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Restaurant Cook

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Life As a Restaurant Cook

Job Description & Duties Prepare, season, and cook dishes such as soups, meats, vegetables, or desserts in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

Daily Life Of a Restaurant Cook

  • Prepare relishes and hors d’oeuvres.
  • Consult with supervisory staff to plan menus, taking into consideration factors such as costs and special event needs.
  • Carve and trim meats such as beef, veal, ham, pork, and lamb for hot or cold service, or for sandwiches.
  • Keep records and accounts.
  • Portion, arrange, and garnish food, and serve food to waiters or patrons.
  • Season and cook food according to recipes or personal judgment and experience.

What Every Restaurant Cook Should Know

Restaurant Cooks state the following job skills are important in their day-to-day work.

Monitoring: Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Time Management: Managing one’s own time and the time of others.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others’ actions.

Other Restaurant Cook Job Titles

  • Station Cook
  • Railroad Cook
  • Specialty Foods Cook
  • Grill Cook
  • Larder Cook

Job Demand for Restaurant Cooks

There were about 1,231,900 jobs for Restaurant Cook in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.8% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 145,300 new jobs for Restaurant Cook by 2026. The BLS estimates 195,300 yearly job openings in this field.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Restaurant Cooks in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Restaurant Cook are Colorado, Utah, and Texas. Watch out if you plan on working in Ohio, West Virginia, or Maine. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Restaurant Cook Average Salary

Restaurant Cooks make between $19,420 and $37,630 a year.

Salary Ranges for Restaurant Cooks

Restaurant Cooks who work in District of Columbia, Washington, or New Jersey, make the highest salaries.

How much do Restaurant Cooks make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $24,080
Alaska $30,230
Arizona $28,330
Arkansas $22,980
California $30,620
Colorado $29,490
Connecticut $30,450
Delaware $27,430
District of Columbia $33,840
Florida $27,740
Georgia $24,280
Hawaii $34,330
Idaho $24,880
Illinois $27,720
Indiana $24,570
Iowa $24,700
Kansas $23,640
Kentucky $22,920
Louisiana $23,230
Maine $28,780
Maryland $28,220
Massachusetts $32,430
Michigan $25,550
Minnesota $29,120
Mississippi $22,340
Missouri $25,180
Montana $25,230
Nebraska $28,280
Nevada $31,960
New Hampshire $29,200
New Jersey $33,200
New Mexico $24,100
New York $30,440
North Carolina $24,950
North Dakota $28,130
Ohio $25,560
Oklahoma $24,000
Oregon $29,340
Pennsylvania $26,510
Rhode Island $30,890
South Carolina $23,680
South Dakota $26,630
Tennessee $24,370
Texas $25,400
Utah $27,350
Vermont $31,180
Virginia $26,590
Washington $32,370
West Virginia $23,520
Wisconsin $25,910
Wyoming $29,750

Tools & Technologies Used by Restaurant Cooks

Below is a list of the types of tools and technologies that Restaurant Cooks may use on a daily basis:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Facebook
  • Inventory management software
  • Menu planning software

How to Become a Restaurant Cook

What education or degrees do I need to become a Restaurant Cook?

Restaurant Cook Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Restaurant Cook?

Restaurant Cook Work Experience

Where Restaurant Cooks Are Employed

Restaurant Cook Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Restaurant Cooks employed by various industries.

Restaurant Cook Industries

Similar Careers

Career changers with experience as a Restaurant Cook sometimes find work in one of the following fields:

References:

Image Credit: U.S. Army Europe Images via Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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