Line Cook

Take charge of one area of a kitchen during prime time rushes.

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$23,000 – $71,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Line Cooks do?

A Line Cook is the member of the “back of the house” crew who mans one area of the kitchen during prime time or “rushes,” spikes in business that revolve around breakfast, lunch or dinner. These stations in the kitchen focus on a specific set of food preparation, such as grilling, frying, sautéing or final plate presentation. To work in a certain station as a Line Cook, particularly for larger and more upscale kitchens, you should have training in a specialty food group, be it pastries, sauces, meat prep, or desserts.

A restaurant without Line Cooks is a car without wheels. With no one to prepare the food, a foodservice establishment ceases to function. So while the Kitchen Manager or a Chef run the staff of a kitchen, you manage the raw ingredients, ensuring product quality and facility cleanliness.

Day-to-day tasks will vary by your station, but usually include early-morning preparation of food to be used throughout the day and evening; maintaining ingredient stock in the station(s); keeping the station equipped with proper utensils and prep tools needed during the shift; and sometimes placing product orders with vendors.

The nature of the busy kitchen makes it necessary for you to be even-tempered, able to concentrate on sometimes-odd requests, and have a head for quality. And as the responsibility of accurate and appealing dishes coming from the kitchen falls on your shoulders, you need to be on your game and ready to go as soon as that grill fires up.

Should I be a Line Cook?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Cook, Restaurant

    How to become a Line Cook

    Line Cooks often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9kcfaa&chl=no+college+%2859%25%29|certificate+%2810%25%29|associate%27s+%2827%25%29|bachelor%27s+%285%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,59,59
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