Prep cook

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What does a Prep Cook do?

A prep cook or a food preparation worker prepares the culinary ingredients and the utensils needed by the chef or line cook to start cooking food. A prep cook mostly works early in the morning, preparing the raw foods to be cooked by the chef or the line cook for the day. A prep cook also cleans the kitchen to ensure hygiene standards are maintained.

Working as a Prep Cook

The following are the responsibilities prep cooks handle before the line cook or chef starts cooking:

  • A prep cook cleans the utensils to be used by the line cook or chef.
  • They clean and cut up ingredients, like raw vegetables and meat, the line cook or chef will cook and alert the kitchen coordinator when food quantities are low.
  • A prep cook helps in serving food to customers and party goers.
  • They prepare sauces and spices for the line cook and chef.
  • Take directions from the kitchen coordinator to ensure customers foods' are prepared to their specifications. That includes consideration of customers' health conditions like gluten, lactose, and nut allergies.

How much does a Prep Cook make in the United States?

Average base salary
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16k salaries reported, updated at May 26, 2020
$12.38
per hour
The average salary for a prep cook is $12.38 per hour in the United States.
Most common benefits
  • Flexible schedule
  • Referral program
  • Employee discount
  • Health insurance
  • 401(k)

Where can a Prep Cook earn more?

Compare salaries for Prep Cooks in different locations
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Frequently asked questions
Common questions about being a Prep Cook

Is a prep cook considered an in-demand profession?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, demand for prep cooks or food preparation workers is expected to grow by 8% between 2018 and 2028. That's because new ones will replace those who leave the job every year.

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