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Fast Food Cook

What is a Fast Food Cook?

Career Description Prepare and cook food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. Duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

Daily Life Of a Fast Food Cook

  • Schedule activities and equipment use with managers, using information about daily menus to help coordinate cooking times.
  • Measure ingredients required for specific food items being prepared.
  • Clean, stock, and restock workstations and display cases.
  • Mix ingredients, such as pancake or waffle batters.
  • Cook the exact number of items ordered by each customer, working on several different orders simultaneously.
  • Verify that prepared food meets requirements for quality and quantity.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Fast Food Cook?

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

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.

Service Orientation: Actively looking for ways to help people.

Coordination: Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.

Speaking: Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Social Perceptiveness: Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.

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

Types of Fast Food Cook

  • Grill Cook
  • Crew Trainer
  • Fast Food Fry Cook
  • Prep Cook (Preparatory Cook)
  • Specialty Cook

Job Demand for Fast Food Cooks

In the United States, there were 517,600 jobs for Fast Food Cook in 2016. There is little to no growth in job opportunities for Fast Food Cook. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 67,200 job openings in this field each year.


The states with the most job growth for Fast Food Cook are Washington, Alaska, and Arizona. 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.

Average Fast Food Cooks Salary

The typical yearly salary for Fast Food Cooks is somewhere between $17,390 and $29,290.


Fast Food Cooks who work in Hawaii, Washington, or Massachusetts, make the highest salaries.

How much do Fast Food Cooks make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $19,220
Alaska $26,420
Arizona $23,620
Arkansas $20,840
California $25,330
Colorado $24,130
Connecticut $27,040
Delaware $21,450
District of Columbia $29,220
Florida $22,550
Georgia $20,430
Hawaii $28,160
Idaho $19,360
Illinois $21,690
Indiana $20,000
Iowa $20,500
Kansas $19,760
Kentucky $20,670
Louisiana $19,440
Maine $23,700
Maryland $24,830
Massachusetts $28,620
Michigan $22,580
Minnesota $24,370
Mississippi $18,270
Missouri $20,800
Montana $22,550
Nebraska $22,490
Nevada $22,230
New Hampshire $22,400
New Jersey $23,410
New Mexico $20,840
New York $26,210
North Carolina $19,020
North Dakota $25,000
Ohio $21,630
Oklahoma $19,380
Oregon $26,350
Pennsylvania $20,530
Rhode Island $24,950
South Carolina $19,810
South Dakota $22,280
Tennessee $20,490
Texas $21,000
Utah $23,750
Vermont $25,660
Virginia $20,320
Washington $28,960
West Virginia $21,330
Wisconsin $22,780
Wyoming $20,210

What Tools & Technology do Fast Food Cooks Use?

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

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Point of sale POS software
  • Plexis Software Plexis POS
  • RestaurantPlus PRO
  • Aldelo Systems Aldelo for Restaurants Pro
  • Foodman Home-Delivery

Becoming a Fast Food Cook

Are there Fast Food Cooks education requirements?


How many years of work experience do I need?


Where Fast Food Cooks Work


Below are examples of industries where Fast Food Cooks work:


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More about our data sources and methodologies.

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