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Life As a Restaurant Cook

Job Description: 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.

Life as a Restaurant Cook: What Do They Do?

  • Consult with supervisory staff to plan menus, taking into consideration factors such as costs and special event needs.
  • Substitute for or assist other cooks during emergencies or rush periods.
  • Season and cook food according to recipes or personal judgment and experience.
  • Keep records and accounts.
  • Portion, arrange, and garnish food, and serve food to waiters or patrons.
  • Wash, peel, cut, and seed fruits and vegetables to prepare them for consumption.

Skills Needed to be a Restaurant Cook

Below is a list of the skills most Restaurant Cooks say are important on the job.

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.

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

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

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

Other Restaurant Cook Job Titles

  • Broiler Cook
  • Larder Cook
  • Banquet Cook
  • Sandwich Artist
  • Prep Cook (Preparation Cook)

Job Demand for Restaurant Cooks

There were about 1,231,900 jobs for Cooks, Restaurant in 2016 (in the United States).

New jobs are being produced at a rate of 11.8% which is lower than average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 145,300 new jobs for Restaurant Cooks by 2026. The BLS estimates 195,300 yearly job openings in this field per year.

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

The states with the most job growth for Cooks, Restaurant are Texas, California, and Florida.

Watch out if you plan on working in Vermont, South Dakota, or Alaska. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for Restaurant Cooks

The average yearly salary of a Restaurant Cook ranges between $19,420 and $37,630. The median salary for this occupation is $26,530.

Salary Ranges for Restaurant Cooks

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

Annual Mean Salary by State
State Annual Mean Salary

Hawaii

$34,330

District of Columbia

$33,840

New Jersey

$33,200

Massachusetts

$32,430

Washington

$32,370

Nevada

$31,960

Vermont

$31,180

Rhode Island

$30,890

California

$30,620

Connecticut

$30,450

New York

$30,440

Alaska

$30,230

Wyoming

$29,750

Colorado

$29,490

Oregon

$29,340

New Hampshire

$29,200

Minnesota

$29,120

Maine

$28,780

Arizona

$28,330

Nebraska

$28,280

Maryland

$28,220

North Dakota

$28,130

Florida

$27,740

Illinois

$27,720

Delaware

$27,430

Utah

$27,350

South Dakota

$26,630

Virginia

$26,590

Pennsylvania

$26,510

Wisconsin

$25,910

Ohio

$25,560

Michigan

$25,550

Texas

$25,400

Montana

$25,230

Missouri

$25,180

North Carolina

$24,950

Idaho

$24,880

Iowa

$24,700

Indiana

$24,570

Tennessee

$24,370

Georgia

$24,280

New Mexico

$24,100

Alabama

$24,080

Oklahoma

$24,000

South Carolina

$23,680

Kansas

$23,640

West Virginia

$23,520

Louisiana

$23,230

Arkansas

$22,980

Kentucky

$22,920

Mississippi

$22,340

Tools & Technologies Used by Restaurant Cooks

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Restaurant Cooks:

  • Microsoft Office
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel

How to Become a Restaurant Cook

What education is needed to be a Restaurant Cook?

Restaurant Cook Degree Level

How many years of work experience do I need?

Restaurant Cook Work Experience

Who Employs Restaurant Cooks?

Restaurant Cook Sectors

Other Jobs You May be Interested In

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

  • Food Preparation Workers

References

Bureau of Labor Statistics

College Factual

O*NET Online

Image Credit: Via Wikimedia Commons

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