KFC Careers and Job Application Guide

See why KFC careers are geared toward a certain segment of the population.

KFC careers are mostly intended for younger workers looking for their first job as well as retirees hoping to make extra money to supplement their retirement income.

Most of these restaurants are individually franchise-owned so there are a few differences in the way each restaurant location operates and this can be both good and bad.

Working at KFC

KFC gets mixed reviews from its past and present employees but the general ratings are slightly above-average. Unsurprisingly, the hourly pay gets the lowest ratings followed by job security and advancement within the company.


  • Many locations give their employees one free meal or a 50% discount during their shift while on a meal break
  • It’s a fun place to work and coworkers are very friendly
  • The jobs are easy to learn
  • Some locations give workers a chance to work plenty of overtime hours due to team members calling out sick
  • It’s a great “starter job” because it teaches you how to work hard and provide great customer service in a stressful environment


  • Very low pay for extremely hard and fast-paced work
  • The employee turnover rate is very high
  • Breaks are almost non-existent
  • Oftentimes, you have to take your meal break within 10 minutes
  • Many employees complain of bad management
  • The restaurants are often understaffed

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The KFC pay structure reveals this is a very low-paying fast food restaurant business. From the moment you become a team member making a few cents above your state’s minimum wage to the moment you become a manager, you can expect to be paid on a scale that is below average.

However, it’s probably not a good idea to base your decision on whether to apply just because the starting and average pay are inadequate. It’s wise to look further into a company to see if there are any other opportunities that can help you achieve success in the future.

KFC Restaurant Careers

The positions you can apply for at each restaurant are very simple and straightforward. You can be a team member, cook, customer service representative, shift supervisor, assistant manager, or manager.

KFC Team Member 

Team members at KFC are the first ones to meet and greet every customer who walks in through the doors. This company encourages you to be very friendly and outgoing.

The KFC team member has many duties, including being a greeter, serving customers, and shifting gears, and assuming the role of a cook.

Most team members in this fast-food chain learn all aspects of the KFC brand and become experts in a fairly short amount of time. This allows your management staff to give you daily assignments that can help your store be successful.

The requirements for this position are minimal but they vary by location because most of these fast food stores are franchise-owned. Therefore, your owner or owners are responsible for all matters relating to employment.

Either way, you definitely have to be at least 16 years old to apply for this position.

KFC Cook

As a cook for KFC, the success of your particular store relies on you. You are there to ensure quality standards are met and exceeded by applying your knowledge and expertise in relation to the company’s chicken recipe!

You’ll get world-class training and in a short amount of time, you will begin to master the art of the KFC secret chicken recipe. At the same time, you’re going to work together with your team members to provide the highest quality customer service and a positive guest experience.

Since most KFC stores are independently owned, there are different requirements for this position. However, most just require that you be at least 16 years of age and are motivated and energetic.

KFC Customer Service Team Member

In this position, you are responsible for making and preparing all orders placed by your guests in an accurate and efficient manner. You will also have cleaning duties throughout the restaurant, both inside and outside the store.

You will also oftentimes be working the cashier register and sometimes you’ll even assume cooking duties.

You must be 16 years old to apply for this position and it’s highly important to show your hiring manager that you have an outgoing personality with a friendly attitude.

KFC Shift Supervisor

Being a shift supervisor at KFC is your first step in pursuing a management career. KFC will take the time to give you plenty of training opportunities so you can jumpstart your supervisory career.

This is a job that many team members quickly get promoted to because they prove themselves to be natural leaders, they set goals for themselves, and they take pride in their work.

The minimum requirements are that you have to be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license as well as reliable transportation. Additionally, your management staff may need you to drive to the local bank and make regular deposits.

KFC Assistant Manager

The ideal candidate for this position is someone who has plenty of experience working as a team member and beyond at KFC. Many team members eventually get promoted to this position because of their talent, motivation, and dedication.

An assistant manager at KFC will be coaching and training new team members with the help of shift supervisors. Your talent and effort will make a huge impact on the profitability of your particular store.

Your job is also to take away much of the stress and duties from your general manager so that he or she can concentrate on the bigger picture in driving the success of your store. 

You’ll have to be at least 18 years of age for this position and possess a valid driver’s license as well as a vehicle to be able to provide transportation to and from your company’s bank.

KFC Manager 

As a KFC general manager, you are the person who is completely responsible for the success of your store. Daily, you will be working together with your assistant manager and shift supervisor to make sure they are working with you to lead your team members to success.

This is a job that requires plenty of activity and customer interaction. While you are on duty, you will be overseeing your staff and helping out whenever necessary.

The requirements for this position vary by location but it’s safe to say this is a position that any team member can aspire to look forward to by working hard and being dedicated.

KFC Corporate Careers

The KFC headquarters is located in Louisville, KY. On any given day, you’ll find a few corporate positions open. Here’s an example of some available as of this writing:

  • Franchise Development Manager
  • Window Systems Analyst
  • Senior Finance Manager
  • Associate Manager
  • Financial Associate Manager
  • Foundation Program Associate
  • Food Safety Analyst
  • Financial Analyst
  • Facilities Coordinator
  • Data Architect

How to Apply at KFC

To apply at KFC, you can consider either going in person or applying online. It is recommended that you first try dressing in nice casualwear and visiting the KFC of your choice in person.

You can access this KFC PDF application, fill it out, and present it to a manager at your desired location. Try your best to visit them when they are not busy, such as between 2 PM to 4 PM, and 8 PM to 9 PM.

The reason it’s better to apply in person is that a hiring manager or other supervisor will be able to meet you in person and it gives you the perfect opportunity to make a great first impression. Companies would rather hire someone they know rather than hire a person they know nothing about except for what they read on an online application!

If you decide to apply online, follow these steps:

  1. Visit the official KFC Careers website.
  2. Take some time to look through the website and get acquainted with this company.
  3. When you are ready, click the “Search Jobs” link in the navigation bar.
  4. On the next page, enter your ZIP Code where it reads “Use Current Location.”
  5. You will see plenty of jobs in the search results but you can also use the “Filter Results” to help pinpoint a job nearest you.
  6. Click on your desired position, read the job description, and when you are ready, click the “Apply Now” button.
  7. Next, begin filling out your KFC job application.

KFC Hiring Process

The time it takes to get hired from the moment you apply varies greatly because most of these fast-food restaurants are franchise-owned by different people. It’s entirely possible to apply and be hired within the first three days to a week.

However, some employees report it took them at least three weeks to get hired.

What kind of questions do they ask during the interview?

Most KFC employees say the interview questions are very easy to answer. They consist of questions such as:

  • Why is it that you want to work at KFC?
  • What are your plans for this summer?
  • What would you do if you had a rude customer?
  • Where do you see yourself with this company in five years?

At what age can you start working at KFC?

To work at KFC, you must be at least 16 years old. Keep in mind that due to most KFC stores being franchise-owned, these franchise owners get to make their own hiring rules. So, while one store may hire a 16-year-old, another one doesn’t have to.

Does KFC drug test its employees before they are hired?

Very few KFC franchise owners take the time and money to drug test their employees before hiring them. This doesn’t mean it can’t happen and indeed, some KFC franchise owners will occasionally drug test a new applicant.


Harland Sanders begin selling fried chicken as well as other foods from a Shell filling station in 1930, in North Corbin, Kentucky. Four years after that, he began expanding his business, and by 1937 his restaurant contained 142 seats.

Sanders bought a motel right across the street from his restaurant and named his business the Sanders Court & Café. By July 1940, The KFC secret original recipe chicken was born. It featured 11 herbs and spices and Sanders said the ingredients were spices that were on everybody’s shelf at their homes.

Although Colonel Sanders passed away in 1980 at the age of 90, he had already sold his company in 1964 for $2 million and this company has expanded greatly ever since.

KFC Benefits

Some KFC restaurants offer their managers and hourly employees comprehensive health, dental, and vision benefits. However, most of them don’t and offer other perks instead such as free meals, discounts, paid holidays and vacation days, and paid sick leave.

KFC also offers its full-time employees a 401(k) plan and they match up to 5% of the contributions.

Final Thoughts

Working at KFC is exactly what you would expect from a giant fast-food company. It is geared toward younger workers who are willing to accept a very low starting pay.

KFC is mostly franchise-owned which means independent owners have a lot of freedom and what to offer their employees. Therefore, a high-performing KFC with over $1 million a year in sales is going to be able to offer more perks to employees than a franchise that only reaches $600,000-$700,000 a year in sales.

If you’re going to apply at KFC, try to apply at one that appears to generate a lot of business or one that is actually owned and operated by KFC. Don’t be afraid to ask employees who work there how they like their job.

A job at this fast food restaurant is not ideal for someone trying to support themselves or their family. It could be a great side job, a source of income for college students, and a good choice for high school students hoping to earn income.

Even applicants hoping to become a general manager one day should consider other alternatives because of the lower-than-average management salaries.

Featured image courtesy of Bidgee, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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