Short Order Cooks

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Also known as:
Griddle Attendant, Griddle Cook, Grill Cook, Short Order Fry Cook, Snack Bar Cook

Video transcript

In today's high speed world, people often want things fast, including their meals. Short-order cooks specialize in preparing food very quickly. These cooks usually work in diners and coffee shops. They're expected to know how to cook many different foods, often at the same time. When things get busy, the orders come in fast and furious.

This job demands concentration, an excellent memory, and being able to work under pressure. A good sense of timing is essential. You need to know just when each item will be ready. Cooks are expected to keep their equipment and work areas clean. They make sure shelves are properly stocked with the necessary ingredients. Bending and lifting, working over a hot grill, using knives , and being on your feet for long periods are all part of a day's work.

No formal education is required. Most cooks learn on the job. This could be a good job for those seeking supplemental income, flexible hours, or variable schedules. As long as Americans want to eat on the go, short-order cooks will be in the kitchen - and in demand.

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.
Critical decision making
Level of responsibilities
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
Dealing and handling conflict
Competition for this position
Communication with others
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
Comfort of the work setting
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
Exposure to job hazards
Physical demands
Daily tasks

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.

Take orders from customers and cook foods requiring short preparation times, according to customer requirements.

Grill and garnish hamburgers or other meats, such as steaks and chops.

Perform food preparation tasks, such as making sandwiches, carving meats, making soups or salads, baking breads or desserts, and brewing coffee or tea.

Clean food preparation equipment, work areas, and counters or tables.

Grill, cook, and fry foods such as french fries, eggs, and pancakes.

Plan work on orders so that items served together are finished at the same time.

Restock kitchen supplies, rotate food, and stamp the time and date on food in coolers.

Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.
Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
Handling and Moving Objects Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
Performing General Physical Activities Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
Processing Information Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
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.
Food Production Knowledge of techniques and equipment for planting, growing, and harvesting food products (both plant and animal) for consumption, including storage/handling techniques.
Production and Processing Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Public Safety and Security Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
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.
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.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Time Management Managing one's own time and the time of others.
Monitoring Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.