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Food preparation workers perform many routine tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. Food preparation workers prepare cold foods, slice meat, peel and cut vegetables, brew coffee or tea, and perform many other food service tasks.Duties
Food preparation workers typically do the following:
Food preparation workers perform routine, repetitive tasks under the direction of cooks, chefs, or food service managers. To help cooks and other kitchen staff, they prepare ingredients for dishes by slicing and dicing vegetables and by making salads and cold food items. Other common duties include keeping salad bars and buffet tables stocked and clean.
Food preparation workers retrieve pots and pans, clean and store kitchen equipment, and unload and store food supplies. When needed, they retrieve food and equipment for cooks and chefs. In some kitchens, food preparation workers use a variety of commercial kitchen equipment, such as commercial dishwashers, blenders, slicers, or grinders.
In restaurants, workers stock and use soda machines, coffeemakers, and espresso machines to prepare beverages for customers. In fast-food restaurants, food preparation workers may take customer orders and process payments.
Food preparation workers typically learn their skills through on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required.Education
There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food preparation worker.Training
Most food preparation workers learn their skills through short-term on-the-job training, usually lasting several weeks. Trainees typically start by working under the supervision of an experienced worker, who teaches them basic kitchen duties. Training also may include basic sanitation and workplace safety regulations, as well as instructions on how to handle and prepare food.Important Qualities
Dexterity. Food preparation workers chop vegetables, cut meat, and perform many other tasks with sharp knives. They must have the ability to work quickly and safely with sharp objects.
Listening skills. Food preparation workers must understand customers’ orders and follow directions from cooks, chefs, or food service managers.
Physical stamina. Food preparation workers stand on their feet for long periods while they prepare food, clean work areas, or lift heavy pots from the stove.
Physical strength. Food preparation workers should be strong enough to lift and carry heavy food supply boxes, which often can weigh up to 50 pounds.Advancement
Advancement opportunities for food preparation workers depend on their training and work experience. Many food preparation workers advance to assistant or line cook positions as they learn basic cooking skills.
Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Food Preparer
Top Careers After Food Preparer
Hispanic or Latino12.3%
Black or African American0.5%
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University of Phoenix11.2%
Pennsylvania State University8.5%
Grand Valley State University6.1%
Monroe Community College5.3%
Community College of Allegheny County5.3%
West Virginia University4.8%
Community College of Philadelphia4.5%
Western Illinois University4.5%
University of Central Florida4.3%
Southern New Hampshire University4.3%
Michigan State University4.0%
Florida State University4.0%
Miami Dade College4.0%
State University of New York Buffalo3.7%
Brigham Young University3.7%
James Madison University3.5%
Pima Community College3.5%
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|Job Title||Company||Location||Start Date||Salary|
|Managers of Food Preparation and Serving||Dixie Bones Inc.||Woodbridge, VA||Mar 09, 2010||$43,971|
|Supervisor, Food Preparation||Frank's Family Restaurant||Palmetto, GA||Jan 04, 2010||$34,279|
|First-Line Spervisors/Managers of Food Preparation||523 9Th Ave Inc. DBA HK Bar and Restaurant||New York, NY||Feb 29, 2008||$32,369|
|Food Preparer||Concourse Deli Grocery Inc.||New York, NY||Dec 22, 2016||$29,900|
|Food Preparer||A.M.E. Deli Grocery Corp.||New York, NY||Feb 08, 2016||$28,600|
|First-Line Super./Managers of Food Preparation||Graham Central CAFE Ltd. DBA La Piazzetta||New York, NY||Mar 31, 2010||$28,133|
|First Supervisors/Managers of Food Preparation||Seventh Wong Corp. D.B.A. McDonalds||Lake Mohegan, NY||Dec 06, 2010||$28,133|
|Mexican Food Preparer||Gold Star Restaurant Inc.||Glendale, CA||Feb 23, 2016||$27,000|
|Mexican Food Preparer||Gold Star Restaurant Inc.||Glendale, CA||Aug 28, 2015||$27,000|
|Food Prepare/Server||Swordfish Enterprises Inc.||MA||May 20, 2016||$26,922|
|Food Prepare/Server||Swordfish Enterprises Inc.||MA||May 27, 2016||$26,922|
|Food Preparer/Server||Swordfish Enterprises Inc.||MA||Apr 01, 2013||$26,547|
|Manager, Food Preparation||Dairy Queen of Allendale||Allendale, NJ||Aug 29, 2008||$26,526|
|Manager, Food Preparation||Dairy Queen of Allendale||Allendale, NJ||Apr 28, 2008||$26,526|
|Combined Food Preparation & Serving (Mobile)||Fun Biz Concessions, Inc.||New Braunfels, TX||Feb 22, 2016||$23,541|
|Food Prepare/Server||Swordfish Enterprises Inc.||MD||Apr 15, 2015||$23,458|
|Senior Food Preparer||Red Robin Restaurant||San Dimas, CA||Oct 10, 2008||$23,395|
|Combined Food Preparation & Serving (Mobile)||Toucan Enterprises||Apple Valley, CA||Feb 13, 2016||$23,333|
|Korean Food Preparer||Rainbow Catering, Inc.||Annandale, VA||Jun 10, 2016||$22,734|
|Japanese Food Preparer||Sushijin, LLC T/A Sushi Jin||Silver Spring, MD||Dec 21, 2016||$22,360|
|Food Preparer||Warren CAFE, Inc. T/A Warren CAFE||McLean, VA||Aug 19, 2015||$22,339|
|Food Preparer||Bandito's Burritos||Ogunquit, ME||May 09, 2016||$21,914|
|Food Preparer||T. Edward's Inc. DBA Leisure World of Maryland||Silver Spring, MD||Sep 04, 2008||$18,679|
|Food Preparer||T. Edward's Inc. DBA Leisure World of Maryland||Silver Spring, MD||Apr 12, 2010||$18,679|
|Food Preparer||700 Foothill Food Co, LLC||NY||Feb 09, 2010||$18,637|
|Combined Food Preparation & Serving (Mobile)||Brander Enterprises, Inc.||AZ||Feb 01, 2014||$18,428|
|Arabic Food, Coffee & Tobacco Preparer||Hookah CAFE||Youngstown, OH||Apr 10, 2008||$18,261|
|Food Preparation Apprentice||Takao Japanese Restaurant||San Clemente, CA||Mar 18, 2010||$18,261|
|Food Preparator & Server||El Pueblo Grill, Inc.||Franklin, IN||Mar 01, 2015||$18,178|
|Food Preparer||Renilko Corporation||Los Angeles, CA||Dec 07, 2016||$18,000|
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