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Become A Food Preparer

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Working As A Food Preparer

  • Performing for or Working Directly with the Public
  • Getting Information
  • Training and Teaching Others
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
  • Unpleasant/Angry People

  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • Repetitive

  • $19,580

    Average Salary

What Does A Food Preparer Do

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. 


Food preparation workers typically do the following:

  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, and dishes
  • Weigh or measure ingredients, such as meats and liquids
  • Prepare fruit and vegetables for cooking
  • Cut meats, poultry, and seafood and prepare them for cooking
  • Mix ingredients for salads
  • Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage
  • Take and record the temperature of food and food storage areas
  • Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service

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.

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How To Become A Food Preparer

Food preparation workers typically learn their skills through on-the-job training. No formal education or previous work experience is required.


There are no formal education requirements for becoming a food preparation worker.


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 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.

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Food Preparer jobs

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Food Preparer Demographics


  • Female

  • Male

  • Unknown



  • White

  • Hispanic or Latino

  • Asian

  • Unknown

  • Black or African American

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Languages Spoken

  • Spanish

  • French

  • German

  • Japanese

  • Italian

  • Portuguese

  • Arabic

  • Chinese

  • Mandarin

  • Korean

  • Russian

  • Cantonese

  • Vietnamese

  • Hindi

  • Hebrew

  • Greek

  • Tagalog

  • Swedish

  • Khmer

  • Hmong

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Real Food Preparer Salaries

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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Top Skills for A Food Preparer


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Top Food Preparer Skills

  1. Outstanding Customer Service
  2. Kitchen Equipment
  3. Safe Food Preparation
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Provided outstanding customer service to members.
  • Cleaned the kitchen equipment and appliances and held responsibility of getting them repaired in case of any problem.
  • Assisted management with inventory control and stock ordering, followed procedures for safe food preparation, assembled, and presentation.
  • Maintain the cleanliness of the coffee, pastry, and hot soup area as well as the prep foods work area.
  • Measured ingredients required for specific food items being prepared

Top Food Preparer Employers

Food Preparer Videos

Kitchen Helper - emerit Training and Certification