Cooks, Short Order

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About the Job

Prepare and cook to order a variety of foods that require only a short preparation time. May take orders from customers and serve patrons at counters or tables.

It is also Called

  • Snack Bar Cook
  • Short Order Fry Cook
  • Short Order Cook
  • Sandwich Artist
  • Restaurant Worker
  • Prep Cook (Preparation Cook)
  • Pizza Maker
  • Pizza Cook
  • Line Cook
  • Hasher
View All

What They Do

  • Order supplies and stock them on shelves.
  • Accept payments, and make change or write charge slips as necessary.
  • Perform general cleaning activities in kitchen and dining areas.
  • Complete orders from steam tables, placing food on plates and serving customers at tables or counters.
  • Plan work on orders so that items served together are finished at the same time.
  • Perform food preparation tasks, such as making sandwiches, carving meats, making soups or salads, baking breads or desserts, and brewing coffee or tea.
  • Restock kitchen supplies, rotate food, and stamp the time and date on food in coolers.
  • Grill and garnish hamburgers or other meats, such as steaks and chops.
  • Take orders from customers and cook foods requiring short preparation times, according to customer requirements.
  • Clean food preparation equipment, work areas, and counters or tables.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: RC.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Realistic interests, but also prefer Conventional environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Independence, but also value Relationships and Support in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • 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.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
  • Food Production - Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • 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.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Service Orientation - Actively looking for ways to help people.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Preparation Required

Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.


In 2016, the average annual wage in California was $25,890 with most people making between $21,130 and $32,430


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 22,000 people in California. It is projected that there will be 24,400 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 240 openings due to growth and about 570 replacement openings for approximately 810 total annual openings.