Experienced Line Cook Job Description

The job description of a line cook calls for preparing a large portion of the food that comes out of the kitchen of a restaurant or other eating establishment. A line cook works directly under a head chef or sous chef who provide training and instructions.

Position Description

A line cook is usually assigned the task of preparing the food in a specific area or along the line in a restaurant kitchen such as the vegetable prep area or the grill.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities of a Line Cook

  • Helps set up the whole kitchen prior to a restaurant’s opening.
  • Sets up a station by bringing all containers of necessary food items to that point in the line.
  • Cooks a specific portion of each plated meal as assigned by either the head or sous chef.
  • Assists with cutting, marinating and precooking foods.
  • Keeps pace with other cooks on the line so that all food is ready for each plate at the same time.
  • Steps in to help another line cook who is running behind.
  • Assembles dishes and provides garnishment.
  • Plates food in an attractive manner to maximize customer enjoyment.
  • Pitches in, along with the rest of the staff, to maintain sanitary conditions and organization in the kitchen.
  • Wraps unused items and stores in proper areas at the end of a shift, and shuts off all equipment at the station.
  • Cleans and sanitizes the area with soap and warm water.
  • Participates in cleaning the rest of the kitchen before the restaurant closes for the night.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Has knowledge of standard cooking, baking and grilling techniques.
  • Possesses excellent communication skills.
  • Works cooperatively and efficiently in a team environment.
  • Has the ability to perform calmly under pressure.
  • Uses critical thinking and reasoning skills to solve problems quickly.
  • Manages time effectively.
  • Understands and follows written and verbal directions explicitly and asks questions for clarity when necessary.
  • Learns new recipes and new procedures rapidly.
  • Possesses strong mathematical skills.
  • Stays up-to-date on changes in state and county sanitation requirements.
  • Manages material resources well and places new orders soon enough to prevent running out of supplies.
  • Monitors personal performance and makes improvements where needed.

Education and Experience

  • High School Diploma.
  • On-the-job training.
  • Certificate in culinary arts or a related area from a vocational or technical school.
  • Associates degree from a community college in a food or cooking related field.
  • Degree from a culinary arts institute including coursework in sanitation, cooking and baking skills and culinary arts professionalism.
  • Industry certification from the American Culinary Federation.

Work Environment

  • Stands on feet for long periods of time while cutting, stirring, grilling, frying and otherwise preparing food.
  • Performs heavy lifting by carrying large sacks of flour, sugar, frozen meats, vegetables and other ingredients.
  • Works odd hours like late evenings, early mornings, weekends and holidays.
  • Endures hot temperatures, loud noises and some stress in the fast-paced commercial kitchen environment.
  • Sustains occasionally minor cuts, burns and bruises on the job.


  • Yearly salaries range from$18,000 to $22,000.
  • Average hourly salaries range from $12 an hour to $16 an hour.

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