What is a line cook? Do you know the line cook job description?
In the competitive world of restaurants, customers demand high and consistent quality on their order. Only when such services are given, customers will come back and even refer the place to people around his/her circle. The larger the size of the restaurant, the more complex is its operation. That’s where the services of line cooks are required. Often referred to as the ‘backbone’ of the industry, line cook has been an occupation which only someone with real passion for cooking can handle.
The basic job
A kitchen of the restaurant hosts several ‘lines’ or ‘stations’ to ensure that customers get their order on time. A line cook ensures that the food coming out of these stations meet the standards set in the restaurant. The line cook works directly under the order of the head cook or chef. Line cooks thus work as an extension of the chef in the kitchen. The job thus serves as a great entry point for people willing to make a genuine career in the industry.
Tasks of a line cook
The typical line cook job description involves the following tasks:
- Setting up the station
The line cook has to ensure that the station has all the materials and food-supplies ready for ensuring its smooth functioning. For some special dishes the line cook may have to plan and prepare items in advance so that the preparation is fast when it is demanded.
- Preparing the food
Depending upon the orders of the head cook, the line cook has to prepare the items necessary for services. This involves tasks like chopping vegetable, mincing meat, stock and soup preparation, butchering, etc.
The line cook is primarily responsible for all the activities that come out of the station. Under the guidance of the head cook or chef, the line cook has to ensure the use of the right ingredients using the right methods.
Ensuring proper hygiene and cleanliness in the station as well as the kitchen comes under the responsibility of the line cook. Thus the job may involve washing dishes, disposing garbage and cleaning cooking surface.
The line cook also needs to calculate as well as help physically in ensuring the continuity and proper stocking of materials in the kitchen and store.
Depending upon the nature of the restaurant, there are different qualification requirements needed for a line cook position. Some establishments value some experience more than education. However a 2-year formal education in culinary arts is often considered enough as well as necessary for the job.
As an entry level job, the pay of a line cook can be considered rather good. An average line cook earns around $15 per hour. Overtime is also something that line cooks earn on a regular basis as this demanding profession needs workers late-nights, early mornings and weekends. Savings on food expenses also serve to be a big benefit for the line cook.
Hazards on the job
The kitchen isn’t a place for the faint hearted. Demanding work schedule, hot and moist environment, noises and accidents are all part of the job in the kitchen. A line cook has to be ready to handle minor cuts, burns and bruises on a regular basis. Besides these, some bad days may bring complaints from the customers as well which could prove to be stressful. Sometimes a helper may not be present, but line cooks may need to work extra-hard to ensure that the food goes on the customer’s table on time!
Future outlook of the career
If your aim is to make a successful career in the field of culinary arts, then an entry-level job as a line cook may serve your career goals. However with the competition growing day-by-day and with the increase in the number of qualified candidates, the potential for growth is lower at present compared to other industries.
Thus if you are really passionate about cooking and love the work-environment around restaurants, then this line cook job description will shed light to your questions.You have to prepare yourself to handle the stress that comes with the job.