Whataburger Hiring Age: How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Whataburger? (See Working Experience Required!)
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Whataburger Hiring Age: How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Whataburger? (See Working Experience Required!)

You probably wondered about the hiring age to start working at Whataburger.

Whataburger is a popular fast-food restaurant chain based in Texas, with over 800 locations across the southern United States.

It is an ideal first job for many teens and young adults seeking work experience. 

As a newbie in the labor market, understanding the age requirements for employment becomes a crucial step.

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What is the Minimum Hiring Age in Whataburger? 

The minimum hiring age to work at Whataburger is 16 years old. This is the hiring age for front-of-house roles like cashiers and cooks and back-of-house positions in the kitchen.

However, some Whataburger franchises may consider employees as young as 15, especially during busy summer seasons with higher staffing demand. Check with your local restaurants.

Whataburger Jobs for 14 and 15-Year-Olds

Due to child labor laws, Whataburger does not officially hire 14 or 15-year-olds. 

However, some locations make rare exceptions allowing mature and responsible teens to work limited hours in specific roles once they turn 15.

The most common Whataburger job for 15-year-olds is front counter order taker. This allows them to operate the cash register and take customer orders. 

15-year-olds are not allowed to cook food or operate hazardous equipment like fryers.

Hours are also restricted for underage employees, usually 4-5 hours on weekends and never past 7 pm closing shifts. 

Whataburger takes child labor regulations seriously, limiting 14- or 15-year-old opportunities hence their hiring age restriction. But ambitious teens can reach the door to start gaining work skills.

Whataburger Shift Hours for Minors

As a fast food chain, Whataburger needs round-the-clock staffing. However, minor employees have legal limits on their work hours:

  • 16 and 17-year-olds – No more than 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week while school is in session. When school is out for summer, they can work up to 48 hours maximum each week. They cannot work on school nights before 5 am or past 10 pm.
  • 15-year-olds can only work 4-5 hour shifts on weekends and holidays. No overnight shifts past 7 pm allowed. Maximum 18 hours per week while enrolled in school.
  • 14-year-olds – Extremely rare. Limited to just 3 hours per school day and 8 hours on weekends. Never past 7 pm.

Whataburger schedules minors accordingly based on these state and federal child labor restrictions. Hours are typically capped at 20-25 per week during school.

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Whataburger Orientation and Training

Once hired, all new Whataburger employees must complete orientation and on-the-job training before starting their roles. This typically takes 1-2 weeks.

Training covers:

  • Company background and policies
  • Food safety and prep
  • Customer service standards
  • Point-of-sale system
  • Opening and closing procedures
  • Equipment operation
  • Manager expectations

Experienced team members conduct hands-on training. New hires shadow their trainers to learn responsibilities.

Managers monitor progress until trainees demonstrate competency.

Extra supervision is provided during training for minor employees like teens to ensure they understand policies and expectations. Whataburger wants to set up underage workers for success.

Whataburger Careers for Teens 16+

Here are some of the most common Whataburger job options for teens aged 16 and older:


Cashiers run the registers taking customer orders and payments. Key duties include:

  • Greeting customers with a smile
  • Inputting orders accurately
  • Taking payments via cash or card
  • Answering menu questions cheerfully
  • Handing out orders quickly
  • Suggesting combo deals or add-ons
  • Processing coupons and promotions
  • Maintaining organized register area

Line Cook

Cooks prepare all menu items to order in the kitchen. Responsibilities include:

  • Reading order tickets
  • Cooking foods like burgers, chicken, and fries per recipes
  • Adhering to portion sizes and presentation standards
  • Keeping cooking areas sanitized
  • Storing ingredients properly
  • Following health codes and kitchen protocols

Drive Thru Attendant

Drive-thru workers take orders and payments at the drive-up window. They must:

  • Greet drive-thru customers politely
  • Take orders, upsell combos/extras
  • Operate point-of-sale register
  • Collect payment, make change
  • Check orders for accuracy
  • Deliver food and drinks to cars promptly

Dining Room Attendant

These workers keep the dining room clean and stocked during shifts. Their focus is on:

  • Busing tables promptly
  • Disinfecting tabletops and seats
  • Sweeping, mopping floors as needed
  • Refilling napkins, utensils, condiments
  • Ensuring bathrooms are cleaned and supplied

Team Leader

Team leaders support store managers in overseeing operations and staff. Their responsibilities include:

  • Opening/closing the restaurant
  • Resolving customer issues
  • Coaching team members
  • Monitoring workflow and metrics
  • Managing inventory or orders
  • Handling cash reconciliations
  • Preparing employee schedules

These provide a great starter job for 16 and 17-year-olds first entering the workforce. 

Hard workers with good attitudes can get promoted to team leaders quickly.

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Benefits for Whataburger Employees

Whataburger offers solid perks for hourly team members:

  • Competitive pay and annual raises
  • Benefits for full-time employees
  • 529 college savings plan
  • Free employee meals per shift
  • 40% off meals on non-work days
  • Flexible scheduling for students
  • Referral bonus program
  • Career advancement opportunities
  • Tuition reimbursement program

The combination of pay, perks, and flexible hours makes Whataburger an appealing first job for teens. It teaches vital skills while earning income and school credits.

Whataburger Careers for 18+ Adults

Once employees turn 18, more advanced Whataburger jobs open up that require these minimum ages:

Assistant Manager (18+)

Assistants oversee daily operations, manage teams, open/close the restaurant, handle cash and inventory, hire and train staff, and keep the location running smoothly and profitably. 

Prior experience and some college are preferred for assistant manager positions.

Restaurant Manager (21+)

Restaurant managers have full accountability for their entire location’s performance and profitability. 

They handle all business aspects, including finance, HR, marketing, customer service, and operations. 

College coursework and 2+ years of supervisory experience are required.

Corporate Careers (18+)

Whataburger’s corporate office has roles in IT, Finance, Marketing, HR, Procurement, Real Estate, Store Development, and other business functions. 

These full-time office jobs require a bachelor’s degree and relevant work history. Whataburger promotes heavily from within for corporate jobs.

Adults who start as cooks or leaders in their teens can work up to lucrative corporate careers with dedication and hard work over time.

How to Apply to Whataburger

Interested applicants can directly apply online via Whataburger’s website or in person at their local restaurant.

The application asks for the following:

  • Personal contact information
  • Employment history
  • Availability for shifts
  • Job preferences
  • High school and any college details

Prior experience is optional for most hourly roles. However, having related skills from classes, clubs, or hobbies can help your application.

After applying, you may be contacted for an interview. Whataburger interviews are casual – answer questions honestly to show enthusiasm.

If hired, you will complete orientation and paid training before starting on the schedule. 

Perks like free food and flexible hours make Whataburger a solid first job choice for teens and young adults seeking work experience in a fast-paced environment.

What Skills Do You Gain from Working at Whataburger?

Beyond earning an income, Whataburger provides young workers with many transferable skills for future careers:

Customer Service

Engaging with customers in a fast food setting teaches how to be polite, patient, and helpful – even during rushes. This cultivates “people skills” useful in any industry.


Cooperating with co-workers, sharing tasks, and communicating effectively are essential to running busy shifts smoothly. All employers value this ability to collaborate.


Managers depend on staff to open/close, keep stations clean, track waste, secure cash, and follow safety rules independently. This accountability proves you are trustworthy.


Fast food means juggling multiple orders, tasks, and priorities at once. This quickly builds organizational skills under pressure that are invaluable in all fields.

Work Ethic

Punctuality, reliability, and hard work are required in food service roles. Employers in any sector respect these strong ethics.

Gaining such versatile soft skills and experience makes Whataburger jobs ideal resume boosters for high school and college students alike.

Whataburger Careers: Next Steps

Starting work early creates advantages throughout your career. Here are the next steps to make the most of your Whataburger job:

  • Treat training seriously – ask questions and master your role.
  • Build relationships with teammates and managers.
  • Seek feedback to improve constantly.
  • Keep track of accomplishments like positive customer comments or high sales.
  • Express interest in advancing to roles like team leader when ready.
  • Maintain grades and activities outside work.
  • Save a portion of each paycheck.


Getting your first teen or young adult job is an exciting milestone. Whataburger offers the chance to start building your resume and earning income in a fast-paced, rewarding environment. 

Their minimum hiring age for Whataburger is 16 years old for most positions.

With advancement opportunities, college savings plans, free food perks, and flexible hours, Whataburger can provide the ideal work experience. 

Both teens and adults gain valuable teamwork, responsibility, customer service, and other career skills. 

So if you’re asking, “how old do you have to be to work at Whataburger?” – the answer is 16 or sometimes 15 for the eager, motivated applicants. 

Use the job as a stepping stone to management, corporate, or franchise ownership. Turn flipping burgers today into a path to cook up your prosperous future.