Short Order Cook

What Is A Short Order Cook?

A short order cook is also considered a fast-food chef, or someone who quickly prepares, cooks, and serves food according to the customer's request. They are the person you see at the griddle at a 24-hour diner, for example, though at least one short order cook is often working alongside the main chef in a finer restaurant.

What Does A Short Order Cook Do?

Short order cooks differ from chefs and back-room cooks in that they prepare foods that can be cooked and served quickly, such as sandwiches, hamburgers, French fries, or eggs. In a restaurant, they may work alongside chefs, cooking smaller menu items or items that are easier to prepare. Oftentimes, short order cooks work in coffee shops or restaurants where customers require fast service. They may also be responsible for, preparing cooking materials, ordering supplies, and general cleanup, including dishwashing.

Characteristics Of A Short Order Cook

A short order cook needs to be able to handle several orders at once and serve customers in lieu of a waiter. This requires quick thinking as well as customer service skills. Short order cooks often work at establishments that are operated 24 hours, so need to be flexible about their work schedule. A college degree is not necessary, but many short order cooks begin their careers in a lower position, such as an assistant, in order to learn the basic routine and responsibilities. Training through a vocational program provides the necessary competitive advantage many entry-level workers need to get jobs at hotels and elegant restaurants where pay scales and opportunities for advancement are greater.

The Nitty Gritty: Salary

The average short order cook working full-time in the United States makes $28,081 annually, according to Salary.com. The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook forecasts plentiful jobs for short order cooks and other culinary jobs through 2008.

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