Disclaimer: Not all of these places are currently hiring, but if you do see a listing or are hoping to distribute your résumé, these establishments have an unofficial Generation Next stamp of approval.

With more and more teens scrambling to find a summer job, many run into the issue of businesses not willing or able to hire workers under 18. Here’s a list of top teen employers from around Santa Fe, for when you want something more reliable than babysitting. It will probably involve waiting tables.

Cowgirl BBQ

319 S. Guadalupe St.

For teens in Santa Fe, Cowgirl arguably takes home the trophy for best place to work. The restaurant tends to hire a lot of teenagers and young adults, most of whom end up staying on staff consistently. It’s easier to connect to the rest of the staff and the general atmosphere of the workplace because of that. While it’s on the friendly side, it’s still a fast-paced work environment.

One employee recounted walking away with “anywhere between” $9 to $106 after a shift. That same employee said working weekends tends to be more lucrative. In the past, teen employees have been able to pick up many more shifts during the summer, scaling hours back when the school year starts. The restaurant is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Nighttime hours mean, depending on your schedule, working during the school year could still be an option.

Chocolate Maven

821 W. San Mateo Road

I’m pretty sure there isn’t a teenager in Santa Fe who is more than two degrees of separation away from another teenager who works at, or has worked at, Chocolate Maven, a bakery and cafe off San Mateo Road.

The bond between co-workers tends to be really good.

As for hours, this one tends to be a lot of work, especially during the holidays. For a vague idea of what working hours are like, the storefront is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Bee Hive Books

328 Montezuma Ave.

This one is based on my own experience. I’ve gotten to work here a little bit, and it’s definitely a better job than most of my friends have. A lot of them work at restaurants, and in terms of labor and environment, Bee Hive feels like an improved introvert’s version of the other two previous workplaces on this list.

Although you definitely have to be someone who enjoys reading.

Even though not working in a restaurant means I forgo tip money, it’s a better starting wage than I’d probably get at a restaurant, and I still get experience using a cash register and helping customers.

The store is open 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and is closed Sunday, which means even on days I work, I still have my nights free.

Honorable mentions


3550 Zafarano Drive

Pro: The chain store hires teens and is pretty much always hiring.

Con: There’s a reason they’re always hiring.

Santa Fe Opera, as an usher

301 Opera Drive

Pro: I hear there’s a really great environment, good pay and sometimes you get to see the second half of the show.

Con: This job is difficult to land.

El Parasol

1833 Cerrillos Road, 298 Dinosaur Trail

Pro: Gets rave reviews from employees.

Con: The employees don’t seem to be primarily teens.

Emma Meyers is a junior at Santa Fe Preparatory School. Contact her at emmawritingacc@gmail.com.

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