Short Order Cook

You fix meals in minutes and make sure supplies are bountiful and fresh.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$16,000 – $29,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Short Order Cooks do?

Food in a matter of minutes doesn’t just come from a box or a microwave. Short Order Cooks are experts at whipping up something fast when diners need quick food.

Short Order Cooks may find themselves working in such places as restaurants, diners, drive-ins, or hospitals. The type of food you prepare as a Short Order Cook is quick and easy to cook (think hamburgers, or eggs and hash browns). Complicated dishes with lots of ingredients are not part of your repertoire. Instead, you stick to the basics, offering one or two menu items with only a few ingredients. You fix a meal very quickly. And through your expertise, customers are served in a matter of minutes, from the time they order to the time the meal lands on their table.

For this job, you need to be quick on your feet, and have some serious prioritizing skills. During busy periods, Short Order Cooks handle waves of orders. So you need to know what must go on the grill and when, bearing in mind how long it needs to cook, and when the order was placed. Once a meal is done, you plate it up, call over the Server, and make sure the food goes out before it gets cold.

During slow times, you take stock of the food and supplies that have been used, and those you need to order. You contact suppliers and fill out order forms, making sure you order enough of one item to never run out of it, but not too much that it goes bad before you can use it.


Should I be a Short Order Cook?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.

  • Also known as: Broiler Chef or Cook, Griddle Attendant, Grill Attendant, Short Order Fry Cook

    How to become a Short Order Cook

    Most Short Order Cooks have no higher education and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate's degree to increase your competitiveness in the field. Chart?chd=s:9igaaa&chl=no+college+%2880%25%29|certificate+%2811%25%29|associate%27s+%289%25%29|||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,80,80
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