Cava Hiring Age: How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Cava
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Cava Hiring Age: How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Cava

You may wonder about the hiring age to get a job at Cava, the fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant chain. 

Cava has become wildly popular recently for its customizable bowls, salads, and sides featuring fresh ingredients like greens, grains, and proteins. 

If you love Mediterranean flavors, a position at Cava could be a great opportunity. But what are the age requirements for employment at Cava?

What is Minimum Hiring Age to Work at Cava

The minimum hiring age at Cava is 16 years old. Cava will hire team members as young as 16 to work in their restaurants across the United States.

This 16-year-old minimum age applies to front-of-house positions like cashiers, line servers, hosts and back-of-house roles like food prep, grillers, and dishwashers. 

So if you are 16 or older, you can apply for any position near a Cava location.

Some key points about Cava minimum hiring age:

  • You must be at least 16 years old to work at Cava; no exceptions
  • 16 and 17-year-olds are welcome to apply for all positions
  • No maximum age limit – Cava hires team members of all ages
  • Parent/guardian consent is required for ages 16-17

You can find employment at Cava as long as you meet the 16-year minimum hiring age.

Hence, qualified candidates are encouraged to apply for other vacant positions.

Work Hours for Minors

If you are under 18, some special work-hour rules and restrictions are in place. 

As a minor, your weekly shifts and total work hours will be limited compared to older team members.

Here are the standard work-hour limits for minors at Cava:

  • 16-17 year-olds: No more than 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week
  • 14-15-year-olds: No more than 3 hours per school day, 8 hours per non-school day, 18 hours per school week, 40 hours per non-school week
  • Younger than 14: Not permitted to work at Cava

Based on these hourly restrictions, Cava managers schedule shifts for team members under 18. 

Hours are usually limited to part-time for minors. You may be scheduled during daytime, evening, or weekend shifts based on your availability and the restaurant’s staffing needs.

It’s essential to communicate your availability based on school hours and activities. 

Cava will work with you to find shift times that fit within the legal hourly limits for your age group. 

The good news is that you can increase your hours and take on more responsibility once you turn 18.

Permitted Job Duties by Age

In addition to work hours, the jobs minors are allowed to perform at Cava may be restricted based on age.

Here are the typical age guidelines:

  • 16-17-year-olds: Can perform any front-of-house or back-of-house job at Cava. Cashier, line server, food prep, grill, and dishwasher roles are all permitted.
  • 14-15-year-olds: Limited primarily to front-of-house roles like cashier and line server. May also assist with limited food prep duties like making salads and bowls behind the counter—Off-limits from grill, fryer, oven, and most back-of-house equipment.
  • Younger than 14: No positions permitted due to the minimum age policy.

So 16 and 17-year-old team members can take on more hands-on roles operating equipment and working in the back of the house. 

Cava wants to provide challenging growth opportunities while adhering to all age-related employment regulations.

Tips for Applying at 16-17 Years Old

Applying for your first job as a 16 or 17-year-old can be intimidating. Here are some tips to help your Cava application stand out even as a young worker:

1. Highlight Relevant Experience

Include any food service experience, like working at a school cafe or helping in a family restaurant. 

Or emphasize transferable skills like cash handling, customer service, and following instructions.

2. Focus on Schedule Availability

Clearly communicate the hours and days you can work based on school obligations. The more available you are, the better your chance of being hired.

3. Follow up After Applying

Don’t just apply and wait. Reach out to reiterate your interest and ask about the next steps in the process. Show you’ll take the initiative as an employee.

4. Prepare for the Interview

Practice good eye contact, firm handshake, and professional responses. Look up commonly asked questions for cashier and server roles. Show maturity beyond your age.

5. Highlight your Desire to Learn

Express your desire to learn everything when you start. You want to master the role and gain experience. Enthusiasm for learning goes a long way.

6. Ask About Opportunities to Grow

Inquire about advancement possibilities down the road during the interview. Make it clear you see this as more than just a short-term gig.

These tips help you stand out when applying for Cava at 16 or 17. Show you have the basic skills and superb attitude needed to thrive in your first job.

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Perks of Working at Cava Under 18

There are many advantages to working at Cava as a 16 or 17-year-old beyond just earning an income. 

Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Earn Above Minimum Wage

Cava provides starting hourly wages well above federal and state minimums. Pay starts at $15 per hour or higher, depending on location. Much better pay than typical teen jobs.

2. Gain Valuable Experience

You’ll gain hands-on experience taking orders, serving guests, preparing food, and working as a team. Skills that build an impressive resume for future work.

3. Receive Free Employee Meals

Enjoy free Cava meals on shifts longer than 6 hours. Get to taste all the delicious menu items. A great perk for hungry teens!

4. Opportunities for Advancement

Starting as a team member under 18 allows you to move into training and leadership roles once you turn 18.

5. Flexible Scheduling

Scheduling works around school and activities. Only have to work weekends? No problem. Cava also provides flexibility not found in many first jobs.

6. Fun, Social Work Environment

Coworkers are generally energetic, friendly, and helpful toward young team members—an enjoyable first job setting.

For many reasons, Cava is a rewarding place to gain first job experience as a teenager. You’ll learn, earn, eat, and socialize in a welcoming environment.

Parents’ Guide for Minor Employment at Cava

As a parent or guardian, you may be concerned about your teenager working at Cava. Here are some key points to be aware of:

  • Must consent in writing to allow your minor to work there
  • Hours will be limited based on age group
  • Can specify the times of day your teen is allowed to work
  • Jobs duties will align with age-related safety restrictions
  • Work may initially be part-time with the option to expand hours at adulthood
  • Expect communication from the store manager regarding scheduling needs
  • If issues arise, contact the store manager immediately
  • Your teen will require reliable transportation to and from shifts

While any job comes with risks, Cava provides a solid first employment experience focused on safety. 

Be involved and communicate any questions or concerns early. With the manager, ensure your minor’s time at Cava is positive, protected, and productive.

Positions and Departments for Young Workers

Cava has many different front and back-of-house teams suitable for younger team members. 

Here are some of the most common positions and departments for workers under 18 years old:

1. Cashier

Cashiers primarily process guest payments at the register. This allows 16 and 17-year-olds to build cash-handling skills while interacting with customers.

2. Line Server

Line servers build bowls, salads, and plates directly for guests. Great chance to learn about ingredients and portioning while engaged with guests.

3. Host

Hosts greet guests, manage take-out orders, and monitor dine-in seating. Excellent first job for practicing customer engagement in an entry-level role.

4. Prep Team

Back-of-house prep team members chop ingredients, make dressings, and prepare menu items to be assembled—valuable experience following recipes.

5. Ambassador

Ambassadors maintain dining areas, assist with catering orders, and restock service areas. A dynamic supporting role and opportunity to help out wherever needed.

These provide a strong foundation for younger workers to gain experience, skills, and comfort in a fast-paced restaurant environment. 

Additional roles may open up once a team member turns 18 years old as well.

Tips for Interviewing at Cava as a Young Applicant

Interviewing for a first job can seem intimidating. Here are some tips for acing your Cava interview as a 16 or 17-year-old applicant:

1. Dress Professionally

Avoid casual clothes. Wear tidy, presentable attire like khakis and a polo or button-down shirt. Look put together.

2. Practice Good Body Language

Maintain eye contact, sit tall, and avoid nervous movements like foot shaking—project confidence through body language.

3. Speak and Carry Yourself Maturely

Use a clear speaking voice, avoid slang, and conduct yourself professionally. This shows maturity beyond your age.

4. Have Thoughtful Answers Prepared

Practice responses highlighting your skills, availability, and desire to learn. Have quick stories illustrating strengths.

5. Ask Relevant Questions

Inquire about growth opportunities and what it takes to advance at Cava. Show enthusiasm for the company.

6. Express Excitement for the Job

Convey passion for the role itself, not just wanting a paycheck. Share why you’d thrive in the Cava work environment.

Following these tips will help you make a polished, professional first impression. Come prepared to show you have the attitude and ambition to succeed at Cava, even as a young applicant.

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While Cava only hires applicants 16 and up, they welcome teen team members and provide the training to set them up for success. 

Minimum ages vary for specific job duties, but a mature level of responsibility matters most.

Bring your best attitude each shift, follow safety guidelines, and commit to your role. 

With the right motivation, Cava can be a rewarding first job experience for teens seeking to gain skills and build their resumes. 

Before you know it, you’ll have the know-how and confidence to take on additional responsibilities once you reach 18.

The job requirements should not deter driven applicants who can work in a fast-paced restaurant environment. 

If you meet the 16-year minimum hiring age threshold, are available to comply with hour limits for minors, and are excited to learn – don’t hesitate to apply at your local Cava or online. 

The management looks forward to growing new talent and will be eager to speak with you.