How Do I Become a Short Order Cook?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Cooking experience can help land a short order cook position, but it's not required.
Cooking experience can help land a short order cook position, but it's not required.

You will not need any specific level of education to become a short order cook, and in many cases you will not need previous experience, though any restaurant and cooking experience will improve your chances of getting a job. Consider the many places around your area where you can envision yourself working, and inquire about open positions. If the establishment has job openings but not as a cook, consider applying anyway, as working for the restaurant and establishing yourself as a good employee will help you become a short order cook down the road.

If you get hired as a prep worker or as a server, be sure to do your job well. Work hard and work quickly, as this will show your employers you have the skills and drive to become a short order cook. Whenever possible, work with the current cooks to learn as much as possible about the cooking process. Short order cooks need to work quickly and efficiently, so the cooks may be able to give you insight as to how to improve your skills. Practice cooking at home for friends and family to improve your skills.

It is likely that you will need to fill out an application to become a short order cook. Fill this application out carefully, and be sure to note your skills, work ethic, and enthusiasm for the job. If you get an interview, dress appropriately and show up on time. You need to show the employer you are ready to handle the stress of the job. Restaurants also value candidates who are presentable, punctual, and hard-working. Try to exhibit this during the interview by dressing nicely and showing up on time.

Sometimes the restaurant will want an experienced cook. If this is the case, the restaurant is likely to pay the cook more money than other short order cook positions. These jobs are highly desirable and therefore difficult to get, so if you want to become a short order cook in a well-paying restaurant, try to first find work as a cook in a different restaurant where you can learn the skills and get the necessary experience to apply for the better paying jobs. Don't be afraid to start at the bottom; it is possible to move up quickly within a restaurant to better paying positions, and gaining the necessary experience will make you a more valuable job candidate.

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    • Cooking experience can help land a short order cook position, but it's not required.
      Cooking experience can help land a short order cook position, but it's not required.