A line chef, sometimes referred to as a prep cook, is responsible for preparing and plating the food in a restaurant. The name of the position comes from the fact that each line chef has their own place in the food line; this can be the grill, vegetable station, sauce prep, butchering meat, etc. The important part is to know the head chef's specifications and each section of the menu.
As a line chef, you will be responsible for the preparation, cleanliness, and effectiveness of your area. You'll need to be able to work under stressful circumstances and communicate effectively with those around you, so you're aware of menu changes, shortages, and more.
A line chef can work over 50 hours a week, overnights, weekends, and holidays. It's common to work seven to nine days in a row on a shift that can last up to 14 hours. You aren't required to have a college degree, but some restaurants require a culinary degree. Many places will expect you to have a few years of restaurant or food industry experience, and you will need to go through a week or two weeks of training to have a full understanding of the kitchen expectations.
Depending on the restaurant you work at, you may receive a portion of tips at the end of the night. A line chef, on average, makes about $10 per hour.
There is more than meets the eye when it comes to being a line chef. For example, did you know that they make an average of $12.6 an hour? That's $26,203 a year!
Between 2018 and 2028, the career is expected to grow 11% and produce 15,400 job opportunities across the U.S.
There are certain skills that many line chefs have in order to accomplish their responsibilities. By taking a look through resumes, we were able to narrow down the most common skills for a person in this position. We discovered that a lot of resumes listed business skills, communication skills and creativity.
When it comes to the most important skills required to be a line chef, we found that a lot of resumes listed 21.8% of line chefs included kitchen equipment, while 13.4% of resumes included sanitation standards, and 8.8% of resumes included customer service. Hard skills like these are helpful to have when it comes to performing essential job responsibilities.
When it comes to searching for a job, many search for a key term or phrase. Instead, it might be more helpful to search by industry, as you might be missing jobs that you never thought about in industries that you didn't even think offered positions related to the line chef job title. But what industry to start with? Most line chefs actually find jobs in the hospitality and education industries.
If you're interested in becoming a line chef, one of the first things to consider is how much education you need. We've determined that 23.5% of line chefs have a bachelor's degree. In terms of higher education levels, we found that 1.1% of line chefs have master's degrees. Even though some line chefs have a college degree, it's possible to become one with only a high school degree or GED.
Choosing the right major is always an important step when researching how to become a line chef. When we researched the most common majors for a line chef, we found that they most commonly earn high school diploma degrees or associate degree degrees. Other degrees that we often see on line chef resumes include bachelor's degree degrees or diploma degrees.
You may find that experience in other jobs will help you become a line chef. In fact, many line chef jobs require experience in a role such as line cook. Meanwhile, many line chefs also have previous career experience in roles such as sous chef or chef.