Cook Helper

Last Updated:
May 1, 2023

Job Description Overview

If you love food and enjoy being in a kitchen, a Cook Helper job may be the perfect fit for you! As a Cook Helper in the Hospitality industry, your role is to assist chefs and other kitchen staff in preparing meals. You'll be responsible for weighing ingredients, chopping vegetables, and cleaning up after meals. You may be asked to assist with cooking techniques and even simple cooking tasks, such as frying and sautéing. Additionally, Cook Helpers help stock kitchen supplies and equipment, and ensure that food safety and hygiene standards are maintained. To be successful in this role, you should have basic cooking skills and be able to work in a fast-paced environment. You must also be able to take direction and have good communication skills. If you're passionate about cooking and want to develop your skills in the kitchen, a Cook Helper job may be a great opportunity for you.

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Job Duties and Responsibilities

  • Assist the cook in preparing ingredients and recipes
  • Clean cooking equipment and utensils
  • Monitor cooking temperatures and times
  • Follow food safety and sanitation guidelines
  • Plate and garnish dishes before they are served
  • Stock kitchen supplies and ingredients
  • Receive and store deliveries of food and supplies
  • Communicate with the cook and other kitchen staff 
  • Handle basic kitchen tasks, such as chopping vegetables and making sauces
  • Help maintain a clean and organized kitchen environment

Experience and Education Requirements

To be a Cook Helper in the Hospitality industry, it's important to have some education and experience. You'll need to know basic math for measurements and be able to read recipes. Some employers prefer a high school diploma, but it's not always necessary. Experience is more important. You can gain experience by volunteering in school or helping in a family kitchen. On-the-job training is usually provided by the employer, but it helps to have some basic knowledge of kitchen equipment and safety protocols. Good communication skills, a positive attitude, and a willingness to learn are also important qualities for a Cook Helper.

Salary Range

According to recent data from, the expected salary range for a Cook Helper in the United States is between $24,680 to $31,348 per year, depending on factors such as level of experience and location. In some states like California or New York, the range can be slightly higher due to a higher cost of living.

In Canada, the salary range for Cook Helpers is between CAD $13 – $19 per hour, which can vary depending on the province and the type of establishment. In the United Kingdom, Cook Helper salaries range from £9,000 to £14,000 per year, depending on the level of experience and location.

Overall, Cook Helpers receive a modest salary compared to other professions in the hospitality industry but offer excellent opportunities for learning and growth. 


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Career Outlook

Cook helpers are essential members of any kitchen team. They primarily assist chefs and cooks in preparing food by chopping vegetables, measuring ingredients, and maintaining clean workspaces. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of food prep workers, which includes cook helpers, is projected to grow 13% from 2019 to 2029, which is much faster than the average for all occupations. This growth is due to the increasing demand for fast, convenient, and healthy meals. With the high turnover rate in the hospitality industry, there will always be jobs available for individuals with cooking experience or a passion for food. Cook helpers can also easily move up the ladder to become line cooks, sous chefs, or even chefs with relevant experience and education.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What does a Cook Helper do?

A: A Cook Helper assists the head cook/chef with food preparation, cleaning, and basic cooking tasks in the kitchen. 

Q: What qualifications do I need to become a Cook Helper?

A: No formal qualification is required, but kitchen experience, such as working in a restaurant, is a plus. Knowledge of basic cooking techniques, hygiene, and kitchen equipment is preferred. 

Q: What are the working hours for a Cook Helper?

A: Cook Helpers are usually needed during restaurant peak hours, such as lunch and dinner. These shifts may be early morning, late-night, weekends, and holidays. 

Q: What skills should a Cook Helper possess?

A: Cook Helpers should be able to work in a fast-paced environment, have good time management skills, communication skills, and be able to take direction from their superiors. They should have knowledge of kitchen equipment, cooking utensils, and basic cooking techniques. 

Q: What opportunities are there for advancement for a Cook Helper position?

A: A Cook Helper may advance to a line cook position, Sous Chef, or head Chef with appropriate education and experience.

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