What does a Cook do?

Cooks are responsible for providing a pleasurable dining experience for customers by preparing high quality food. This usually means managing all asepcts of food preparation and production in an environment that meets sanitation guidelines. Their duties can range from preparing ingredients to be cooked, to being responsible for grilling all foods.

Cooks must have a high school diploma or general education degree (GED). It is oftentimes preferred that cooks have a culinary certification or degree. The best cooks are good at teamwork, show attention to detail, and demonstrate strong communication skills.

What responsibilities are common for Cook jobs?
  • Prepare food items for customers as requested, including special requests, in a timely and consistent manner
  • Determine food and supply needs based on rotating menus
  • Inspect food products and supplies as needed
  • Ensure work environment and stations are clean and sanitized
  • Check food before it is served to customers
  • Control and minimize waste
  • Comply with outlined safety regulations and procedures
What are the typical qualifications for Cook jobs?
  • High school diploma or general education degree (GED) required
  • Culinary certification or degree from a culinary school preferred
  • 2-3 years food service or restaurant experience required
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 30 pounds
  • Comfortable standing, stopping, squatting, twisting, and moving frequently
  • Ability to pass a food service sanitation course
  • Familiarity with general kitchen equipment and applicances
  • Strong working knowledge of food preparation techniques, cooking methods, and safety and sanitation practices
  • Ability to read, comprehend, and follow recipes
EducationGED / High School Degree
Work/Life Balance
3.2 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.1 ★
Avg. Experience0-1 Year

Cook Salaries near Canada

Average Base Pay

$58,242 /yr
Not including cash compensation
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Not enough salaries reported to show distribution
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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Cook Career Path

Learn how to become a Cook, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Senior Cook
Lead Cook

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
2 - 4
5 - 7
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Cook Insights

Read what Cook professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Food Expo/Cook
Jan 28, 2023

“It was enjoyable and I had several opportunities to grow and continue my school work while maintaining a good work”

Southern Craft BBQ
Fry Cook
Aug 10, 2021

“People are rude and care about themselves and there is no such thing as a “team.””

Brimstone Woodfire Grill
Aug 9, 2021

“Good hourly pay and yeah the pay essentially that’s all I have to say about the pros to this place”

Crew Member/Grill Cook
May 13, 2022

“terrible communication its been 4 weeks and i still haven't been paid all in all its a terrible job”

Hopdoddy Burger BarHopdoddy Burger Bar
Fry Cook
Aug 5, 2021

“Great management always got my hours and made work fun and enjoyable would recommend working at the heights location”

Stack 571 Burger & Whiskey BarStack 571 Burger & Whiskey Bar
Grill Cook
Jan 22, 2022

“At least in my location our kitchen crew was pretty solid and all could have a good time while working.”

Northern Alaska TourNorthern Alaska Tour
Dec 28, 2021

“Amazing people and the owner Brett will be one of the best people you'll ever work for.”

Elevate Senior Living
Cook/Dietary Aide
Jul 20, 2023

“Low pay rate which is 12.76 and we don’t get the full 8 hrs just 6.”

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Cook Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of cooks

Cooks spend their workday ensuring food and ingredient freshness, weighing and measuring for recipes, and preparing dishes for consumption by customers. Cooks must also maintain a clean workspace and kitchen equipment. They must follow industry guidelines to ensure food is cooked, stored, and served at safe temperatures.

Being a cook is a rewarding career for those who are creative and enjoy inventing different flavour combinations in the kitchen. Although becoming a cook doesn't require a specific level of education, many establishments seek individuals with some level of trade training or experiential knowledge. Having a working understanding of the restaurant industry can make this role more rewarding in the fast-paced industry.

The average base pay for a cook in Canada is $58,242 per year. The salary varies depending on years of experience, educational background, and culinary specialty. Some cooks become business owners and open their own restaurants.

Working as a cook can be demanding at times, as it entails guiding an entire kitchen and sometimes front-of-house staff to provide a pleasurable dining experience for customers. Cooks must be adept at multitasking, good at teamwork, and have strong communication skills.

Related Careers

Line Cook
No skills overlap
13% skills overlap
Prep Cook
38% skills overlap
50% skills overlap

Cook jobs