Best Prep Cook Job Description Sample (+ Free Template Download)

A prep cook is a culinary professional who helps to maintain efficiency, safety, and general management of the kitchen area. A prep cook is mainly responsible for food preparation. This includes ensuring vegetables are cleaned, vegetables are chopped, cutting or grinding meat is completed, the weighting ingredients, storing food, and more.

A prep cook is sometimes referred to as a line cook, food preparation worker, or sous chef. A prep cook can be found within a hospital, school, restaurant, or anywhere where a kitchen helper might be required.

prep cook job description

Prep Cook Job Description Sample

Our kitchen staff is seeking a talented prep cook with attention to detail. The ideal candidate is someone who takes instruction from the head chef and ensures cooking is efficient, safe, clean, and ready for meal service. The prep cook has a variety of responsibilities. From managing the preparation of food items (cleaning, chopping, weighing, storing) to washing dishes and utensils for food service to continue.

Prep Cook Duties and Responsibilities

Below are sample job duties and prep cook responsibilities:

  • Ensure each food station is well prepared. This includes the main entree line station, salad station, and more.
  • Assist the head chef or executive chef with any food preparation duties, including chopping vegetables, grinding meats, preparing sauces, and other food preparation requests.
  • Ensure the salad stations are well stocked of all salad dressings and vegetable stations are equipped with clean knives and other equipment.
  • Review a daily and weekly prep list to ensure that the kitchen is well prepared for food service.
  • Practice a wide range of cooking methods when changing food service stations.
  • Ensure a clean work area is maintained in the kitchen for each employee.
  • Ensure the pastry chef has all required ingredients for daily service (flour, sugar, and cleaned bakery tools).
  • Learn each dish and prepare ingredients in efficient manners for all chefs.
  • Clean all restaurant equipment and kitchen equipment before and after food service.

Prep cook job responsibilities may change depending on the environment of the prep cook. For example, working in a cafeteria. If the prep cook is working in a school cafeteria, their duties may change based on the required food service and needs of the school.

Prep Cook Requirements

Qualified candidates should have the following:

  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age as defined by The American Culinary Federation
  • Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts (from a culinary school) preferred.
  • Previous experience in a prep cook position preferred.
  • Experience in a kitchen work environment or work experience in a restaurant preferred.
  • A strong desire to advance skills as an aspiring chef.
  • Preferred candidates have strong planning and coordination skills.
  • Must have knowledge of basic cooking duties.

Prep Cook Salary

According to Salary.com, a prep cook can earn anywhere from $12 per hour to $17 per hour. Salary and earnings for this position can vary based on state, industry, and focus of the foodservice requirements.

Prep Cook Skills

Top candidates have the following skills:

  • Skilled prep work skills.
  • Cooking expertise.
  • Organizational skills.
  • Cooperation skills.
  • Time management skills.
  • Instruction following skills.
  • Instruction giving skills.
  • Ability to follow safe food handling procedures.

A key skill for prep cooks is verbal communication skills as they often need to follow instructions and provide instructions to others.

Related: Line Cook Job Description

Top Prep Cook Job Boards

When listing a prep cook position, consider listing the position of job advertisement on a job board specific to the food industry. Aspiring line cooks are more abundant on these job boards. And as an employer, can attract a higher caliber of talent—due to the candidate's passion levels and where they are searching for positions as a job seeker.

Top prep cook job boards

Tip: Place job advertisements on "niche" job boards first, vet candidates, and if those candidates don't meet the restaurant's expectations—then post the job advertisement on larger job boards like Indeed, Monster, and Dice.com.

How to Write a Prep Cook Job Description

A job description should contain the following elements and sections to writing a great job description.

A job title

Have a descriptive, yet specific job title. Avoid job titles that are not "industry standard." For example, a job title like "Rockstar Ninja Prep Cook" might sound neat and interesting, but can deter job applicants. It deters job applicants because each applicant might not feel "qualified" for that role.

A job brief

The job brief is referred to as the job description. It is a four to five sentence long objective for the job title in the business. It should describe what "success" looks like during employment, providing the candidate with the ability to write a targeted cover letter and resume for the role. This should include whether the kitchen setting is inside a school, hospital, or other.

Prep Cook Job Description Template

Job brief
Our kitchen staff is seeking a talented prep cook with attention to detail. The ideal candidate is someone who takes instruction from the head chef and ensures cooking is efficient, safe, clean, and ready for meal service. The prep cook has a variety of responsibilities. From managing the preparation of food items (cleaning, chopping, weighing, storing) to washing dishes and utensils for food service to continue.

Duties and responsibilities
  • Ensure each food station is well prepared. This includes the main entree line station, salad station, and more.
  • Assist the head chef or executive chef with any food preparation duties, including chopping vegetables, grinding meats, preparing sauces, and other food preparation requests.
  • Ensure the salad stations are well stocked of all salad dressings and vegetable stations are equipped with clean knives and other equipment.
  • Review a daily and weekly prep list to ensure that the kitchen is well prepared for food service.
  • Practice a wide range of cooking methods when changing food service stations.
  • Ensure a clean work area is maintained in the kitchen for each employee.
  • Ensure the pastry chef has all required ingredients for daily service (flour, sugar, and cleaned bakery tools).
  • Learn each dish and prepare ingredients in efficient manners for all chefs.
  • Clean all restaurant equipment and kitchen equipment before and after food service.
Requirements
  • High School Diploma or equivalent.
  • Must be at least 16 years of age as defined by The American Culinary Federation
  • Associate’s Degree or Bachelor’s Degree in Culinary Arts (from a culinary school) preferred.
  • Previous experience in a prep cook position preferred.
  • Experience in a kitchen work environment or work experience in a restaurant preferred.
  • A strong desire to advance skills as an aspiring chef.
  • Preferred candidates have strong planning and coordination skills.
  • Must have knowledge of basic cooking duties.

prep cook job decription free template and download

Prep Cook Job Description Template

Download our job description template in Word or PDF format. Instant download. No email required.

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Using a Job Description Template

Follow these instructions to use a job description template:

Job Description Format

Follow the format below when writing a job description.

Job Title:
[Job Title]

[Job Summary/Job Brief]

Responsibilities and Duties:
  • [List 4-5 essential functions of the job role]
Requirements:
  • [List 5+ qualifications including education level, experience level, key skills, and expectations of the job function]
(Optional) Work Environment:
  • [LIst 2-5 characteristics, traits, and other requirements of the role]
  • [If physical requirements are necessary, include reasonable accommodation details]
This role and job position will report directly to [Job Title] who leads [Department Name].

For more information on writing a job description, visit this resource.

Top Job Boards

Consider posting a job description or job advertisement (referred to as a "job ad") on one of the following national job boards:

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.

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