As a former felon, finding work may be one of the biggest challenges you’ll face. Knowing if an employer is felon-friendly can make this process easier, so let’s find out: Does Burger King hire felons?
With over 13,000 restaurants, Burger King prides themselves on being “the second largest fast food hamburger chain in the world!” If you’re interested in the food service industry, read on, and we’ll help you get a job at Burger King with a felony. We’ll answer such questions as:
- How can I find out where they’re hiring?
- Does Burger King do background checks?
- Will my felony make it harder to get hired here?
- Does Burger King hire people with misdemeanors?
At Successful Release, we know finding a job can be tough for former offenders. That’s why we contact companies directly and ask them if they hire former felons. We also do our own research to come up with other helpful information for you. Why? Because many of our team members are former felons or people who’ve worked with people in reentry programs.
Our passion is to see you succeed in life after prison.
So let’s get started by taking a look at how to get hired at Burger King with a felony record.
Does Burger King hire felons?
Official company policy for hiring felons
We contacted Burger King directly to find out their policy for hiring former felons. Unfortunately, they didn’t respond.
So, we started doing some research to see what we could find out. We found an online Employee Handbook from a Burger King franchisee that was very helpful. It tells us Burger King is an Equal Opportunity Employment employer. Here’s the official statement:
“The Company is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit. Company policy prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, religion, religious creed (includes all aspects of religious belief, observance, and practice, including religious dress and grooming practices), color, national origin (including language use restrictions), ancestry, physical and mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, denial of family and medical care leave, marital status, sex (which includes pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding and medical conditions related to pregnancy), gender, gender identity, gender expression, sex stereotype, transgender, age (40 and over), military and veteran status, sexual orientation, pregnancy, registered partner status, and any other local, state, or federal protected basis. All such discrimination is unlawful and prohibited by the Company. Company policy also prohibits unlawful discrimination by any employee towards customers, vendors, contractors and persons working or visiting on the company’s premises.”
What does this mean for you? As an EEOC employer, Burger King cannot deny you employment simply because you have a criminal record. Instead, they have to be able to show that the nature of your offense would conflict with the position you’re applying for.
So, the short answer is yes, former felons can get a job here. In fact, sources online confirmed this as well.
Has Burger King hired felons in the past?
Yes. In the course of our research, several of our sources indicated Burger King has hired former felons in the past. Now, it’s important to remember many BK restaurants are franchise locations, so there’s no guarantee every store will be felon-friendly. The ultimate hiring decision lies with the owner of each franchise. But the important thing is the company itself doesn’t appear to have a policy that prohibits hiring former felons.
Does Burger King hire people with misdemeanors?
Yes. It’s highly likely a person with a misdemeanor could get hired here. Knowing former felons have been able to find work with BK, it’s a safe assumption people with misdemeanors can as well. Again, each location will make their own hiring decisions. However, since misdemeanor offenses are usually less severe than felonies, we believe you have a good chance of getting a job here.
Is Burger King on the Ban the Box list?
If you’ve ever been frustrated to see a question about your legal history on an application, you’re not alone. In fact, the Ban the Box Campaign was started to try to remove these questions from applications. Their goal is to make sure people are considered for their qualifications, not rejected for their past mistakes. The Fair Chance Business Pledge is a similar effort. Companies that take this Pledge commit to waiting until later in the hiring process to ask questions about a person’s legal history.
We checked to see if Burger King was a supporter of either of these initiatives, but couldn’t find a direct connection. This doesn’t mean they won’t hire felons.
Does Burger King have special programs for hiring felons?
Not that we could find. However, this isn’t unusual. There are many felon-friendly companies that don’t have specific programs in place for hiring former felons. It just means you’ll need to go through the same application process as anyone else.
What are the odds someone with a felony will get hired?
After our research, Successful Release believes your chances of getting a job at Burger King are high. We know they’re an EEOC employer who has hired former felons in the past. This means there’s a good chance you could find a job here as well. And because BK likes to promote from within, there’s a possibility you could move up over time.
What are some entry-level jobs?
Burger King’s primary entry-level job is the Team Member position. In this role, you’ll be responsible for several different tasks:
- Greeting guests and processing payments.
- Making sure orders are filled correctly.
- Preparing the food and cleaning the kitchen.
- Stocking inventory.
- Cleaning other areas in the restaurant.
- Helping fulfill drive-thru orders.
You’ll likely be assigned a variety of shifts and be cross-trained in multiple positions when you’re ready.
How to get hired at Burger King with a felony
Now that we know Burger King hires felons, the next step is for you to actually apply. When you do this, you’ll want to be sure you have a great resume to submit with your application. Here are some tips to help you with your resume:
- Show them you have the skills they’re looking for. Your relevant experience and the skills you bring with you can quickly move you to the front of the line of applicants. Think about it from their perspective. Hiring and training people with no experience takes a lot more time than hiring those who come with food service experience already.
- Make sure your resume looks perfect. That means figuring out a good format to use and checking it over for spelling and grammar issues. When you take the time to do this, it makes a great impression on the person who reviews it. If spelling and grammar aren’t your thing, that’s okay. A lot of job placement agencies and career centers are happy to look over your resume for you.
- Once you’ve got a resume you’re proud of, follow this link to apply at a BK near you.
Your next step is the interview. If you’re wondering what to do when they call you in, we’ve got some tips to help you out:
- Put on a polo shirt and some khaki pants. While it might seem obvious that you should dress up a little bit for your interview, many people don’t. Stand out by taking time to put on some nice clothes.
- Go in with confidence and enthusiasm. This is Burger King, not NASA. You’ve got this! Let them know you’re the right person for the job and you’re ready to work.
- Watch your language. You never know who you’ll be interviewing with, so it’s better to keep your language clean to avoid offending anyone. This means no cussing or prison slang.
- Until you know the store’s policy on piercings and tattoos, it’s better to cover them up. That way the interviewer stays focused on the skills you’ll bring to their team. Once you’re hired, you can figure out the rest.
- Play an active role in the interview. Answer their questions honestly, even if they ask about your legal history. (We know they’ll do a background check.) Then ask them some of your own questions. This will show them you’re really interested in working there, and it’s another great way to stand out from the crowd.
Does Burger King do background checks?
Yes. Our sources all agree Burger King does a background check on new employees. How long it takes can vary from one location to another. It’s mainly a way for them to make sure your legal record won’t conflict with your job requirements.
Here’s some essential information about background checks:
Believe it or not, some states won’t look at information on your background over seven years old. This is extremely helpful if you’re a felon living in one of these states:
- New Hampshire*
- New York*
(* some higher-paying jobs may require a more extensive background check.)
There are also several states that won’t include information about cases where you were found not guilty:
- Indiana (limited check)
- New York
In the end, there are still many states where your entire record will be checked. These results will include cases with a not guilty verdict as well. Here’s a list of those states:
- Indiana (extensive check)
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Carolina
- West Virginia
We went online to see what current and former employees had to say about working at Burger King. The 4,000+ reviews on glassdoor.com left them with a rating of 3.1 out of 5 stars. Almost half of the employees who left reviews (47%) said they would recommend the company to a friend.
What felony convictions might have a hard time getting hired here?
Does Burger King hire felons? It looks like many locations will, but certain felonies might make it harder to get a job here. Here are some examples:
- Felonies involving theft, since you’ll be required to run the cash register.
- Violent felonies, since you’ll be working in a fast-paced, often stressful, environment.
- Sexual offenses, as Burger King tends to cater to families with small children.
- Alcohol- or drug-related offenses, as BK has strict policies against drug and alcohol use.
Does Burger King drug test?
Yes. According to their employee manual, new employees will be required to go through a drug test. They also drug test employees based on “reasonable suspicion” if a supervisor believes they’re under the influence while at work.
Have you applied for a job or worked here? Share your experiences!
Are you a former felon who’s been able to get a job at Burger King with a felony? If so, let us know! We’d love to hear about your experience, especially if you have any advice for other former offenders.