Prep Cook

Prepare raw foods and ingredients so a chef can use them with ease.
picture of Prep Cook

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$17,000 – $32,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Prep Cooks do?

Every restaurant relies on Prep Cooks to expedite food production, preparation, and service. This is an entry-level kitchen position, and responsibilities of a Prep Cook vary depending on the menu.

In general, you take raw foods and prepare them for use by the Line Cook or Chef. When ingredients arrive at the restaurant in big bags, boxes, and cans, your job as a Prep Cook is to take the contents, prepare them, and arrange or place them within arm’s reach of the busy kitchen staff. For example, you slice and dice vegetables as specified by the menu requirements. A word of advice: By all means, wear eye protection when chopping a five-pound bag of onions. No one likes a crybaby in the kitchen!

At management’s direction, you prep adequate food supplies to cover the shift, as running out of prepped food can spell disaster in the kitchen, while prepping too much can lead to waste and spoilage. When not handling food, you maintain sanitary conditions in the kitchen by washing and sanitizing work surfaces, utensils, and equipment. And as you demonstrate dependability and skill at the tasks assigned to you, your restaurant may offer to place you at a more advanced cooking position, which means higher pay and more substantial responsibility.

Should I be a Prep Cook?

You should have a certificate degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.

  • Also known as: Basket Lunch Preparer, Preparation Cook, Prep-Cook

    How to become a Prep Cook

    Prep Cooks often have a Certificate or higher. Chart?chd=s:9pacag&chl=no+college+%2871%25%29|certificate+%2818%25%29||bachelor%27s+%283%25%29||doctorate+%288%25%29&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,71,71
    Schools close to

    You May Also Like

    Careers Similar to Prep Cook