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How old do you have to be to work at a restaurant as a dish wahser or cleaner?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I am 16 and want to pursue I Culinary Career but I want to work at a restaurant this summer to get the experience of working in a kitchen... Am I old enough
post #2 of 13
Depends on your local and State labor laws and, possibly, the education code.

Check with you school advisor or the local employment office.
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post #3 of 13
I worked nights (~4pm - 2 am), and some weekend days and/or nights for all the time I was in high school (age 16-18). Even though liquor was served in this restaurant, I started out as "Sandwich gooper", quickly moved on to Broasting and deep frying, and then quickly moved to position of fry cook.

Great experience. No problemas. Nada!

doc
post #4 of 13
Shouldn't be an issue if you have a work permit.
You won't be allowed to use knives, slicers, etc.

Many, including myself, started out this way.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #5 of 13
Each state or municipality has different laws re. teenage employment check with your schools guidance counselor.,and good luck.
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post #6 of 13
Well, if you're in the United States you would have to be 16, at least, most likely.
All the restaurants I worked at you had to be 18, but most of them would hire 16 year olds. I guess every now and then they would get in trouble for it because I remember a couple times waiters under 18 had to be fired, but then six months or so later they would just hire more kids again.
So who knows? Just go to the place you want to work and ask. That's what I would do. Seems the simplest way.
post #7 of 13
I live in pa, and started as a busboy at 16, then, before I turned 17 I was in the kitchen frying up stuff and working the buffet. so yes, if you're in pa, you can work in a restaurant. I believe it was 17 before you could use a slicer and 18 to use alcohol while sauteeing. went to culinary school my 12th grade year of highschool in votech, then a 2 year all year round culinary school right out of highschool. best decision I ever made man, as long as you have the drive, desire, and passion for it.. and kitchens can be tough and vulgar so I hope you have the right mind for it too haha :)
post #8 of 13
OSHA - which supersedes state regs - requires workers to be 18 before they are allowed to work with sharp tools.

you can "work" prior to 18, but you can't use a slicer prior to 18....
post #9 of 13
As everyone has stated, it all depends on local and state laws. Each state has different laws. Here in Wisconsin you can work at age 16 but there are restrictions about how many hours you can work and what those hours are. It is also different during school weeks and vacations. Some states require work permits, I believe that others don't. Check with your counslor, they will have all that information for you.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #10 of 13
Yes usually it depends on where you are located, where I am from it usually ranges from 14 and up but also it is very hard for someone that age to get the job if their is someone older applying for it as well. For waitors and waitresses the age is defiantly 18 and up and bus boys are usually 16 and up.
post #11 of 13
Yes usually it depends on where you are located, where I am from it usually ranges from 14 and up but also it is very hard for someone that age to get the job if their is someone older applying for it as well. For waitors and waitresses the age is defiantly 18 and up and bus boys are usually 16 and up. So it really depends on the restaurant and where that restaurant is located so if I was you I would go to the restaurant and ask them what the age requirements are.
post #12 of 13

My mom owns a taco shop, in Florida. She wants to hire me at the age 16  but she needs to know the laws of what I can and can't do at that age. They dice up toppings for the tacos and they sell beer. I know I'm not allowed to sell beer but what else is there that I can and can't do?

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by theblondechick View Post

My mom owns a taco shop, in Florida. She wants to hire me at the age 16  but she needs to know the laws of what I can and can't do at that age. They dice up toppings for the tacos and they sell beer. I know I'm not allowed to sell beer but what else is there that I can and can't do?



You can't deal with alcohol AFAIK  but it's been 20+ years since I left Fl. If your Mom needs to know the rules have her try to contact a counselor or some one at your school. In the past that's who granted work permits. They will be able to tell you the rules and they may include a limit on hours, how late you can work etc.

 

Dave

 

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I think the most wonderful thing in the world is another chef. I'm always excited about learning new things about food.
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