony. We’re also going to answer the following questions:

  • Does Waffle House hire people with misdemeanors?
  • How do I apply?
  • Does Waffle House do background checks?
  • Will my felony disqualify me?

Read further to find out!

Does Waffle House hire felons?

Does Waffle House hire felons as cooks
Attr: Wikimedia Commons; Author: Mbrickn

Official company policy for hiring felons

We attempted to contact Waffle House regarding an official company policy for hiring felons. At this time, they have not yet responded to our request for comment. When they respond, we’ll update the article to show their answer.

Until then, this guide will give you the best chance possible to get hired at Waffle House.

Has Waffle House hired felons in the past?

Does Waffle House hire felons or have they done so before? As it turns out, yes! Waffle House does hire felons, according to online testimonials. Although there were also a few instances where this wasn’t the case, it was overall positive feedback.

Does Waffle House hire people with misdemeanors?

Misdemeanors are not likely to count against you.

Is Waffle House on the Ban the Box list?

Ban the Box encourages businesses to look at someone’s qualifications before looking into their background. Companies that “ban the box” remove the checkbox on applications that ask about criminal history.

The Fair Chance Business Pledge also encourages businesses to remove unnecessary barriers to employment. They promote giving second chances to those overlooked due to their criminal record.

Sadly, Waffle House does not officially participate in either of these programs. That said, their homepage mentions they follow equal opportunity employment practices.

Does Waffle House have special programs for hiring felons?

Waffle House does not 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 rate your chances of getting hired at Waffle House with a felony as high!

  • No “criminal history” box on application
  • No background checks at any locations
  • Lots of online evidence of former felons getting hired

What are some entry-level jobs?

Waffle House titles its jobs a little differently, so let’s take a look!

Salesperson: A salesperson is Waffle House’s version of a server. This is a tip-based position and Waffle House advertises its earning potential as higher than other restaurants.

Door Corps: This is a combination of a host/busser position. You seat customers and help keep the dining area clean when you aren’t doing that. A good place to start if you do not have as much work experience.

Grill Operator: This is your standard line cook job. If you have experience in it, Waffle House offers three different titles and pay scales to match your experience.

How to get hired at Waffle House with a felony

To get started, head over to Waffle House’s job page and narrow down your search to jobs available in your area. Once you’ve found the best job for you, apply away and be confident.

While on the job page, make sure to look at important values the company has and use them to update your resume. You’ll use this to fill out the application, plus they’re useful when you get to the interview stage!

Since you’re applying online, a good way to distinguish yourself from the pack is to call the location you’ve applied at. If you apply online and haven’t heard anything in seven business days, consider calling the location for an update.

Even better, go in person during a slower time (after lunch, before dinner) and drop a copy of your resume off. If you’re up to it, ask to see a manager.

Be respectful and show you’re eager to get working. Doing that can help separate you from many people who apply online but don’t care as much. When showing up to the job, either to apply or interview, be sure to be presentable. Cover visible tattoos if possible and dress business casual to hammer home how serious you are.

If you land the interview, look again to the Waffle House job page for clues on how to conduct yourself.

There is a section titled “Who Are We” that gives some insight. They list out the traits Waffle House looks for in employees . To prepare for the interview, pick some of those traits that meet your personality. For example, two traits they list are “friendly” and “positive”. These are two traits very easy to show in the interview. Engage the interviewer with a warm smile. Make sure to put a positive spin on things you talk about. Do not complain or act negative.

To sell yourself, share examples of times you went above and behind. Why? Your great people skills would be perfect for Salesperson or Grill Operator positions. Also,if you’re a great independent worker who can organize well and work quickly, they’ll want you for a Door Corp position.

Restaurants are willing to teach people how to do the job, but you can’t teach a good attitude. Even if your skills are the best, they won’t hire you if they think you’re a bad apple.

If you can show you’re a great personality fit and are capable of doing the work, you should have a pretty good handle on how to get hired at Waffle House with a felony.

Does Waffle House do background checks?

All signs point to Waffle House not doing background checks. However, it’s possible that some locations could apply a background check, so read further to know how that may affect you.

That said . . . we tested out one of their applications all the way through, and there were no questions about criminal history!

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

Great news for former felons in the states listed below! The following states do not require background checks to report felonies more than seven years old:

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

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

Better than that, the states below do not require seeing convictions in which you were found not guilty:

  • Alaska
  • California
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana (limited check)
  • Kentucky
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • New York

Sadly, the states listed below are pretty thorough with their background checks. They look at your entire record, including not guilty convictions and felonies from way back:

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • Connecticut
  • DC
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Idaho
  • Indiana (extensive check)
  • 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

Waffle House got a 3.3 out of 5 star rating on glassdoor.com, which is an average rating.

Employees liked that front-of-house employees get to leave work with cash every day. They also said they liked their co-workers and employees.

Other employees complained about difficulties in work-life balance and long hours because it’s a 24/7 restaurant.

A little over half of employees would recommend Waffle House to a friend.

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

Violent crime felonies like robbery or assault could give you a harder time getting hired at Waffle House due to potential trust issues managers might have.

Property crimes could also pose problems. Restaurants have a lot of expensive equipment, so cynical managers might want to “protect their investments” by not hiring you.

A violation in liquor laws, such as sales to minors or drug trafficking crimes, could also be looked at unfavorably. In a fast food restaurant environment, there might be minors.

Additionally, the presence of minors could pose a problem if you have any felonies related to sexual assault on your record.

Does Waffle House drug test?

It does not look like Waffle House does pre-employment drug screening. Like always, however, we encourage sobriety. Restaurants that do not drug test for pre-employment can sometimes give reasonable suspicion or post-injury drug tests as well. Better to be safe than sorry.

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

Has anyone been able to get a job at Waffle House with a felony? Tell us your stories, good or bad, in the comments!

Jakupi Valon
Social Worker & Reentry Educator

Valon is a Reentry Educator for Successful Release as well as a Social Work Masters Candidate at Wayne State's School of Social Work. A first-generation American, he believes in America as a land of opportunity. Valon believes everyone deserves those opportunities, no matter what their background is.