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Occupation Information

Cooks, Restaurant
SOC Code: 35-2014.00

Prepare, season, and cook dishes such as soups, meats, vegetables, or desserts in restaurants. May order supplies, keep records and accounts, price items on menu, or plan menu.

Sample of reported job titles: Appetizer Preparer, Back Line Cook, Banquet Cook, Breakfast Cook, Broil Cook, Cook, Fry Cook, Grill Cook, Line Cook, Prep Cook (Preparation Cook)

Tasks

  • Inspect and clean food preparation areas, such as equipment and work surfaces, or serving areas to ensure safe and sanitary food-handling practices.
  • Ensure freshness of food and ingredients by checking for quality, keeping track of old and new items, and rotating stock.
  • Ensure food is stored and cooked at correct temperature by regulating temperature of ovens, broilers, grills, and roasters.
  • Season and cook food according to recipes or personal judgment and experience.
  • Turn or stir foods to ensure even cooking.
  • Observe and test foods to determine if they have been cooked sufficiently, using methods such as tasting, smelling, or piercing them with utensils.
  • Portion, arrange, and garnish food, and serve food to waiters or patrons.
  • Weigh, measure, and mix ingredients according to recipes or personal judgment, using various kitchen utensils and equipment.
  • Bake, roast, broil, and steam meats, fish, vegetables, and other foods.
  • Wash, peel, cut, and seed fruits and vegetables to prepare them for consumption.
  • Coordinate and supervise work of kitchen staff.
  • Estimate expected food consumption, requisition or purchase supplies, or procure food from storage.
  • Substitute for or assist other cooks during emergencies or rush periods.
  • Consult with supervisory staff to plan menus, taking into consideration factors such as costs and special event needs.
  • Prepare relishes and hors d'oeuvres.
  • Carve and trim meats such as beef, veal, ham, pork, and lamb for hot or cold service, or for sandwiches.
  • Bake breads, rolls, cakes, and pastries.
  • Butcher and dress animals, fowl, or shellfish, or cut and bone meat prior to cooking.
  • Keep records and accounts.
  • Plan and price menu items.

Technology Skills

  • Compliance software - Food safety labeling systems
  • Data base user interface and query software - Menu planning software
  • Inventory management software
  • Materials requirements planning logistics and supply chain software - Recipe cost control software
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Point of sale POS software - Point of sale POS restaurant software
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Commercial use blenders - Blenders
  • Commercial use broilers - Charbroilers
  • Commercial use convection ovens - Convection ovens
  • Commercial use cutlery - Boning knives; Chefs' knives; Paring knives
  • Commercial use deep fryers - Fryers
  • Commercial use food grinders - Grinders
  • Commercial use food slicers - Food slicing machines
  • Commercial use griddles - Griddles
  • Commercial use grills - Gas grills
  • Commercial use microwave ovens - Commercial microwave ovens
  • Commercial use ovens - Conveyor ovens; Rotating rack ovens; Salamander ovens
  • Commercial use pasta cookers - Pasta cookers
  • Commercial use pizza ovens - Pizza ovens
  • Commercial use ranges - Wok ranges
  • Commercial use rotisseries - Rotisserie ovens
  • Commercial use smokers or smoke ovens - Smoking cabinets
  • Commercial use steamers - Food steamers
  • Cutting machinery - Meat saws
  • Domestic knives - Cimeter knives; Filet knives; Utility cutlery
  • Personal computers
  • Point of sale POS terminal - Point of sale POS computer terminals
  • Slicing machinery - Meat and cheese slicing machines

Knowledge

  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills

  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Abilities

  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Manual Dexterity - The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Arm-Hand Steadiness - The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Perceptual Speed - The ability to quickly and accurately compare similarities and differences among sets of letters, numbers, objects, pictures, or patterns. The things to be compared may be presented at the same time or one after the other. This ability also includes comparing a presented object with a remembered object.
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Trunk Strength - The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Interests

  • Interest code: RE
    • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Spend Time Standing - 100% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 68% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 66% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Physical Proximity - 49% responded “Very close (near touching).”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 43% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 51% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Time Pressure - 53% responded “Every day.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 56% responded “Every day.”
  • Very Hot or Cold Temperatures - 64% responded “Every day.”
  • Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets - 72% responded “Every day.”
  • Exposed to Minor Burns, Cuts, Bites, or Stings - 54% responded “Every day.”
  • Contact With Others - 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Responsible for Others' Health and Safety - 32% responded “Very high responsibility.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 59% responded “Every day.”
  • Spend Time Walking and Running - 37% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 44% responded “Important.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 28% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People - 43% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 37% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 30% responded “Very important results.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 45% responded “Moderate responsibility.”
  • Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body - 38% responded “Less than half the time.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 33% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Deal With External Customers - 27% responded “Important.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
44%High school diploma or equivalent
19%Less than high school diploma
18%Post-secondary certificate

Work Styles

  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

Work Values

  • Support - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
  • Relationships - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $12.10 hourly, $25,180 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 1,232,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Faster than average (10% to 14%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 195,300

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