Does Mcdonald’s Hire Felons?

It is no big secret that someone fresh out of prison is going to have a hard time securing employment. Heck, it is hard for people with misdemeanors and questionable pasts to find employment these days.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities out there for felons. It just means that as a felon, you might not be able to secure the position that you are specifically looking for.

That being said, everyone makes mistakes and those mistakes shouldn’t always represent your entire life. Luckily, there are companies out there where your history and past isn’t such a big deal. Is McDonald’s one of these companies? Are they willing to give a previous felon a chance?

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Starting over is both very exciting and challenging at the same time. At times, it will probably seem like it is more challenging than exciting. It might even seem like there are times when the entire thing isn’t worth it.

However, that is not the case at all. No matter how hard it gets, you shouldn’t let the bad times define your entire career and life from here on out.

Understand How The McDonald’s Franchise Works

Before you can truly understand McDonald’s and their hiring processes, you need to understand just how the company works. Yes, if you look it up, you will clearly see that McDonald’s is a franchise.

However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they are owned by one individual. One individual doesn’t own the entire country of McDonald’s. Rather, they operate like individual small businesses.

That’s right, think of each McDonald’s, even though they have the same name, as a different small business. One McDonald’s in the state of West Virginia might be owned by a different individual than the other one located across town.

What exactly does this mean? It means that the individual owners set the rules. If one owner decides he or she doesn’t want to hire felons then he or she has that right.

Going back to the previous example of West Virginia, one McDonald’s located on the South of town might be willing to hire felons, whereas the McDonald’s located on the East of town isn’t willing to.

It really depends on the specific hiring manager. However, it might also come down to the position that you are applying for as well.

Do Mcdonalds Hire Felons?


Will McDonald’s Hire Someone With A Felony?

Does the above statement and information mean that you cannot acquire employment at McDonald’s if you have a felony?

It really depends on the hiring manager, the type of position that you are applying for, and where you are applying. Like was mentioned above, you have to remember that McDonald’s is not necessarily a corporate company.

Yes, there are some corporate branches, but most of the restaurants are what as known as franchises. This means that each individual restaurant operates as an individual small business.

This is a very common business practice with a lot of restaurants today. Do some research on Papa Johns or Dominos and you will clearly see that they operate similarly.

It simply just means that each individual McDonald’s is owned and operated by different individuals.

Individuals that are usually local and established in the towns, cities, or states where the restaurants are set up. That being said, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t corporate McDonald’s as well because there is.

Corporate McDonald’s are McDonald’s restaurants that are owned by the McDonald’s corporation, rather than being owned and operated by a single individual. Confusing enough?

It is confusing, but what you need to know is, just because you are a felon it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t apply at McDonald’s Even if the McDonald’s on the Northside of the town told you they don’t hire felons, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the one on the Southside of town won’t hire you. You’ll have to ask them whether they are a corporate-owned restaurant or a franchise.

Do McDonald’s Do Background Checks?

Background checks are also another common tool that employers utilize these days when recruiting employees. And, unfortunately, these tools are no friends to felons.

Just like most companies out there today, McDonald’s will require you to consent to a background check during the hiring process.

When you attend the interview, you’ll have to fill out the background form. However, just because you have a questionable background, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll automatically be disqualified from the position.

It ultimately comes down to the type of position you are applying for, the state you are applying to, the hiring manager, and whether or not the restaurant is corporate-owned or a franchise. All that aside, there is one upside.

And that upside is that McDonald’s does offer free background checks. Believe it or not, there are some employers that will require you to pay for the check yourself. This is not the case with your local McDonald’s.

Whether it be a franchise or corporate-owned, you will not have to pay for the background check.

Other things to keep in mind are that it’ll take a few days to get the report back, and the restaurant will likely go back five to ten years.

If you did something really stupid in college, you won’t have to worry about it ruining your chances of employment with McDonald’s.

This is unless, of course, you just recently graduated from college. In addition to this, applicants should know that these checks are nationwide, not state-wide.

This virtually means that it doesn’t matter where the crime was committed or the altercation occurred, they will be able to detect it.

State-wide checks only reveal crimes and altercations that happened in-state. That isn’t the case with nationwide checks.

Will Fast Food Hire Felons?


If McDonald’s won’t hire felons, this means that other fast food joints won’t hire felons, right? No, that is not the case at all. In fact, there are some McDonald’s that will hire felons.

Just because the corporate-owned restaurants don’t hire felons, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some that do. It ultimately comes down to several things. Those things would be

  • The position you are applying for
  • The state in which you are applying for the position
  • The hiring manager
  • Whether or not the fast-food joint is corporate-owned or franchise

Given the volatile nature of the fast-food industry, you’ll find that most fast-food chains operate similarly to that of McDonald’s. It means that not all restaurants are corporate-owned.

There are some that operate as individual, separate small businesses. These are the ones that felons want to apply to because these are the ones that will more likely offer employment.

Does McDonald’s Hire On The Spot?

As a job applicant, there isn’t much better than getting hired on the spot. It not only means that you did your part to nail the interview, but it means that the employer is more than faithful in your abilities to perform in the chosen role.

The only problem is, getting hired on the spot is rare. Yes, it does happen and McDonald’s is one of those companies that will hire you right on the spot, but it is extremely rare.

The reason that it is rare is that the company usually chooses from a pool of candidates and narrows their decision down to one or two final choices.

Companies usually like to meet with each individual applicant and see what he or she has to bring to the table. However, there are occasions when a McDonald’s will hire you on the spot.

If you have years of previous experience in the chosen field or nail the interview, you might get hired on the spot.

You also have to keep in mind that there are also exceptions to this. If the restaurant is new and having opening interviews, you might get hired on the spot.

New stores usually hire several employees at one time and like to fill the roles quickly. This might also apply if many people have quit at once and the company is hiring more than one worker.

Most of the time when companies are hiring, they are usually just hiring one or two individuals. This means, they likely won’t be hiring on the spot.

They’ll usually have a whole slew of candidates to choose from, and they’ll want to meet with each and see what they have to offer the company. Just because you aren’t hired on the spot doesn’t mean that you won’t get the job.

Increase Your Chances!

Whether you are a felon or not, there are tons of things that you can do to increase your chances of getting hired at McDonald’s. The first would be to explore the career page. Check out and see exactly what they are looking for.

For instance, if you visit the McDonald’s career page, you’ll see a lot of talk about dependable employees and respectful workplaces.

Discovering and utilizing these keywords on your resume or during your interview will greatly increase your chances of getting hired. Heck, this is a good tip that you can apply to any employer.

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