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Restaurant Cook

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What Does it Take to Be a Restaurant Cook?

Occupation 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.

A Day in the Life of a Restaurant Cook

  • Turn or stir foods to ensure even cooking.
  • Prepare relishes and hors d’oeuvres.
  • Coordinate and supervise work of kitchen staff.
  • Estimate expected food consumption, requisition or purchase supplies, or procure food from storage.
  • Wash, peel, cut, and seed fruits and vegetables to prepare them for consumption.
  • Inspect and clean food preparation areas, such as equipment and work surfaces, or serving areas to ensure safe and sanitary food-handling practices.

What Skills Do You Need to Work as a Restaurant Cook?

When polled, Restaurant Cooks say the following skills are most frequently used in their jobs:

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.

  • Sandwich Artist
  • Vegetable Cook
  • Specialty Cook
  • Broil Cook
  • Ice Cream Chef

What Kind of Restaurant Cook Job Opportunities Are There?

In the United States, there were 1,231,900 jobs for Restaurant Cook in 2016. 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.

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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.

Do Restaurant Cooks Make A Lot Of Money?

The average yearly salary of a Restaurant Cook ranges between $19,420 and $37,630.

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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

What Tools & Technology do Restaurant Cooks Use?

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

Individuals working as a Restaurant Cook have obtained the following education levels:

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What work experience do I need to become a Restaurant Cook?

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Where do Restaurant Cooks Work?

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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Are you already one of the many Restaurant Cook in the United States? If you’re thinking about changing careers, these fields are worth exploring:

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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