Fast Food Cook Job Description

A Fast Food Cook completes food preparation duties according to sanitation and hygiene standards in order to quickly and accurately fill customer requests. This involves operating all kitchen equipment, cooking restaurant menu items according to recipe and presenting or packaging food items.

Fast Food Cooks may also direct less-experienced workers through the food preparation process. They work directly under kitchen supervisors or general restaurant managers. The majority of Fast Food Cooks are employed at fast food restaurants, but a sizeable portion are employed at gas stations and grocery stores as well.


Fast Food Cook Duties and Responsibilities

In order to provide customers with their food orders, a Fast Food Cook performs many different tasks. We analyzed job listings for Fast Food Cooks in order to identify these core duties and responsibilities.

Prepare Food

Fast Food Cooks either prepare or direct the preparation of food from the restaurant menu according to standard recipes. They often deal with special customer requests and dietary concerns and must be sure to fill these orders properly. They’re responsible for maintaining standardized quality of the food, as well as consistency of the food. Because they work in the fast food industry, they must be able to produce large volumes of food in a short amount of time.

Follow Food Handling Procedures

In order to comply with all policies and regulations, the Fast Food Cook must be knowledgeable of local and federal food handling laws and regulations, including FDA and USDA regulations, and may be required to obtain a food-handling license. They use this knowledge to ensure that all food preparation is compliant. They also maintain the cleanliness of the kitchen and personal hygiene standards that adhere to sanitation policies. Finally, they’re responsible for ensuring kitchen safety protocol is followed at all times.

Present or Package Products

After preparing the food, the Fast Food Cook is responsible for its presentation, making sure it is ready for customer consumption. This either involves plating the item appropriately or, more often in the fast food industry, packaging and wrapping the item appropriately. Packaging and presentation protocol can change depending on if the order is a dine-in or to-go order. If preparing large quantities of food ahead of time, the Fast Food Cook is also responsible for maintaining appropriate temperature and freshness of food.

Train Staff

As the Fast Food Cook gains some experience, he or she will typically become responsible for training newer kitchen employees. They’ll teach other employees how to prepare food according to recipe and train them in all safety, sanitation, and food handling protocols.


Fast Food Cook Skills

The fast food industry calls for individuals with great time management skills who are able to work quickly and calmly in a fast-paced environment. Fast Food Cooks are dedicated employees with strong leadership skills that allow them to train and direct other kitchen staff members. They must pay great attention to detail in order to ensure the standard operation of the kitchen and efficient production of food.

Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Fast Food Cooks with these core skills. If you want to work as a Fast Food Cooks, focus on the following.

  • Showing a capacity to train others
  • Having a flexible, open schedule
  • Possessing basic recipe reading and measurement skills
  • Showing basic cooking knowledge
  • Obtaining relevant food and beverage certifications and licenses
  • Being capable of operating basic kitchen equipment

Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Fast Food Cooks toolbox and broaden your career options.

  • High School diploma or GED
  • Previous food preparation experience
  • Associate’s degree in culinary arts
  • Management experience
  • Experience preparing specific types of food
  • Knowledge of safety and sanitation regulations


Fast Food Cook Resources

We searched the Web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a Fast Food Cooks. From thought leaders to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect and engage.

On the Web

Brand Eating – Fast food news and deals

All Food Business – Food industry news blog

Fast Food Geek – Fast food news blog

Industry Groups

National Grocers Association – Nationwide association of grocers

National Restaurant Association – A national association of grocery manufacturers

International Association of Culinary Professionals – Large association of professionals in the culinary industry

Fast Food Cooks Books

Fast Food Maniac – A celebration of American fast food

The Flavor Bible – A guide to culinary creativity

Restaurants that Work – A series of restaurant case studies


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