How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Dairy Queen? Age Requirements Unveiled!

How Old Do You Have to Be to Work at Dairy Queen? Age Requirements Unveiled!

Finding a job as a teenager can be an exciting step towards independence, and you might be considering roles at popular establishments like Dairy Queen. Known for its iconic Blizzard treats and classic American fare, Dairy Queen is a sought-after workplace for young individuals eager to enter the workforce. You’re not alone if you are wondering about the age requirement to work at this beloved fast-food chain.

It’s important to know that the minimum age to work at Dairy Queen varies by location due to different state laws and the specific needs of each franchise. However, the typical starting point for team members at Dairy Queen is 16 years old. Depending on the role and the state’s labor laws, some locations may hire staff as young as 14 or 15 with a work permit.

Key Takeaways

  • Dairy Queen is a popular employer for young job seekers, offering an entry into the workforce.
  • Minimum age requirements for employment at Dairy Queen may vary, typically starting at 16.
  • Some locations may hire individuals as young as 14 or 15 with a work permit, adhering to state labor laws.

History of Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen, affectionately known as DQ, began its story in 1940. With a soft-serve formula created by John Fremont McCullough and his son Alex, your favorite spot for frozen treats opened its first location in Joliet, Illinois. The concept was an instant hit; their unique soft-serve ice cream had customers lining up for more on day one.

The brand saw steady growth over the years. DQ’s guiding principle was, and still is, satisfaction in every creamy spoonful. Its expansion can be attributed to its franchise business model, a strategy that encouraged local ownership and community involvement.

Here’s a quick timeline:

  • 1940: The first DQ store opens.
  • 1950s: The Dilly Bar debuts, expanding the DQ menu.
  • 1960s: The Buster Bar and the Mr. Misty slush treat hit the scene.
  • 1985: The Blizzard is launched, quickly becoming a fan favorite.

DQ’s store design has also evolved over the years and featured a simple walk-up counter in the early days. Modern stores now often include spacious dine-in areas and a drive-thru.

Diverse menu options, from burgers to hot dogs to coffee, turn your DQ visit into more than just an ice cream run. Yet, they’ve remained true to their roots, ensuring everyone can enjoy their classic soft-serve concoctions.

Key Takeaway:
Take a moment to appreciate Dairy Queen’s journey from a single store to a global presence. Its continual innovation in desserts and fast food, while staying true to its original soft-serve formula, has earned it a special place in the hearts of dessert lovers everywhere.

Minimum Age Requirements

When you’re considering a job at Dairy Queen, the minimum age requirement is a crucial factor. Dairy Queen is known for being a friendly place not only for customers but also for its staff. If you’re eager to join the team, here’s what you need to know about the age specifics for different roles.

Age Requirements for Different Positions

  • Cashier/Team Member: At Dairy Queen, you can start working as a cashier or team member as young as 16. It’s a great starting point to enter the workforce and learn customer service skills.For those of you who are 16:
    • You’ll greet customers with a smile.
    • You’re expected to manage cash and card transactions.
  • Cook: Aspiring cooks must typically also be at least 16 years old. In this role, you’re in the heart of the action, preparing the tasty food that keeps customers coming back.Key aspects of being a cook at Dairy Queen:
    • You’ll be trained to operate kitchen equipment safely.
    • You’ll whip up delicious meals while following food safety protocols.
  • Cake Decorator: If you’re interested in getting creative with icing and designs, the cake decorator position is an artistic role you might love. This position at Dairy Queen may require you to be at least 16 years old, but previous experience or a higher age threshold might be an advantage to ensure that delicate work can be performed to high standards.As a cake decorator:
    • You’ll craft visually appealing and delicious treats.
    • Attention to detail is your key to success.

Remember, these positions are not just jobs; they’re opportunities to gain experience, develop skills, and be part of a team. At the same time, you start here; who knows where your journey at Dairy Queen will take you!

Application Process

When you’re ready to apply to Dairy Queen, it’s critical to understand the steps you’ll need to take. The process is straightforward, but attention to detail can make you stand out as a candidate.

Submitting an Application

First, you’ll want to create an account on Dairy Queen’s official career website or visit a local store to apply in person. Here are the steps to ensure your application gets the attention it deserves:

  • Online Application:
    • Go to Dairy Queen’s careers page.
    • Create a new account or log in to an existing one.
    • Search for available job openings.
    • Fill out the application form meticulously. It’s your first impression!
  • In-Person Application:
    • Drop by your local Dairy Queen restaurant.
    • Ask for a paper application form.
    • Complete each section clearly and concisely.
    • Hand it back to a staff member or the manager.

Remember: The application should reflect your skills and experience relevant to the job requirements at Dairy Queen. Double-check your application before submission to avoid any errors or omissions.

U.S. investor and philanthropist Warren Buffet and Chinese employees flip over cups of ice cream next to Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates during the opening ceremony of a Dairy Queen ice cream shop at the Joy City shopping mall in Beijing, China, 30 September 2010.

The Interview

Once your application captures their interest, you’ll be contacted for an interview. Here’s what to prepare for:

  • Interview Logistics:
    • Expect a call or email to schedule your interview.
    • Interviews might be in person at the store or over the phone.
    • Dress appropriately, leaning toward business casual attire.
  • During the Interview:
    • Be punctual – arrive a few minutes early.
    • Listen carefully and answer questions with confidence.
    • Use specific examples to show why you’re a good fit for the team.

Pro Tip: Practicing common interview questions beforehand can help you feel relaxed and prepared. Always have a couple of questions ready to ask the interviewer to show interest in the position and clarify anything you’re curious about.

Job Descriptions

In the bustling environment of Dairy Queen, a variety of roles come together to create the signature experience customers love. From crafting sweet treats to managing transactions, each job is pivotal.

Team Member

As a team member at Dairy Queen, you’re the heartbeat of daily operations. Your duties may include:

  • Greeting and serving guests with a warm smile
  • Assisting in the kitchen with food prep tasks
  • Keeping the store clean and inviting

Key Takeaway: You’ll develop essential customer service and teamwork skills in this role.


Cashiers are the financial liaisons at Dairy Queen. In this role, you will:

  • Handle cash and card transactions accurately
  • Engage with customers at the front counter or drive-thru area
  • Resolve payment and order-related issues

Key Takeaway: Precision and friendliness are your tools for success.


As a cook, you’re at the heart of the kitchen operations. You will:

  • Cook and assemble food orders with speed and accuracy
  • Follow recipes and food safety protocols
  • Ensure product quality consistently meets standards

Key Takeaway: This job hones your culinary skills in a fast-paced setting.

Cake Decorator

The cake decorator is Dairy Queen’s creative force. Your responsibilities include:

  • Designing and decorating cakes according to customer specifications
  • Balancing creativity with efficiency
  • Maintaining cleanliness in the chill staff area

Key Takeaway: Your artistry brings joy to celebrations and everyday moments alike.

Indianapolis – Circa August 2016: Dairy Queen Retail Fast Food Location. DQ is a Subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway III

Training and Development

When you start your journey at Dairy Queen, you’ll find a robust training program designed to help you flourish in your new role. Your experience begins with learning the ropes, ensuring you’re ready to deliver top-notch service skills from day one. You’ll interact with a supportive team environment where more experienced colleagues will guide you as you develop your expertise.

The training covers several key areas:

  • Product Knowledge: Learn all about the famous DQ treats and eats.
  • Customer Service: Learn how to engage customers and provide a memorable experience.
  • Operational Skills: Understand the ins and outs of running a store efficiently.

If you’re new to the workforce, Dairy Queen’s emphasis on work experience is invaluable for your career path. Even if this is your first job, your training will equip you with a solid foundation in various essential skills employers value.

Here’s what you can expect:

  • Hands-on practice in a real-world setting
  • Regular feedback to help you improve
  • Opportunities to tackle new challenges
  • Collaboration with a team that roots for your success

As you grow with the company, you can look forward to ongoing development opportunities. These can help you climb the ladder, perhaps even into management roles, if that’s where your ambitions lie.

Key Takeaway: Your development is taken seriously at Dairy Queen. With comprehensive training and a chance to gain valuable work experience, you’ll be well on your path to success in the service industry.

Work Environment

Entering the fold at Dairy Queen, you’ll immerse yourself in a dynamic, engaging work environment that balances professionalism with a personable touch.

Company Culture

Dairy Queen holds company culture in high regard, fostering a friendly workplace where pride in the brand is evident. You’ll be joining a community known for being:

  • Customer-focused: Every shift is an opportunity to shine with stellar customer service.
  • Inclusive: A diverse team that values your unique perspective.

Teamwork and Support

Teamwork isn’t just a buzzword at Dairy Queen; it’s the fabric of daily operations. The emphasis on team environment means you’re:

  • Encouraged in a supportive network that thrives on mutual aid.
  • Part of a hardworking crew that collaborates to ensure every customer leaves with a smile.

Key takeaway: Embrace the chance to grow alongside a team that takes pride in excellent service, ensuring every day is as sweet as the treats.

Benefits and Compensation

When you start a job at Dairy Queen, understanding your benefits and compensation is critical to knowing what you can expect in return for your hard work.


Dairy Queen’s wages vary depending on your role, experience, and location. However, you’ll find that all wages meet or exceed the federal minimum wage. As a rough guide:

  • Part-time Employees: Often start around minimum wage but could earn more with experience.
  • Full-time Employees: Generally enjoy a higher starting wage depending on the position and location.

Health Benefits

For Full-time Employees at Dairy Queen, a range of health benefits are typically offered:

  • Medical Coverage: Comprehensive plans may cover a variety of health-related expenses.
  • Dental Plans: Available options to help take care of your dental health.

Note: Part-time employees may have limited health benefits compared to full-time staff.

Paid Time Off

Taking time off is essential for a healthy work-life balance, so Dairy Queen provides paid time off (PTO) benefits:

  • Full-time Employees: Typically receive PTO, including vacation days, sick days, and personal time.
  • Part-time Employees: PTO may be available depending on the hours worked.

Key Takeaway: Your hard work at Dairy Queen is rewarded with fair wages, a supportive suite of health benefits, and paid time off that contribute to a solid foundation for your well-being.

Health and Safety Standards

Considering a position at Dairy Queen, it’s essential to understand the health and safety standards in place. These standards are not only crucial for your well-being but also for the safety of customers.

In-Store Safety Protocols

Dairy Queen takes health and safety seriously, employing several procedures to ensure a clean and safe working environment. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Personal Hygiene: You’re expected to wash your hands regularly and use sanitizer, especially before handling food or after any activity that could contaminate your hands.
  • Protective Equipment: Depending on your role, you might need gloves, aprons, or masks. Always follow the guidelines provided to you.
  • Cleaning Schedule: The store maintains a strict cleaning schedule. Surfaces that come into contact with food are cleaned more frequently to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Temperature Control: Proper temperature control is critical. Cold items are stored below 40°F to prevent bacterial growth and hot foods are kept above 140°F to ensure safety.
  • Training: Expect regular training updates on these protocols, as Dairy Queen’s commitment to health and safety is ongoing.
  • Incident Reporting: Should an accident or health issue arise, it’s essential to report it immediately, according to Dairy Queen’s established procedures.

Remember, adhering to these protocols not only helps to keep you safe but also ensures the well-being of every guest.

Career Advancement Opportunities

When you start your journey at Dairy Queen, whether it’s your first job or looking to build a robust career, there are clear paths to climb the ladder. Here’s how you can elevate your position:

From Team Member to Leader:

  • Gain experience: Master your role and show you’re reliable.
  • Show initiative: Volunteer for extra tasks and demonstrate leadership.
  • Seek feedback: Regularly ask for performance reviews to improve.

Growth Possibilities:

  • Shift Leader: Lead by example and manage the team during shifts.
  • Assistant Manager: Take on more responsibility for daily operations.
  • Store Manager: Oversee hiring, training, and store management.

Education and Training:

  • Dairy Queen offers training programs to help you develop management skills.
  • They sometimes have leadership seminars and workshops.


  • Connect with other employees and managers.
  • Learn from their experiences and get insights into different roles.

Application Tips:

  • Regularly check internal job postings.
  • Keep your resume updated with new skills and experience.

Remember: Advancement is not just about the time you’ve put in; it’s about the effort and growth you demonstrate in your current job.

Key Takeaway:
Seize every opportunity to show your enthusiasm and professionalism, and you could find yourself advancing to a managerial position, gaining valuable experience for your long-term career.

Understanding Labor Laws

When you’re eager to start your first job, it’s crucial to know that labor laws are there to protect you. These include rules about the age you can start working and the need for a work permit.

Work Permits and Legal Requirements

Before you can don an apron at Dairy Queen, ensure you’re clear with the law. Here’s the scoop:

  • Minimum Age: Generally, you should be at least 16 years old to work at Dairy Queen. This can vary by state due to local labor laws.
  • Work Permits: If you’re under 18, you might need a work permit. It’s a document that legally allows minors to work under certain conditions.

Check with your guidance counselor or state labor department to see if you need one:

  1. Request an application from your school’s office or your state’s labor department.
  2. Complete the application with details about the job at Dairy Queen.
  3. Submit and wait for approval before you start working.

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with these rules:

  • Hours of Work: There are limits on how many hours you can work, especially during the school year.
  • Occupational Restrictions: There are particular jobs at Dairy Queen you may not do if you’re below a certain age, like operating heavy machinery.

Your enthusiasm to work is admirable, but remember, your safety and well-being are always top priority. Work permits and labor laws ensure a positive work experience that doesn’t interfere with your education.

Key Takeaway: Before scooping your first cone or greeting customers at Dairy Queen, check if you’re of legal working age and need a work permit. It’s your first step to a sweet working experience!

Frequently Used Equipment

In your journey at Dairy Queen, you’ll come across various equipment essential in delivering those delightful treats customers love. Here’s a sneak peek at the tools that will become part of your day-to-day activities.

Equipment Training

When you start your job at Dairy Queen, one of the first things you’ll learn is handling the cash register. This is the hub where you’ll greet customers, take orders, and process payments. Expect to get comfortable with:

  • Touchscreen interfaces
  • Payment processing systems
  • Receipt printers

Next up is the art of decorating. Your skills will shine here as you whirl up blizzards and craft gorgeous ice cream cakes. Get ready to use:

  • Soft-serve machines
  • Spatulas and spreaders
  • Decorating tools and tips
  • When it comes to processing orders, speed and precision are crucial. Key equipment includes:arious sizes
  • Blending machines for those fan-favorite Blizzards
  • Topping dispensers and organizers

Remember, these tools are the magic wands that bring smiles to faces, and your mastery over them matters. With practice, you’ll soon swing through your shift like a pro.

Frequently Asked Questions

When considering a job at Dairy Queen, it’s essential to know the age requirements. Let’s look at some common queries about getting a job at this popular ice cream chain.

What is the minimum age requirement for employment at Dairy Queen?

You need to be at least 16 years old to work at Dairy Queen. However, this can vary depending on the store’s policy and local employment laws.

Key takeaway: Check with your local Dairy Queen for the exact age requirement.

Does Dairy Queen offer job opportunities to individuals aged 14?

In some cases, Dairy Queen locations may hire individuals as young as 14 for limited roles, but this is rare and usually depends on the state labor laws and the discretion of the franchise owner.

Key takeaway: Opportunities for 14-year-olds are limited and location-dependent.

Is it possible to secure a job at Dairy Queen if I am 15 years old?

Yes, some Dairy Queen locations hire 15-year-olds for certain positions, especially during high-demand periods like summer, but this varies by location and with adherence to local labor laws.

Key takeaway: It’s possible but not guaranteed; inquire with your local store.

Does Dairy Queen’s hiring age vary by state, and if so, what are some examples?

Yes, Dairy Queen’s hiring age can vary by state due to different labor laws. For example, in states like Alaska or Kentucky, the hiring age might be as low as 14 with a work permit, while other states may strictly require employees to be 16.

Key takeaway: Check the labor laws in your state for specific age requirements.

Are there specific locations where Dairy Queen hires employees younger than 16?

Certain locations, especially in areas with more lenient work permit rules, may hire employees under 16. This is typically at the franchise owner’s discretion and in compliance with state labor laws.

Key takeaway: Locations vary; some may hire under 16 with proper permits.

What is the youngest age Dairy Queen will consider for hiring across its locations?

The youngest age for hiring at Dairy Queen across all locations is generally 14 with proper work permits and permissions, but these positions are minimal and often dictated by state law.

Key takeaway: The youngest hiring age is 14, subject to state law and availability of positions.