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.

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

19.7k salaries reported, updated at May 1, 2021
$12.73
per hour

The average salary for a prep cook is $12.73 per hour in the United States.

Most common benefits

  • Referral program
  • Flexible schedule
  • Employee discount
  • Health insurance
  • Commuter assistance
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Where can a Prep Cook earn more?

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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.

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How many hours does a prep cook work?

A prep cook usually works 30 hours a week on weekdays/weekends, afternoons and late night hours.

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What exactly does a prep cook do?

A prep cook is mostly involved in preparing dishes that are to be served. They wash and chop vegetables, cut or grind meat, mix and weigh ingredients, store food and more.

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Is prep cook a hard job?