This article has everything covered, ranging from line cook job descriptions, responsibilities, skills needed to the average salary they earn.
Table of Contents
Who is a Line Cook?
He or she is a key person in a restaurant saddled with the responsibilities of the preparation of meals on time, easier station workflow. Also known as “chef de partie” or “prep cook”, they are usually assigned to a particular section of production like pastry, vegetables, and fish station. Asides from the preparation of meals, they ensure that servers deliver food to the customers in time while maintaining sanitation regulations. They are usually people that have great communication skills and skillful at multi-tasking. They are mostly the assistant to the executive or Sous chef and they work hand in hand to meet the customers’ satisfaction.
Line Cook Job Descriptions
- Preparation of meals for customers
- Setting up stations with the required and relevant supplies for food preparation.
- Following the executive or Sous chef’s instructions and orders.
- Stocking inventory properly.
- Makes sure meals come out simultaneously, in good quality and on time
- Endeavors to cook with the cooperation of the kitchen staff and maintaining a good and positive approach with coworkers and clients.
- Cleanliness and neatness of the work station is paramount, after and before cooking.
- Ensure that nutrition and sanitation regulations and safety standards are met.
- Ensuring that orders are completed on time and according to request and preference.
- Following every safety procedures associated with the operation and cleaning machines.
- Notifies the head chef or Sous chef if there are any shortages.
- They specify the date; cover leftover products for storage neatly.
- Overseers or sometimes make recommendations for maintenance, upkeep and repairs of the prep work station and also the equipment.
- Assists the Sous chef when needed.
- Closing of the kitchen adequately using closing checklist and also attending kitchen staff meetings and contributing ideas to aid improvement.
- They are responsible for portion control and also help cut down waste.
- They must make sure that the quality and the freshness of the ingredients and products are top-notch.
- Line cooks are required to read food orders carefully and notice special requests from customers and prepare them appropriately, for example request such as medium rare steak, no tomatoes, etc.
- They cook the appropriate number of items ordered by each customer and they also work on different orders simultaneously.
- They are also required to receive verbal instructions or orders required by the customers.
Line Cook Skills and Requirements
Line cooks have to meet certain requirements and must arm themselves with skills such as a High school diploma or an equivalent qualification of it, a certification in culinary arts school is of an added advantage, minimum of 4 years experience, knowledge about restaurant practices, running, and cooking method. They must be excellent at multi-tasking and teamwork must be armed with good communication, organizational and cooking skills. He or she must be good with knife handling and be able to perform and carry out tasks and orders with speed, attention to details and good accuracy.
A line cook must have the ability to remain calm and poised in a fast-paced environment. Must be able to read, write and follow cooking instructions and orders. Should be ready to stand for a long time, lift, stretch, bend, and carry heavy things. He or she must be self-motivated and have good problem solving skills. Should be willing to initiate and carry out necessary plans to prepare and set up assigned stations adequately. Must be able to slice, dice, chop, mix, cut, and peel necessary ingredients.
Skills such as close vision, distance vision, and depth perception are a requirement for line cooks. They should be able to work around equipment like hot grills, stoves, ovens and microwaves. He or she must possess the ability to add, multiply, subtract, and divide into all units of measure, using common fractions, decimals, and whole numbers and to be able to follow proper food rotation policies. He or she should be able to give out great customer service doubling it with time management for efficient feedback.
Who Does a Line Cook Report to?
A line cook reports to the chef, food and beverage manager and/ or the kitchen manager. They however, work alongside the Head Chef, Sous Chef or the Executive Chef.
Average Salary of a Line Cook
As of February 2023, a line cook in the United States makes an average salary of $32,311. However, the salary range falls between $29,220 and $36,343 though the salary range might fluctuate depending on factors like education, location, certification, additional skills, etc.