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Cook Job Description: Examples & Templates

Creating a well-written job description connects suitable candidates with optimal opportunities while laying a good foundation for smooth onboarding processes at the same time.

Both employers (92%) and applicants (91%) emphasize the importance of clearly outlined duties and responsibilities as key elements in a job description.

[Source: TEKsystems]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

To help you meet your applicants’ expectations, we’ll provide comprehensive guidance on creating a Cook job description and provide you with examples you can use to streamline your hiring process.

Cook Job Description Template

Below is the job description template you can copy and optimize for your Cook job ad.

Cook Job Overview

[Restaurant Name] is seeking a talented Cook to join our hard-working kitchen team in our [Location] store.

As a Cook, you will be responsible for preparing and cooking various dishes following our established recipes and quality standards.

Your expertise in food preparation and attention to detail will ensure that each dish is not only delicious but also beautifully presented to delight our guests.

If you have a passion for culinary arts, [Restaurant Name] offers an exciting opportunity for you to expand your knowledge and contribute to our culinary excellence.

Salary: $45,000–$55,000/year (non-tipped position)

Schedule: Full-time (40 hours per week)

Cook Duties & Responsibilities

  • Prepare and cook menu items according to recipes
  • Maintain kitchen cleanliness and hygiene standards
  • Monitor food quality and freshness
  • Follow food safety regulations and practices
  • Collaborate with the kitchen team for efficient operation
  • Assist with menu development and testing

Cook Experience Requirements & Skills

  • Minimum of [Number] years of culinary experience in professional kitchens
  • Proficiency in various cooking techniques
  • Knowledge of food safety and sanitation practices
  • Effective time management skills
  • Attention to detail in food preparation and presentation
  • Strong teamwork and communication skills
  • Adaptability to fast-paced environments
  • Openness to having a flexible schedule (including evenings, weekends and holidays)

Cook Education & Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Culinary degree
  • Apprenticeship or on-the-job training

Are Cook salaries keeping up with living costs in your area?

How to Write a Job Description

72% of recruiters believe they create clear job descriptions for the candidates. At the same time, only 36% of candidates share this perception.

 

[Source: TEKsystems]

A job description is an initial step in your recruitment journey, offering prospective candidates a transparent view of the position and the company’s anticipations.

Below are some of the most important aspects of writing a clear job description:

  • Keep it concise: Job descriptions should be short and sweet, helping candidates grasp the role’s requirements easily. It is best to use straightforward language to ensure individuals from diverse backgrounds understand the key aspects of the position.
  • Opt for descriptive action verbs: Incorporating vivid action verbs like “operate,” “prepare” and “cook” in the present tense heightens the clarity of the job description.
  • Minimize abbreviations and acronyms: Abbreviations and acronyms may confuse candidates, particularly those unacquainted with industry-specific jargon.
  • Avoid being ambiguous: Ambiguous terms such as “considerable” or “substantial” can lead to misinterpretations. Specifying the position’s contributions to particular tasks or processes provides candidates with a clearer understanding of their role within the organization.
  • Use gender-neutral language: Using gender-neutral language in the job description promotes inclusivity and diversity, ensuring that all candidates, regardless of gender, feel equally valued and represented.
  • Highlight primary responsibilities: Job descriptions should underline fundamental duties rather than minor tasks or occasional obligations. This approach helps candidates comprehend the core responsibilities associated with the role and what is expected of them on a day-to-day basis.

What to Include in Your Cook Job Description Template

A clear Cook job description template should have the following components:

 

Job Title

Ensure that the job title accurately reflects the role of the position. In this case, the job title would typically be “Cook.”

Job Purpose

This section provides insight into the role’s purpose and scope within the establishment. For Cooks, it may involve preparing and cooking food items, maintaining kitchen cleanliness and contributing to the overall efficiency of food service operations.

Job Duties and Responsibilities

Detail the specific tasks associated with the position, from food preparation to kitchen organization. Clearly outline each duty to provide candidates with a comprehensive understanding of their responsibilities.

Education

Outline the educational requirements for the Cook position. While a high school diploma or equivalent is the most common requirement for Cooks, additional training in culinary arts or food safety practices could be advantageous.

Experience

Specify the minimum level of professional experience needed for the Cook position in your establishment, highlighting any preferred experience (experience you would like them to have but it’s not mandatory) in food service or kitchen environments.

Skills and Abilities

List the key skills and abilities essential for effective Cook performance. These may include culinary skills, attention to detail and the ability to work well under pressure.

Preferred Qualifications

Highlight any additional qualifications that are desirable but not mandatory for the Cook position, such as specific culinary certifications or experience with specific cuisines.

Working Conditions

Describe the working conditions relevant to the Cook position, considering factors like standing for long periods, working in a hot kitchen environment and maintaining pace in a busy kitchen setting.

Step-by-Step Guide to Writing a Cook Job Description

Here are the examples you can use as a Cook job description writing guide.

Cook | [Company Name]

Company: [Your Company Name] Location: [City, State]

About [Company Name]

Write a brief overview of your establishment, including your company’s values, mission statement and other relevant details.

Cook Job Overview

Provide a summary of the responsibilities associated with the Cook position in your establishment, highlighting key daily duties and desired personal attributes.   Detail the proposed salary and employment type for the Cook position.   Salary: [$/year/hour]   Schedule: [part-time, full-time, on-call]

Duties and Responsibilities

Write a comprehensive list of duties and responsibilities you expect the Cooks in your establishment to perform.

Experience and Skills

Specify the qualifications and skills you’re seeking in prospective employees, including preferred professional backgrounds and mandatory experience level for the role.

Education and Qualifications

Define the educational background, certifications and qualifications necessary for the Cook position, including any preferences or requirements.

Contact Information

Provide clear contact details for candidates to reach out with inquiries or to submit their applications.

Contact Person:

Contact Email Address:

Contact Phone Number:

Should establishments provide bonuses or shared profits with employees?

In case you are on the lookout for a niche type of Cook, such as Grill Cook, follow this template.

Grill Cook| [Company Name]

Company: [Your Company Name] Location: [City, State]   Provide a concise introduction of your establishment, including your company’s values, mission statement and other important details.

Grill Cook Job Overview

Write a summary of the responsibilities associated with the Grill Cook position in your establishment, emphasizing key daily duties and desired personal attributes.   Detail the proposed salary and employment type for the Grill Cook position.   Salary: [$/year/hour]   Schedule: [part-time, full-time, on-call]

Duties and Responsibilities

Add a list of duties and responsibilities expected from a Grill Cook in your establishment.

Experience and Skills

Specify the qualifications and skills you’re looking for in prospective Grill Cooks, including preferred professional backgrounds and mandatory experience levels for the role.

Education and Qualifications

Define the educational background, certifications and qualifications necessary for the Grill Cook position, including any preferences or requirements.

Contact Information

Provide clear contact details for candidates to reach out with inquiries or to submit their applications.

Contact Person:

Contact Email Address:

Contact Phone Number:

Cook Training and Certification

Attending culinary schools, vocational programs or apprenticeships can provide individuals with a strong foundation in cooking techniques and cuisines.

These programs vary in duration, typically ranging from a few months to two years, depending on the institution or program. Admission to these programs generally requires a high school diploma or its equivalent.

However, a significant portion of training in these programs comes from hands-on experience in kitchen settings. Initially, participants learn the basics of kitchen operations and safety protocols before advancing to more complex food handling and cooking techniques.

For those who prefer a more structured approach, apprenticeships are an option. These programs, often sponsored by culinary institutes, industry associations or trade unions, allow participants to learn directly from experienced chefs.

During apprenticeships, which typically last about a year, participants receive training in everything from food safety to knife skills under the guidance of seasoned professionals.

The chart below provides further insight into the educational requirements for Cooks.

[Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)]

This chart is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the chart to see detailed data. 

The following five Cook certifications can assist you in identifying desirable qualifications in potential candidates and ensuring their additional education aligns with your establishment’s objectives.

Certified Food Manager (CFM)

Here are the important details of this certificate:

  • Certification focus: Beyond culinary skills, it focuses on skills necessary for management and executive careers in the food service industry.
  • Skills tested: Covers a range of skills including basic cooking, menu design, management, human resources, accounting and marketing.
  • Requirements: Gaining this certificate requires more than two years of education or training after high school, more than two years of work experience and taking an oral or written exam.
  • Renewal: Certification renewal is required every three years.
  • Certifying organization: International Food Service Executives Association

Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS)

Here is the most important information to know about this certificate:

  • Certification focus: Professionals with this certification are actively involved in combating obesity and chronic diseases.
  • Skills tested: The certification ensures that nutrition professionals maintain the highest standard of nutrition competence.
  • Requirements: Gaining this certificate requires more than two years of education or training after high school, more than two years of work experience and taking an oral or written exam.
  • Renewal: Certification renewal is required every five years.
  • Certifying organization: Board for Certification of Nutrition Specialists (BCNS)

Certified Fundamentals Cook (CFC)

Here’s the important data about this certificate:

  • Certification focus: The purpose of the certification examinations is to assess and objectively measure the knowledge and skills of candidates to determine if they meet the standards set by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
  • Skills tested: The certification aims to test the applicants’ fundamental cooking skills.
  • Requirements: Gaining this certificate requires taking an oral or written exam.
  • Renewal: Certification renewal is required every three years.
  • Certifying organization: American Culinary Federation, Inc.

Food Safety Manager Certification

Here’s the important information about the Food Safety Manager Certification:

  • Certification focus: The examination aims to certify food safety professionals. It follows strict test development procedures and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) using standards set by the Conference for Food Protection.
  • Skills tested: The certification aims to test the knowledge and proficiency in food safety principles, hazard analysis and risk management
  • Requirements: Gaining this certificate requires taking an oral or written exam.
  • Renewal: Certification renewal is required every five years.
  • Certifying organization: National Registry of Food Safety Professionals

Certified Dietary Manager (CDM)

Here are the most important details about this certificate:

  • Certification focus: The CDM program is designed to bring individuals to the top levels of the nutrition and food service management field.
  • Skills tested: The certification aims to test proficiency in nutrition management, food service operations and regulatory compliance.
  • Requirements: Gaining this certificate requires more than two years of education or training after high school, more than two years of work experience and taking an oral or written exam.
  • Renewal: Certification renewal is required every three years.
  • Certifying organization: Association of Nutrition and Foodservice Professionals (ANFP)

Cook Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average base salary for a Cook in the United States is $36,060 per year or 17.34 per hour.

Average Cook Base Salary:

What can I earn as a Cook?Your salary is 0 the US national average
$17.34
$17.34
17.34

Cook Salary Across the US

To help you set a competitive salary for your job ad, here’s an overview of Cook salaries across the United States.

[Source: BLS]

This map is interactive. Hover your mouse over different parts of the map to see detailed data. 

Similar Job Titles

Cook Job Description FAQs

The ideal length for a job description is typically between 300 to 700 words, providing enough detail to attract qualified candidates while remaining concise and easy to read.

It is also advisable to keep your job description limited to one page, as a job description spanning two pages may be overly long and could risk losing the attention of potential candidates.

However, for complex or senior-level positions, extending to a second page may be necessary.

 

The task of writing a job description typically falls on the Hiring Manager, in collaboration with HR and relevant stakeholders.

Legal advisors and external consultants may also provide input, particularly for specialized positions or to ensure compliance with employment laws.

Here are some steps to find and hire the right Cook:

  • Define the job role: Clearly outline the responsibilities and expectations for the Cook position. Consider factors such as the type of cuisine you serve, the size of your kitchen and the level of experience required.
  • Create a job description: Write a detailed job description that includes the job title, duties and responsibilities, qualifications and experience required, work schedule and any other relevant information.
  • Advertise the job: Use job boards, your company website, social media and industry-specific platforms to advertise the job opening.
  • Screen resumes: Review resumes carefully to identify candidates who meet your criteria.
  • Conduct interviews: Conduct interviews with promising candidates to assess their skills, experience and fit for your team.
  • Asses their skills: Consider conducting a practical cooking demonstration or skills assessment as part of the interview process.
  • Check references: Contact the candidate’s references to verify their employment history, skills and work ethic.
  • Evaluate cultural fit: Assess whether the candidate will fit well with your kitchen team and company culture.
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