Fast-Food Cook  What They Do

Just the Facts


Prepares and cooks food in a fast food restaurant with a limited menu. Duties of these cooks are limited to preparation of a few basic items and normally involve operating large-volume single-purpose cooking equipment.

This career is part of the Hospitality and Tourism cluster Restaurants and Food/Beverage Services pathway.


A person in this career:

  • Maintains sanitation, health, and safety standards in work areas.
  • Cleans food preparation areas, cooking surfaces, and utensils.
  • Verifies that prepared food meets requirements for quality and quantity.
  • Cooks and packages batches of food, such as hamburgers and fried chicken, which are prepared to order or kept warm until sold.
  • Prepares specialty foods such as pizzas, fish and chips, sandwiches, and tacos, following specific methods that usually require short preparation time.
  • Operates large-volume cooking equipment such as grills, deep-fat fryers, or griddles.
  • Reads food order slips or receives verbal instructions as to food required by patron, and prepares and cooks food according to instructions.
  • Measures ingredients required for food items being prepared.
  • Takes food and drink orders and receives payment from customers.
  • Cleans, stocks, and restocks workstations and display cases.

Multimedia

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Cooks, Fast Food

Working Conditions and Physical Demands

People who do this job report that:

  • You would often handle loads up to 20 lbs., sometimes up to 50 lbs. You might do a lot of lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling.
  • Work in this occupation involves use of protective items such as safety shoes, glasses, gloves, hearing protection, a hard hat, or personal flotation devices
  • Conditions are very hot (above 90 F) or very cold (under 32 F)
  • Work in this occupation involves using your hands to hold, control, and feel objects more than one-third of the time
  • Exposed to hazardous situations involving possible injury such as cuts, bites, stings, and minor burns more than once a month
  • Work in this occupation requires being inside most of the time
  • Sound and noise levels are loud and distracting
  • Work in this occupation involves making repetitive motions more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves standing more than one-third of the time
  • Work in this occupation involves walking or running more than one-third of the time

Working in this career involves (physical activities):

  • Seeing clearly up close
  • Speaking clearly enough to be able to be understood by others
  • Identifying and understanding the speech of another person
  • Using abdominal and lower back muscles repeatedly or over time without tiring

Work Hours and Travel

  • Rotating shift work
  • Weekend work

Specialty and Similar Careers

Careers that are more detailed or close to this career:

  • Fry Cook -- Prepares hamburgers and other fast food meals.
  • Prep Cook -- Assists in the preparation of meals by chopping vegetables, making salads, and putting together entrees.