Steak N Shake Application For Employment

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If you live in the South or the Midwest or the state of Nevada, and you’re looking for restaurant work, but having trouble finding it, perhaps a Steak N Shake application may be your ticket to a new job.

Company History
Steak n Shake Logo

Steak N Shake was founded in Illinois in 1934, when Gus Belt decided to convert the combination gas station and chicken restaurant that he owned into a burger stand. Ground beef at that time was still viewed with considerable suspicion by most people, so Gus adopted the practice of grinding it right in front of his customers. This allowed his clients to see that the beef was indeed ground from steak, and also to assure themselves that nothing unwholesome was going into their food.


When his first store proved to be a success, Gus Belt purchased an existing restaurant chain in central Illinois, called “Goal Post” restaurants, and converted them all to Steak N Shake stores. With the demise of founder Gus Belt in 1954, control of the restaurant chain passed to his wife Edith Belt, who ran the stores until her death in 1969. From there, Steak N Shake fell upon hard times, going through a long period of decline in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, while changing hands several times. A resurgence in the late 1980’s saw the company return to robust financial health, and the 1990’s were again a period of rapid growth. A major shakeup in the Board of Directors in 2008 saw the current, (and highly unpopular), CEO Sardar Biglari take the helm.


Today Steak N Shake has approximately 400 company-owned restaurants, and about 100 franchise locations, with something in excess of 21,000 employees, and a bit over $700 million US dollars per year in revenue.


Steak N Shake Jobs

This is another of those restaurant chains with relatively few actual job titles at the hourly level. But let’s go ahead and take a look at those job categories that do exist:


Server / Waiter / Waitress – This is a vocation which goes back thousands of years, and it still involves the same basics, although of course the details have changed greatly. You go to the table, you take the order, you write it down, you deliver the order to the cooks, you fetch the drinks and salads, you pick up the food from the kitchen, and you deliver it to the table.


Dishwasher – The grunt of the restaurant trade. You wash and sanitize dishes, you clean the kitchen, you sweep and mop the floors, and you get to clean up any sundry messes that somebody makes. Humble, yes, but it’s a job.


Drive-Thru Operator – You work the drive-thru window, learning the specialized skills needed to interpret the squawking noises from the speaker as an order for food. You pass the order to the kitchen staff, ring up the customer’s bill and make change, accept the food from the kitchen when it’s ready, bag it up and add utensils, napkins and condiments, pass the food to the customer and wish them a good day.


Production – This is a back kitchen job, prepping food for the cooks and doing other cold-prep tasks such as making salads. The tasks involved here can be as simple as washing and slicing vegetables, or as delicate and complex as icing a cake.


Sad to say, a review of anonymous feedback from current and former Steak N Shake employees reveals a below-average level of employee satisfaction. Only a frankly pathetic 17% “approve of” CEO Sardar Biglari.



A Steak N Shake in Raleigh, North Carolina. Image via wikimedia author Ildar Sagdejev
A Steak N Shake in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Image via wikimedia
author Ildar Sagdejev







Getting That Job At Steak N Shake

Well, this section is going to be very short. Steak N Shake has a careers site (, but does not hire hourly staff online there. Your options are two – either look online via, or use the restaurant finder at the Steak N Shake career site, (up at the top of the page, right side, just enter your zip code and go), to find the nearest location and apply in person. A surprising number of those applicants who report applying in person were hired on the spot, so that may be your best bet.


And now for a few bits and pieces that you may help you snag that job at Steak N Shake –


  • Average wage for a Server/Waiter/Waitress is $3.75 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $2.00 per hour to a high of $8.00 per hour. Again, this low average is a product of cruelly harsh laws in certain Eastern states which allow hourly employees in tipped positions to be paid less than minimum wage, in some cases as low as $2.00 per hour, as indicated above.
  • Average wage for Drive-Thru Operator is $7.22 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $7.00 per hour to a high of $8.00 per hour.
  • Average wage for Production is $7.73 per hour, with reports varying from a low of $7.00 per hour to a high of $9.00 per hour.
  • Applicants report a very simple, basic single-interview hiring process of the “do you have a pulse?” variety. If your appearance is reasonably clean and neat, and you’re not obviously a lunatic, you can get hired. Lack of previous restaurant experience does not seem to be an obstacle.
  • If you’re hired, and they tell you to get a white dress shirt, buy one with a button-down collar; it’s required but they don’t always mention it.

  • Sample interview question – “Why are you leaving your previous job?”
  • Sample interview question – “What does the Golden Rule mean to you?”
  • Sample interview question – “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
  • Sample interview question – “What would you do if a customer yelled at you?”
  • Sample interview question – “Have you ever had to drop your responsibilities to help someone else?”

So, there you have a quick look at the highlights of what you need to know for a successful Steak N Shake application. The employee satisfaction rating is worrisome, but the ability to get hired easily is encouraging. Steak N Shake does have a policy that they will not hire anyone who has been convicted of a money theft felony in the last 36 months, but other than that, it’s a slam-dunk.


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