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Working As a Kitchen Hand

  • Performing General Physical Activities
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Handling and Moving Objects
  • Outdoors/walking/standing

  • $23,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Kitchen Hand 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. 

Duties

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 Kitchen Hand

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.

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Average Length of Employment
Kitchen Clerk 2.1 years
Kitchen Worker 1.8 years
Kitchen Cook 1.8 years
Kitchen Helper 1.7 years
Kitchen Assistant 1.7 years
Kitchen Aide 1.6 years
Cook/Dishwasher 1.6 years
Kitchen Runner 1.5 years
Kitchen Crew 1.4 years
Kitchen Staff 1.4 years
Dishwasher/Server 1.4 years
Dish Washer 1.2 years
Kitchen Hand 1.0 years
Top Careers Before Kitchen Hand
Cashier 13.2%
Waitress 9.5%
Volunteer 5.8%
Internship 5.8%
Cook 4.5%
Cleaner 4.5%
Server 3.3%
Assistant 3.3%
Barista 2.9%
Top Careers After Kitchen Hand
Cashier 10.4%
Server 7.2%
Waitress 6.2%
Manager 6.2%
Cleaner 5.5%
Cook 5.5%
Internship 5.5%
Assistant 5.2%
Chef 4.9%
Volunteer 3.6%
Associate 3.3%
Barista 2.9%
Nanny 2.9%
Bartender 2.6%

Do you work as a Kitchen Hand?

Top Skills for A Kitchen Hand

  1. Food Preparation
  2. Customer Service
  3. Menu Items
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Job Role: Waiting tables, taking orders, cash handling, pot washing, food preparation and cooking.
  • Demonstrated strong customer service skills, always attending to the needs and requests of the customer.
  • Prepared menu items according to specific recipes.
  • Operated cash register, processed customer orders and payments.
  • Wash dishes, Prepare vegetables and fruit, clean bathrooms, break down empty boxes.

Kitchen Hand Demographics

Gender

Male

57.7%

Female

29.9%

Unknown

12.4%
Ethnicity

White

59.7%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Asian

12.5%

Black or African American

9.3%

Unknown

4.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Japanese

25.0%

Chinese

16.7%

Spanish

16.7%

Mandarin

16.7%

Vietnamese

8.3%

French

8.3%

Cantonese

8.3%
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Kitchen Hand Education

Schools

Western Washington University

8.1%

The Academy

8.1%

Virginia Commonwealth University

5.4%

Hinds Community College

5.4%

University of California - San Diego

5.4%

National University

5.4%

More Tech Institute

5.4%

Mesa Community College - Boswell

5.4%

University of the Sciences

5.4%

Onondaga Community College

5.4%

Henry Ford College

5.4%

Salina Area Technical College

5.4%

Hofstra University

5.4%

Culinary School of Fort Worth

5.4%

University of Maine

5.4%

Central Washington University

2.7%

State University of New York Oneonta

2.7%

Saint Louis Community College

2.7%

University of Texas at Arlington

2.7%

Brown University

2.7%
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Majors

Business

16.8%

General Studies

7.7%

Culinary Arts

6.5%

Finance

5.8%

Education

5.2%

Hospitality Management

5.2%

Accounting

5.2%

Computer Science

4.5%

Psychology

4.5%

Communication

4.5%

English

3.9%

Music

3.9%

Health Care Administration

3.9%

Information Technology

3.9%

Fine Arts

3.2%

Management

3.2%

Chemistry

3.2%

Mechanical Engineering

3.2%

Marketing

3.2%

Electrical Engineering Technology

2.6%
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Degrees

Other

35.3%

Bachelors

32.2%

Certificate

12.0%

Associate

6.9%

Masters

6.6%

Diploma

6.3%

License

0.3%

Doctorate

0.3%
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Top Kitchen Hand Employers

Jobs From Top Kitchen Hand Employers

Kitchen Hand Videos

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Updated May 19, 2020