Denny’s Hiring Age: How Old Do You Have to Work at Denny’s | Working Experience
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Denny’s Hiring Age: How Old Do You Have to Work at Denny’s | Working Experience

You’re a teenager looking to earn extra cash and gain valuable work experience. Denny’s sparked your interest; now you’re wondering – what’s the minimum hiring age to work at Denny’s? 

Getting a high school student job can be a great way to learn responsibility, boost your resume, and make money for gas or hanging out with friends. 

If you meet the minimum age requirements, you could land an entry-level position at Denny’s, flipping burgers, bussing tables, hosting customers, or washing dishes.

So what is the minimum hiring age to work at Denny’s? Keep reading to learn the age requirements for different positions at Denny’s and tips to help you land your first job.

Denny’s Hiring Age to Work as a Server

One of the most popular jobs for teenagers at Denny’s is server. As a server, you’ll take customer orders, serve food and drinks, and collect payment. It allows you to interact with guests and earn good tips.

However, Denny’s requires servers to be at least 16 years old. This is likely because servers handle financial transactions and must balance multiple tasks simultaneously. 

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So if you want to work as a server, you’ll have to wait until your 16th birthday.

Some exceptions may be made if you’re 15 years old and can demonstrate maturity, experience, and the ability to handle the demands. 

But in most cases, you must be 16 or older to wait tables at Denny’s.

You Can Get Hired as Young as 14 in Other Roles at Denny’s

If you’re younger than 16, don’t worry – you can still potentially get a job at Denny’s in a different role. 

Denny’s allows 14 and 15-year-olds to work in certain positions, including:

  • Host – Greets customers, manage wait lists, and seat guests
  • Dishwasher – Cleans dishes, glassware, and utensils
  • Busser – Clears and wipes down tables, resets place settings
  • Cook – Prepares ingredients, and cooks menu items on the grill or deep fryer

The ability to work at 14 or 15 will depend on your state’s labor laws. But in general, Denny’s is open to hiring younger teens for entry-level roles that don’t involve handling alcohol or working late hours.

These positions allow you to gain skills in food service, working with customers, and being part of a team. 

It’s a great way to demonstrate responsibility that looks impressive on college or scholarship applications.

Tips to Improve Your Chances of Getting Hired at 14 or 15

To boost your chances of getting hired at Denny’s, or any restaurant, at a young age, make sure to:

  • Dress professionally for the interview – Leave the jeans and sneakers at home and opt for dress pants and a button-down shirt instead. Looking polished and mature will make a good impression.
  • Highlight any volunteer work – Volunteering is an easy way to demonstrate responsibility and teamwork skills, even if you don’t have formal work experience. Share examples of volunteering that are relevant.
  • Bring a reference – References help back up that you’re a reliable, hard worker. Ask a teacher, coach, or volunteer coordinator to vouch for your abilities.
  • Convey enthusiasm – Managers want to see you’re truly excited for the job. Come prepared with questions and share why you want to work specifically at Denny’s.
  • Research the company – Study Denny’s website and be familiar with the menu, values, and training programs. It will signal this opportunity matters to you.

With maturity, preparation, and a professional attitude, you can show Denny you’re ready to handle an entry-level job at 14 or 15.

What Hours 14 and 15-Year-Olds Can Work at Denny’s

As a minor, you’ll be subject to stricter hourly restrictions based on your age. While adults may work late into the evenings at Denny’s, teens have limitations to ensure safety and not interfere with school.

Here are the typical hours for 14 and 15-year-olds:

  • Can’t work before 7 am – Early morning shifts are prohibited. You can start work once school has started for the day.
  • Can work until 7 pm – In most states, work must wrap up by 7 pm, except during summer when it extends to 9 pm.
  • No more than 3 hours on school days – Shifts are limited to 3 hours to allow for homework and rest.
  • No more than 8 hours on non-school days – On weekends and summer vacation, you may work up to 8 hours per day.
  • No more than 18 hours per school week – The maximum is 18 hours per week when school is in session. This limit doesn’t apply during school breaks.

The hourly restrictions protect teens from overworking and support academic success. Confirm your state’s specific hourly limits for 14 and 15-year-olds.

What Jobs and Hours Are Available at 16 and 17

Once you turn 16, new job opportunities open at Denny’s. Sixteen is the minimum time to work as a server, allowing you to earn tips. 

Here are some of the roles open to you at 16 and 17:

  • Server – Take orders, serve customers, manage bills and collect payments.
  • Host – Continue working as a host if desired. You can now work later hours.
  • Cook – Gain experience cooking menu items on the griddle, deep fryer, grill, and more.
  • Busser – Clear dishes, clean tables, reset place settings.
  • Dishwasher – Wash dishes, glassware, and cooking tools.
  • Cashier – Greet customers, take orders, handle cash register transactions.
  • Prep Cook – Prepare ingredients for menu items, chop vegetables, and measure seasonings.

The hourly restrictions also expand once you turn 16. Here are the typical hours:

  • Can work until 9 pm – The evening cutoff extends to 9 pm when there is school the next day.
  • Can work until 12 am – Closing shifts may go until midnight during summer vacation.
  • The 18 hours per week cap no longer applies to the no-weekly hour limit. You can work full-time hours during school breaks.

With two years of experience under your belt by ages 16 and 17, you can take on more responsibilities and demonstrate leadership skills. 

This can help boost your chances of promotion to crew trainer or shift lead roles.

What Paperwork You’ll Need to Complete

If you meet the minimum hiring age at Denny’s, some paperwork will be required before you can officially become an employee. This includes:

  • I-9 Form verifies your identity and eligibility to work in the US. You’ll need to provide your social security card or birth certificate.
  • W-4 Form – Used to withhold the correct amount of federal income tax from your paycheck. You’ll need your social security number and information about your withholding allowances.
  • State Withholding Forms – Similar to W-4, but determines state income tax withholding. Requirements vary by state.
  • Work Permit – Most states require minors to obtain work permits before starting employment. Applications are submitted through your school.

Don’t stress about all the paperwork. The hiring manager will explain each form and what you need to complete. 

Having the required documents prepared ahead of time will make the process smoother.

Tips for Succeeding as a Teenage Employee

Congratulations, you landed your first job at Denny’s! Here are some tips to help you thrive as a teenage employee:

  • Show up on time – Tardiness is the fastest way to frustrate your manager. Set multiple morning alarms if needed. Give yourself extra time the first week to ensure you arrive when scheduled.
  • Come ready to work – Being present physically but distracted by your phone or chatting with coworkers does not make a good impression. Stay focused on your tasks.
  • Ask questions – It’s better to ask questions than make mistakes due to confusion. Don’t be shy about requesting help or clarification.
  • Respect safety rules – Follow all safety protocols, especially regarding use of equipment and knives in the kitchen. No shortcuts.
  • Limit call-outs – While school should remain the priority, avoid calling out of shifts frequently. Strive for consistency and reliability.
  • Build relationships – Having positive working relationships with colleagues leads to more enjoyment. Be friendly and welcoming.
  • Go above and beyond – Take the initiative to pitch in, learn new skills, and exceed expectations rather than just doing the bare minimum.

Starting your professional journey as a teen can set you up for future success.

Bring energy, maturity, and a willingness to learn, and your first job at Denny’s will be an invaluable experience. 

You may even get promoted to shift lead before graduation with hard work!


Denny’s offers opportunities for teens starting at just 14 years old for entry-level positions like host, busser, and dishwasher. 

However, Denny’s official hiring age is 16. Once you turn 16, more advanced roles open up, from cook to cashier.

Age requirements vary, but with maturity and professionalism, you can get a head start on building your resume. 

A job as a teen shows colleges and future employers you’re motivated and responsible.

So polish up your first resume, dress for success, and confidently walk through Denny’s doors for your interview. 

With determination and a positive attitude, you can land your first job and start gaining the skills to serve you well for life!