Prep cooks are responsible for preparing ingredients. They are usually part of an assembly line-like structure in the kitchen. They are often the first station in this assembly line. Prep cooks are in charge of thawing, skinning, cutting, mincing, slicing, and chopping ingredients so that the line cooks can just get these ingredients for their own stations. Prep cooks may also start doing some of the initial activities in the cooking process, such as preparing water for boiling, laying out ingredients, and ensuring that the stoves are clear.

Prep Cook Responsibilities

Here are examples of responsibilities from real prep cook resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Operate mixers and manage ingredients to meet product quality and uniformity standards.
  • Provide students with first-rate customer service and ensure correct time-temperature control of culinary dishes.
  • Learned and become CPR certify for emergencies.
  • Direct and ensure that HACCP procedures are follow.
  • Plan menu items as needed for caf or catering.
  • Earn first aid, CPR, and a certification.
  • Prepare and cook nutritious meals for children per USDA standards.
  • Complete production of daily caf items including braises, soups, and vegetables salads.
  • Used the food-buying guide to ensure USDA requirements are meet and prepare sufficient meals.
  • Prepare all potentially hazardous foods at the correct temperature (i.e., HACCP guidelines).
  • Gain familiarity with braising, steaming, breading, fat frying, roasting, and grilling.
  • Hand on experience in garnishing & serving food also substantial knowledge of food safety & handing.
  • Prepare fruit, vegetables, meats, and salad by roasting, frying, broiling and boiling.
  • Cook menu items according to customer specifications and ServSafe standards, ensuring quality, freshness and flavor.
  • Maintain clean and safe work environment to comply with all sanitation, ServSafe, and safety requirements.

Prep Cook Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 15% of Prep Cooks are proficient in Food Handling, Culinary, and Sanitation Standards. They’re also known for soft skills such as Dexterity, Physical stamina, and Sense of taste and smell.

We break down the percentage of Prep Cooks that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Food Handling, 15%

    Maintain sanitation requirements related to personal hygiene, food handling, and equipment safety and sanitation.

  • Culinary, 15%

    Provided students with first-rate customer service and ensured correct time-temperature control of culinary dishes.

  • Sanitation Standards, 12%

    Supervised cleaning of kitchen area and complied with established food sanitation standards.

  • Kitchen Equipment, 9%

    Assist managers maintain inventory -Prepped food by correct ingredients, monitored product expiration -Broke down and cleaned all kitchen equipment

  • Cleanliness, 7%

    Maintained total restaurant cleanliness for every shift and ensured following shift would have a clean facility for transition

  • Team Work, 7%

    Team work is very important as well as communication in order to insure a healthy environment for both workers and customers.

Some of the skills we found on prep cook resumes included "food handling," "culinary," and "sanitation standards." We have detailed the most important prep cook responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a prep cook to have happens to be dexterity. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "cooks should have excellent hand–eye coordination" Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that prep cooks can use dexterity to "follow all rules/regulations for proper food handling/safety, 8-12+ hour shifts, operatemachinery/forklifts, refrigerator/freezer environments. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling prep cook duties is physical stamina. According to a prep cook resume, "cooks spend a lot of time standing in one place, cooking food over hot stoves, and cleaning work areas." Here's an example of how prep cooks are able to utilize physical stamina: "performed all physical activity required in the food preparation and dishwashing process. "
  • Sense of taste and smell is also an important skill for prep cooks to have. This example of how prep cooks use this skill comes from a prep cook resume, "cooks must have a keen sense of taste and smell to prepare meals that customers enjoy." Read this excerpt from a resume to understand how vital it is to their everyday roles and responsibilities, "designed watermelon carvings - boats, animals, etc., made food trays for parties, cooked and prepared food. "
  • See the full list of prep cook skills.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious prep cooks are:

    Choose From 10+ Customizable Prep Cook Resume templates

    Build a professional Prep Cook resume in minutes. Browse through our resume examples to identify the best way to word your resume. Then choose from 10+ resume templates to create your Prep Cook resume.

    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume
    Prep Cook Resume

    resume document icon

    Don't Have A Professional Resume?

    What Cook/Dishwashers Do

    Cooks/dishwashers must develop kitchen skills to excel in this line of job. Each cook or dishwasher must learn to develop skills in food preparation, sanitation, and customer service. Cooks or dishwashers can be assigned to different areas, either in the kitchen area, food preparation, or in washing dishes. The scope of their responsibilities may include the cooking surface area, specific food items, or menu items. Also, they are expected to maintain the cleanliness of the kitchen, assist in preparing food, and may do any other duties demanded by the chef.

    We looked at the average prep cook annual salary and compared it with the average of a cook/dishwasher. Generally speaking, cook/dishwashers receive $589 lower pay than prep cooks per year.

    While their salaries may differ, one common ground between prep cooks and cook/dishwashers are a few of the skills required in each craft. In both careers, employees bring forth skills like kitchen equipment, safety standards, and dishwashers.

    These skill sets are where the common ground ends though. A prep cook responsibility is more likely to require skills like "food handling," "culinary," "sanitation standards," and "cleanliness." Whereas a cook/dishwasher requires skills like "wash dishes," "mop floors," "bus tables," and "quality food." Just by understanding these different skills you can see how different these careers are.

    Cook/dishwashers tend to make the most money in the hospitality industry by averaging a salary of $27,723. In contrast, prep cooks make the biggest average salary of $33,423 in the manufacturing industry.

    Cook/dishwashers tend to reach similar levels of education than prep cooks. In fact, cook/dishwashers are 0.3% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to have a Doctoral Degree.

    What Are The Duties Of a Cook/Trainer?

    Cooks/servers are employees who take on the dual role of being a cook and a server in the restaurant. They are usually trained cooks who are in charge of preparing meals for the guests. They prepare ingredients, cook them according to the recipe, and serve them to guests. They are responsible for ensuring that the food is prepared and served to guests within the promised time. They are in charge of managing the pantry, ensuring that the stock is fresh, and checking whether the stock is low. They are expected to have culinary skills, precision, and time management skills.

    Next up, we have the cook/trainer profession to look over. This career brings along a lower average salary when compared to a prep cook annual salary. In fact, cook/trainers salary difference is $21 lower than the salary of prep cooks per year.

    Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Prep cooks and cook/trainers both include similar skills like "food handling," "culinary," and "kitchen equipment" on their resumes.

    In addition to the difference in salary, there are some other key differences that are worth noting. For example, prep cook responsibilities are more likely to require skills like "sanitation standards," "team work," "food service," and "worksheets." Meanwhile, a cook/trainer might be skilled in areas such as "food safety," "haccp," "cash handling," and "workstations." These differences highlight just how different the day-to-day in each role looks.

    When it comes to the differences in education between the two professions, cook/trainers tend to reach similar levels of education than prep cooks. In fact, they're 0.4% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.1% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    How a Cook/Server Compares

    A line cook/dishwasher is primarily in charge of prepping food and maintaining their work station's cleanliness while adhering to health standards and protocols. Among their duties include washing and chopping vegetables, cutting meat according to requirements, preparing sauces, and cooking according to an executive chef's directives. They also participate in cleaning and sterilizing kitchen tools and equipment, monitoring the inventory of ingredients, unloading stock deliveries, and taking care of leftovers. Additionally, as a line cook/dishwasher, it is essential to maintain an open communication line with fellow kitchen staff for an efficient workflow.

    The cook/server profession generally makes a lower amount of money when compared to the average salary of prep cooks. The difference in salaries is cook/servers making $2,576 lower than prep cooks.

    While looking through the resumes of several prep cooks and cook/servers we discovered that both professions have similar skills. These similarities include skills such as "kitchen equipment," "safety standards," and "customer service," but they differ when it comes to other required skills.

    Some important key differences between the two careers are a few of the skills necessary to fulfill responsibilities. Some examples from prep cook resumes include skills like "food handling," "culinary," "sanitation standards," and "cleanliness," whereas a cook/server might be skilled in "drink orders," "mathematics," "customer complaints," and "quality food. "

    Cook/servers make a very good living in the retail industry with an average annual salary of $29,014. Whereas prep cooks are paid the highest salary in the manufacturing industry with the average being $33,423.

    Cook/servers are known to earn similar educational levels when compared to prep cooks. Additionally, they're 0.0% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree, and 0.0% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

    Description Of a Line Cook/Dishwasher

    Line cook/dishwashers tend to earn a higher pay than prep cooks by about $2,143 per year.

    While both prep cooks and line cook/dishwashers complete day-to-day tasks using similar skills like food handling, culinary, and sanitation standards, the two careers also vary in other skills.

    Even though a few skill sets overlap, there are some differences that are important to note. For one, a prep cook might have more use for skills like "team work," "food service," "worksheets," and "quality standards." Meanwhile, some line cook/dishwashers might include skills like "food orders," "bus tables," "quality food," and "kitchen utensils" on their resume.

    The average resume of line cook/dishwashers showed that they earn similar levels of education to prep cooks. So much so that the likelihood of them earning a Master's Degree is 0.5% less. Additionally, they're more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree by 0.1%.