Sophomore’s First Ever Job at Chick-fil-A Impacted by COVID-19


Sophie Fang

During the pandemic, sophomore Chloe Appel started working at Chick-fil-A as her first job ever. Staff illustration: Sophie Fang.

Kaylie Wu, Staff Writer

When shelter-in-place began in March 2020, sophomore Chloe Appel found herself bored and struggling to stay productive. As a result, when the first shelter-in-place order was lifted, she began researching different ways to keep busy. Appel had no idea that this search would end with her working at a local Chick-fil-A.

According to Appel, it was her mom who first encouraged her to find a job. “I spent my days not having anything to do, and my mom said I should check if any places are hiring,” Appel said. At this time, a new Chick-fil-A in Redwood City was under construction. When Appel discovered this, she immediately wanted to apply for a job there. 

Even though working in a public restaurant during the pandemic seemed intimidating from a safety standpoint, Appel was still motivated to apply. “I had nothing to do over the summer because of the pandemic,” Appel said. “I specifically didn’t wait for COVID-19 to improve because I needed something to do right away.” 

The application process was fairly simple, according to Appel. The first step in her application was submitting a resume on Indeed for the Chick-fil-A front of house position. Front of house team members have many responsibilities including taking customer’s orders and handing out food. Appel heard back from Chick-fil-A within the same day of sending in her resume. “I received a call from them saying they wanted me to come in for an interview,” Appel said. “But at this point, the store was still being built and hadn’t opened yet. So I went in for an interview at the construction site.” Appel’s interview was one week before the restaurant opened up to the public; however, she was hired before the opening. Two days after her interview, Appel was officially offered a job as a Chick-fil-A employee. Appel was surprised to be given a position at the restaurant so soon after her interview.

On July 23, 2020, the Chick-fil-A was ready to open, and Appel began work as a front of house team member. Her work includes taking food orders, making milkshakes and other drinks, stuffing bags with sauces and working at the windows. However, Appel is most often put in charge of bagging and delivery. So far, the only job Appel hasn’t participated in is in the kitchen. “Front of house does all the drive-through stuff, and back of house prepares the food,” Appel said. Appel currently works ten hours a week, but over the summer, she plans on increasing this number to forty, the same number of hours she worked last summer.

Appel never expected her first job to be during a pandemic — COVID-19 completely changed her experience with working. “I don’t really have any other perspectives in the work environment because I have only worked during the pandemic,” Appel said. “But once [the pandemic] is over, I’m sure things will change drastically and I will be relearning to work in different ways.” Since Appel and the customers both have to wear masks, it’s more difficult to communicate while taking orders and talking through the window. According to Appel, hearing people through masks has been the biggest work-related challenge that COVID-19 has created.

Despite these difficulties, Appel has enjoyed her time at Chick-fil-A so far. Working has provided her with the perfect opportunity to stay social and safe during the pandemic. “My favorite part about the job is meeting so many new customers and seeing how many different personalities are out there,” Appel said.