Best Prep Cook Job Description for 2021

a picture of a Prep Cook and business professional ready for an interview

Free prep cook job description. A prep cook is a culinary professional who helps 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 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 with 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.
  • Able to follow instructions from the head chef. And comfortable in a fast-paced environment.
  • Follow health and safety standards (safety rules) set by the restaurant and state. Be part of a team of cooks, chefs, and more.
  • Label and stock ingredients and seasonings. Set up workstations and ingredients for chefs. And maintain a clean working environment.
  • Ensure cooking ingredients are prepared. Includes washing and chopping lettuce for dishes such as salads. Prepare ingredients according to recipes. And follow sanitation guidelines while preparing food.
  • Following kitchen tasks, preparing simple dishes, reducing sauces, cleaning cutting tools, and parboiling food.

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 school's required food service and needs.

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.
  • Manual dexterity is required.
  • Team player attitude.

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 job advertisement position 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.

Download the free prep cook job description PDF template. And use the sample prep cook job description provided to make an efficient job posting for your company. For more information please visit the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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