Does McDonald’s Run Background Checks?

McDonald’s is one of the most easily recognized and oldest fast-food chains in the world. They have a highly popular menu that features such fare as hamburgers, milkshakes, smoothies, and more.

Despite some backlash over the poor nutritional value of the meals, this franchise has proven successful. It is the world’s second-largest private employer.

For anyone looking for employment, such burger joints make for fertile ground. Those with criminal convictions may however be wondering, does McDonald’s run background checks?

does mcdonalds run background checks

This is a real concern as background checks are used to reveal criminal pasts. Depending on the jurisdiction, there may however be a limit on this. Some states will set a 5, 7, or 10-year reporting limit.

However, before we delve into this, let’s look at why working at McDonald’s makes sense.

Why Work at McDonald’s?

Though the pay is not that generous, a job at McDonald’s does come with some good perks. This includes health cover, dental insurance, retirement plans, and performance-based bonuses.

Because of the long hours the restaurants operate, flexible work hours are available. This is helpful for those with other commitments like caring for kids, seniors, or attending college.

Those studying also gain the benefit of tuition assistance. One must however be attending specific colleges.

Full-time staff have access to free meals, with additional 50% employee discount on extra purchases.

does mcdonalds run the background check

The franchise is also supportive of its staff when it comes to maternity leave. Those expecting can get a month of leave before birth. And another 3 months of leave after birth.

Paternity leave is also available. New fathers get 1 week after birth. There are also 3 weeks of standard paid vacation time for everyone.

There is a 100% matching 401(k) plan to help employees save for their retirement. Performance-based bonuses are also available for high performing staff.

Employees can work up to 40 hours per week. There is much freedom in organizing their schedule to suit their needs. It is also the reason many have other jobs they work around.

For those coming out of the prison system, these jobs can be quite lucrative. There is steady work available with good benefits.

The many locations of these restaurants can also make it easier to find a job at a commutable distance.

Does McDonald’s Run Background Checks?

does mcdonalds run the background checks

Background checks are often done to protect the business and its employees. People with criminal pasts are often deemed likely to re-offend.

Those with violent offenses may be considered likely to cause a disturbance. This can be risky in an environment where customers can be impatient and rude.

They may also enter into altercations with other employees. That can be risky in an environment where hot oil, hot grills, and knives are in regular use.

Those convicted of theft are also risky to have handling cash and any valuable inventory. Financial losses are bad for business.

These two types of crimes will often make it difficult for an offender to secure a job. But other factors, like time since conviction, and if a repeat offender, can also be considered.

McDonald’s does run background checks. At your first interview, you will likely be asked to sign a consent form to have this done.

So, expect any criminal history to be discovered. Since you will be having a face-to-face with the hiring manager, do talk about it. Being forthcoming may mitigate any surprise revelations.

Some anecdotal evidence suggests that background checks may not always be run. So though you may sign the consent form, it may not lead to a check. but it is not possible to know which locations will or will not run the report.

So how does one go about applying for a job here?

Hiring Process at McDonald’s

Applicants have a choice between visiting a franchise location or going online. The Mcdonald’s website has a careers page for this.

Here there are two categories of jobs. At franchise restaurants and corporate.

The listings will indicate the job title, location, and responsibilities. You can then click on the appropriate tab to apply.

The application form has two parts. The first relates to personal information and the second is a character evaluation.

Once you submit the form online, the application will be evaluated. If you qualify, it will be forwarded to the restaurant locations you have indicated.

does mcdonalds run your background checks

The franchise manager will then call you if you fit their needs. They will arrange a date and time for a face-to-face interview. Remember to carry along 2 forms of ID.

After the interview, you will be asked to sign a consent form for a background check. This is typically a criminal background check. If the job entails driving, a DMV records check may also be conducted.

If acceptable to the hiring manager, you may be called in by the manager to start work.

Understand that hiring decisions at restaurants are left to the franchisee. This means that while some restaurants may hire felons, others may not. Each franchise is left free to set their own hiring policies.

Testimonials from current and former employees however indicate that many restaurants do hire felons.

The demand for workers and employee turnover in the fast-food industry are quite high. This often forces employers to lower the bar when it comes to hiring.

These restaurants consider themselves very much a part of the community. As such, they will often look to assist the disenfranchised. Those with criminal convictions are often considered here.

So how can one boost their chances of being hired with criminal records?

Tips to Getting Hired at McDonald’s

does mcdonalds run background check

Be honest. From your application to the interview, always give honest responses.

Some managers are quite thorough with their checks. If they find a lie, they may discard your application.

As said, be forthcoming with the truth about your criminal record. Even if the manager does not ask about it, find a chance to discuss it. Accept responsibility and indicate your desire to be a better person.

Have strong references that can attest to the change in your character. Taking up positive activities like volunteering or going back to school also helps demonstrate this.

Also, indicate your flexibility when it comes to work schedules. The more available you are for less popular shifts, the better your chances.

Also, observe general social niceties. Arrive on time for your interview and ensure you are decently dressed. Speak politely and confidently.


As mentioned, hiring decisions are left in the hands of franchise managers. McDonald’s mostly concerns itself with hiring decisions for their corporate offices.

As most restaurants rely on the local community for patronage, they also rely on them for workers. They are open to accepting felons and other offenders as employees.

However, they will also likely consider such factors as the nature and severity of the offense. And, when you were convicted. Those that are repeat offenders may find it hard to secure a job.

Safety and theft concerns are what often drive hiring decisions. As long as your record does not indicate that you are a threat, your chances are good.

Strive to make a good first impression on the hiring manager. Their input will have a greater bearing on the final decision than whatever will come out in the background check.

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