The human need for nourishment— and the pleasure of a good meal— cannot be overstated. The cooks who prepare those meals– from elegant restaurant dining to fast food production- have fast-paced careers with more facets than you might expect. Under the direction of chefs or food service managers, cooks follow recipes to prepare restaurant-sized portions. They measure and mix ingredients to create their assigned menu items, and may garnish them to be served. Items may range from breakfast omelets to salads, steaks and desserts. They keep their work areas and equipment clean, following safe food handling procedures. Cooks use a variety of equipment, including blenders, stoves, grills, many different pans, and sharp knives. Some kitchens employ many cooks, each assigned a particular area such as fry cook, vegetable cook, or others. Some cooks order supplies and plan the daily menu. In a fast-food setting, cooks prepare a limited menu to be kept warm until sold. Cafeteria cooks usually prepare a large quantity of a limited number of items, with a menu that changes regularly. Short-order cooks emphasize fast service and quick preparation, with items such as eggs, sandwiches and French fries on the menu. Private household cooks, also known as personal chefs, prepare meals according to a client’s preferences. They order groceries and supplies, clean the kitchen, and may cater social events. Most cooks work full time in shifts that may include early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays. Cooks in schools and institutional cafeterias usually work more regular hours. Cooks stand much of the time, and —at rush times— experience high intensity in close quarters to produce meals quickly. Falls, burns, and cuts are hazards of this field. Most cooks learn their skills on the job. Although no formal education is required, some cooks attend culinary training programs of between 2 months and 2 years, while others learn through a 1-year apprenticeship.
What they do:
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.
On the job, you would:
Order and take delivery of supplies.
Cook the exact number of items ordered by each customer, working on several different orders simultaneously.
Prepare specialty foods, such as pizzas, fish and chips, sandwiches, or tacos, following specific methods that usually require short preparation time.
movement of people or goods by air, rail, sea, or road
Safety and Government
public safety and security
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
looking for ways to help people
listen and understand what people say
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.
They do well at jobs that need:
You might use software like this on the job:
Point of sale POS software
Plexis Software Plexis POS
Electronic mail software
high school diploma/GED or no high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are less likely in the future.