How to Get a Job as a Short Order Cook

Would You Make a Good Short Order Cook?

A short order cook, while not a highly regarded position in the culinary world is still a position that requires some skills and training to do successfully, and can lead to a rewarding career in the restaurant industry if this is what you desire.

What is a short order cook?

A short order cook is a cook that is typically found in fast casual restaurants such as breakfast places, small diners and cafes. They usually cook quick and easy fare such as eggs, pancakes and other breakfast foods, as well as hamburgers, sandwiches, and french fries. In addition to restaurants, short order cooks are found in places such as hospital cafeterias, schools, and other establishments that offer food service.

In addition to being able to cook these popular basics, a short order cook needs to be able to multi task in the kitchen and do it at a fast pace as well.  He must have basic food safety and sanitation knowledge and be able to process a lot of information quickly.  Preparing more than one or even two items at a time is often required so speed and accuracy are vital to the job. Being able to stand for long hours in a hot environment are necessary, as well as the ability to handle cooking often greasy and unhealthy foods.

What kind of people become short order cooks?

Short order cooks, while technically food professionals, are not always people who are passionate about cooking and the restaurant industry. Very often they are people who simply need a job and happen to have the personality and ability required, or they are dishwashers, busboys or other employees at the bottom of the restaurant food chain who work their way up to make more money. Short order cooks are college students, housewives, and others who may just need extra income or just a full time job.

How do I become a short order cook at a restaurant?

Becoming a short order cook generally requires no education other than on the job training, and depending on the type of establishment often requires nothing more than simply walking in and filling out an application to get the job. If you think you may be interested in starting a career in food service, applying to become a short order cook is an easy way to get started.

Once you get the job, you’ll learn how to use the necessary equipment, the rules and regulations of the particular restaurant, as well as some pertinent information about handling food safely and what to do in case of an accident or fire.

Short order cooks are usually paid an hourly wage, often minimum wage with the ability to gain raises with good on the job performance.  Finding  a job as a short order cook is usually not that difficult as the turnover rate is pretty high, considering it’s not exactly the most glamorous job in the business.

If you work hard, you can often be promoted to restaurant manager, so if getting into restaurant management appeals to you, this can be an easy way to get your foot in the door. Many top restaurant managers got their start in the industry by taking such low level jobs as short order cooks, dishwashers and busboys and working their way to the top.

If you have the stamina to stand on your feet in hot kitchen, and a fast paced personality, you should be able to easily obtain a job as a short order cook. Whether trying to work your way into a competitive industry of just trying to pay the bills, a short order cook job can help achieve those goals.

For short order cook salary, pay, and wages information, check the following reference:

http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos330.htm

Photo Courtesy Of:
http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=151

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