In operation for over 60 years and going through several familiar branding incarnations, Shoney's runs over 200 locations across roughly 16 states. Job prospects continue to rise for applicants seeking work in the restaurant industry as new looks debut and coincide with new expansion.
Facts About Working at Shoney's
Hiring Age: 18 years old (How old do you have to be to work at Shoney's?)
Available Positions: Buffet Quality Coordinator, Cashier, Greeter, Cook, Prep Cook, Server, Service Assistant, Dining Room Shift Leader, Assistant Manager, Kitchen Manager, Restaurant Manager, General Manager
Shoney’s Job Opportunities
Boasting welcoming atmospheres and tones in each location, Shoney’s seeks out employees ready to embody company ideals, present personable attitudes, and display desires for customer-driven service. Candidates should possess strong social skills, the ability to work in team environments, and work flexible schedules. The restaurant chain and franchise offers workers competitive wages and access to employment benefits upon hire. Interested applicants must fill out paper applications in order to apply for available positions.
Prominent entry-level roles include servers, cashiers, greeters, service assistants, and prep cooks. Most front-of-house roles require little-to-no previous experience and only necessitate desire to learn and follow direction well. For example, service assistants perform kitchen clean up duties, assist kitchen staff with stocking, and perform general dishwashing responsibilities, as well. Back-of-house workers at Shoney’s include prep cooks and kitchen managers in charge of ensuring food remains properly prepared and presented to guests. Assistant managers and general managers may require further training and experience in order to receive hiring consideration.
Shoney’s Positions and Salary Information
Shoney’s hires applicants 18 years or older for all restaurant positions due to working around, handling, operating, and controlling equipment which may prove hazardous. Some locations offer full-service bars, as well, which may further limit work for any minors. Job seekers must possess high school diplomas or GEDs in order to apply for the following positions:
- Servers meet and exceed what the company calls Shoney’s Steps of Service.
- Employees take guest orders while answering questions relating to menu or food bar items, suggestively sell merchandise and promotions, and relay orders accurately to kitchen staff.
- A server typically earns minimal base pay, or around $2.00 to $5.00 an hour, depending on location and subsists on any additional tipped wages.
- Additional duties for servers may include daily side work, such as rolling silverware, cleaning off and resetting table tops, and maintaining the general cleanliness of work stations.
- Employees must prove able to stand, walk, and load, lift, carry, and unload server trays consistently and without fault.
- A prep cook organizes and assists in preparing, seasoning, and cooking food to order while meeting customer specifications and matching company presentation and taste qualifications.
- Prep cooks utilize recipe card procedures and must continually prove able to follow direction, work in fast-paced environments, and work well with others.
- Back-of-house workers must continually maintain sanitation and health and safety standards in addition to daily duties.
- Prep cooks typically work both part-time and full-time schedules and earn around $9.00 an hour.
- Acting as the first face most customers interact with upon arrival and departure from the restaurant, a cashier or greeter must prove genial, upbeat, and willing to work various shifts, including nights and weekends.
- Characteristic obligations include taking patron names for necessary waiting lists, seating guests in appropriate sections, and explaining daily specials or introducing the food bar concept to diners.
- Earning between an $8.00 and $9.00 hourly wage, a cashier must also complete and close sales with departing patrons, understand basic math, take various forms of payment, and make change accordingly when necessary.
- Moreover, greeters must assist in general housekeeping tasks and uphold company standards for personal presentation.
Tips For Applying
Shoney’s currently offers no online application or job search feature on the company website. Instead, the restaurant chain encourages candidates to print off paper applications, fill out the documents accordingly, and return said applications to the nearest locations of hire. Applicants should take adequate time to fill the forms out correctly and pay close attention to ensure information remains current and applicable. Fill out each application with blue or black ink only and hand in to a hiring manager directly, if possible. Doing so regularly results in on-the-spot interviews.
The casual restaurant chain frequently replies to application requests within one to two weeks of receipt. Since job seekers must drop off paper application forms, interaction with hiring mangers typically takes place upon applying. Calling or visiting stores of hire may prove viable means of further showing interest in available positions. Use caution and discretion when visiting with hiring managers, as supervisors must perform various duties throughout the day and may only possess limited time to talk about application statuses. Avoid peak restaurant hours, if possible.
Benefits of Working at Shoney’s
Employees working for the family restaurant franchiser typically earn excellent work benefits. Eligible employees earn meal discounts, uniform credits, and paid training in addition to industry-commensurate pay rates. Additionally, associates may gain access to medical benefits, such as health, dental, vision, and disability insurance. Full-time employees and restaurant management may also receive:
- Paid vacations
- Life insurance options, and
- Enrollment in company-matched 401(k) retirement plans.
Additional Information about Shoney’s
With locations dotting the map and many on or near major highways and interstates, Shoney’s offers specific benefits to bus and tour groups. As members of both the National Tour Association (NTA) and the American Bus Association (ABA), the restaurant chain proudly offers a travel line and reservation line to better serve bus tour members and travelers. Other perks patrons receive include value-priced breakfast, lunch, and dinner buffets, private dining rooms at no additional charge, a free meal for the bus driver and tour guide with each group, senior discounts, to-go service, and accessible parking lots. Tours should call ahead to each location to ensure said site participates in each incentive.
Shoney’s Server Interview Video
Interviewer: Please describe your job title and primary duties.
Shoney’s Server: When I worked at Shoney’s I did front of house. I did back of house. So what that means is I did serving. I ran the cash register. I also was responsible for bartending, which is the buffet, and I did this because I was at a point in my life to where I needed to work roughly 40 hours. But with the restaurant industry you typically don’t get that. So I was able to diversify myself within that restaurant and basically be able to do almost everything.
Serving is where I made primarily the most money, but bartending allowed me to basically get an extra ten hours a week, which I could always count on to basically be the backbone of my check if it was a slow week. I also hosted at Humble House. I worked in the back of the kitchen for kitchen prep. They were talking about training me as a manager, and I kinda let that ambition go at that particular restaurant. It was something I didn’t necessarily want, and at this time I was still debating on whether or not I wanted to go back to college or not. So it was a transitional period in my life and, yeah, I did a little bit of everything there.
Interviewer: What was the work environment like?
Shoney’s Server: At Shoney’s it was very friendly, very outgoing. A lot of the people there, most of ’em, were there to help you, very team oriented. They had a pretty good employee retention rate. Most of the people you worked with were veterans. But there always was people coming in and out of the door, mostly for the kitchen aspect of it, because they didn’t pay anything more than minimum wage. So it was hard to attract good quality people with that kinda wage they were offering. Whereas the servers, and the people in the front of the house, they tended to make more money. So those were the guys that stayed around longer, and those were the people who trained me.
During my tenure there I watched, I think, seven people go in and out, one of which was unexpected. But honestly the working there is pretty nice. It was low stress. As with any restaurant you will get your moments to where you’re pulling your hair out, and you got four tables that all need drinks, but that’s to be expected. And honestly it was worth it. It was a good time when I worked there.
Interviewer: What was your favorite part about working there?
Shoney’s Server: My favorite part was when I was a server and being able to make people happy. I believe when it comes to customer service that the whole idea behind it is to make the customer feel welcome and to feel at home. Most of the people who came in there were repeat customers. Where I worked was the Dover, Ohio, location, so somewhat of a smaller town. I began to become accustomed to these individuals, and get to know them by their names and know particular dates and events that were happening in their lives. Which allowed me to interact better with them, and to provide them a better experience there at the restaurant, but it was a two-fold thing. I also did that because I noticed that my tips would go up as well.
Interviewer: Please describe the application and interview process.
Shoney’s Server: The application process that I went through when applying for Shoney’s, I heard through the grapevine, through a friend, that they were hiring. So she told me to literally, physically go over there and talk to the manager. They’re a bit more I would put it as old school. It was a paper application. I had an interview on the spot and got hired on the spot. So overall a very easy interview. It was a one-step interview. From my experience there that didn’t happen too often. Sometimes, most generally, they would do a two-step interview where you would submit your application and resume, and then they would call you in for an interview. But if you’re a person that’s a go-getter, and you show up and talk to ’em, chances are you’re going to walk away with a job.
Interviewer: What questions did the interviewer ask during the job interview?
Shoney’s Server: Okay, so they wanted to know if I had any previous experience working in a restaurant. And they also wanted to know what my abilities were with being able to communicate with individuals and provide customer service. Questions such as do you know what safe food handling procedures are, and do you have reliable transportation, that’s a big one. In that type of industry they seem to really want you to be able to provide reliable transportation, because they are dependent upon you to be able to show up for your shift, to not short-staff them. And that’s a big thing in their application process, so they’re always looking for that.
Interviewer: What set you apart from other candidates?
Shoney’s Server: Personally I am a bit of a go-getter. I can be a bit aggressive in the way that I communicate with individuals. I kind of just asserted myself when I was there, when I talked to ’em, and I had prior working experience in a restaurant. For any applicant that would be a major bonus going into the process of interviewing for Shoney’s, because it’s the type of industry they are. So if you have relevant work experience that’s definitely going to help.
Interviewer: What other advice would you give to a job seeker looking to gain employment?
Shoney’s Server: Okay, so for any job seeker looking for employment at Shoney’s, make sure that you let them know that you’re a punctual individual, that you’re reliable. You need to be able to deal with high stress, ’cause it’s one of those jobs to where at any given moment it could be the flip of a hat and you’re essentially running. It also has downtime. The weekend work is absolutely necessary with this type of employment at Shoney’s. And I would say that you need to be comfortable with customer service, and weekend work and evening shifts, because that’s what you’re primarily going to get.