Summary Report for:
35-2021.00 - Food Preparation Workers
Perform a variety of food preparation duties other than cooking, such as preparing cold foods and shellfish, slicing meat, and brewing coffee or tea.
Sample of reported job titles: Deli Clerk (Delicatessen Clerk), Diet Aide, Dietary Aide, Dietary Assistant, Food Preparer, Food Service Aide, Food Service Worker, Nutrition Aide, Pantry Cook, Slicer
Tasks | Technology Skills | Tools Used | Knowledge | Skills | Abilities | Work Activities | Detailed Work Activities | Work Context | Job Zone | Education | Credentials | Interests | Work Styles | Work Values | Related Occupations | Wages & Employment | Job Openings | Additional Information
- Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, utensils, dishes, or silverware.
- Store food in designated containers and storage areas to prevent spoilage.
- Portion and wrap the food, or place it directly on plates for service to patrons.
- Take and record temperature of food and food storage areas, such as refrigerators and freezers.
- Prepare a variety of foods, such as meats, vegetables, or desserts, according to customers' orders or supervisors' instructions, following approved procedures.
- Place food trays over food warmers for immediate service, or store them in refrigerated storage cabinets.
- Package take-out foods or serve food to customers.
- Stock cupboards and refrigerators, and tend salad bars and buffet meals.
- Wash, peel, and cut various foods, such as fruits and vegetables, to prepare for cooking or serving.
- Carry food supplies, equipment, and utensils to and from storage and work areas.
- Distribute food to waiters and waitresses to serve to customers.
- Cut, slice or grind meat, poultry, and seafood to prepare for cooking.
- Remove trash and clean kitchen garbage containers.
- Receive and store food supplies, equipment, and utensils in refrigerators, cupboards, and other storage areas.
- Weigh or measure ingredients.
- Inform supervisors when equipment is not working properly and when food and supplies are getting low, and order needed items.
- Assist cooks and kitchen staff with various tasks as needed, and provide cooks with needed items.
- Add cutlery, napkins, food, and other items to trays on assembly lines in hospitals, cafeterias, airline kitchens, and similar establishments.
- Use manual or electric appliances to clean, peel, slice, and trim foods.
- Scrape leftovers from dishes into garbage containers.
- Load dishes, glasses, and tableware into dishwashing machines.
- Make special dressings and sauces as condiments for sandwiches.
- Mix ingredients for green salads, molded fruit salads, vegetable salads, and pasta salads.
- Operate cash register, handle money, and give correct change.
- Keep records of the quantities of food used.
- Vacuum dining area and sweep and mop kitchen floor.
- Assemble meal trays with foods in accordance with patients' diets.
- Distribute menus to hospital patients, collect diet sheets, and deliver food trays and snacks to nursing units or directly to patients.
- Stir and strain soups and sauces.
- Butcher and clean fowl, fish, poultry, and shellfish to prepare for cooking or serving.
- Prepare and serve a variety of beverages such as coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
- Data base user interface and query software — CBORD NetRecipe; Culinary Software Services ChefTec; MicroBlast Recipe Wizard for Windows; ValuSoft MasterCook (see all 11 examples)
- Office suite software — Microsoft Office
- Spreadsheet software — Microsoft Excel
Hot Technology — a technology requirement frequently included in employer job postings.
- Belt conveyors
- Cappuccino or espresso machines — Cappuccino machines; Espresso machines
- Carbonated beverage dispenser — Soda machines
- Commercial use blenders — Blenders
- Commercial use broilers — Charbroilers
- Commercial use coffee grinders — Coffee grinders
- Commercial use coffee or iced tea makers — Coffee brewing machines
- Commercial use cotton candy machines or accessories — Cotton candy machines
- Commercial use cutlery — Knives
- Commercial use deep fryers — Electric fryers
- Commercial use dishwashers — Commercial dishwashers; Dishwashing machines
- Commercial use dough machines — Dough mixers
- Commercial use food choppers or cubers or dicers — Choppers; Dicers
- Commercial use food grinders — Electric meat grinders
- Commercial use food processors — Food processors
- Commercial use food slicers — Bread slicers; Electric meat and cheese slicers; Tomato slicers
- Commercial use food warmers — Steam tables
- Commercial use griddles — Griddles
- Commercial use grills — Grills
- Commercial use measuring cups — Measuring utensils
- Commercial use microwave ovens — Commercial microwave ovens
- Commercial use mixers — Commercial stand mixers; Mixing machines
- Commercial use ovens — Brick ovens; Commercial cooking ovens
- Commercial use pizza ovens — Pizza ovens
- Commercial use popcorn machines — Popcorn machines
- Commercial use ranges — Commercial ranges
- Commercial use rotisseries — Electronic chicken rotisseries
- Commercial use scales — Combination slicers/electronic portion scales; Food scales; Point of sale POS interface scales; Thermal label printing scales
- Commercial use steamers — Pressureless steamers
- Commercial use toasters — Toasters
- Commercial use woks — Oriental ranges
- Ice dispensers — Ice machines
- Ice shaver machines or accessories — Snow cone machines
- Milkshake machines — Milkshake and smoothie machines
- Non carbonated beverage dispenser — Drink dispensers
- Personal computers
- Point of sale POS terminal — Point of sale POS systems
- Roasting machinery — Roasting equipment
- Slush machines — Frozen drink machines
- Soft serve machines — Frozen custard machines; Soft-serve ice cream machines
- Customer and Personal Service — Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Administration and Management — Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Public Safety and Security — Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Active Listening — Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Coordination — Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
- Service Orientation — Actively looking for ways to help people.
- Social Perceptiveness — Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
- Speaking — Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Time Management — Managing one's own time and the time of others.
- Near Vision — The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
- Arm-Hand Steadiness — The ability to keep your hand and arm steady while moving your arm or while holding your arm and hand in one position.
- Manual Dexterity — The ability to quickly move your hand, your hand together with your arm, or your two hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble objects.
- Oral Expression — The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
- Finger Dexterity — The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
- Information Ordering — The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
- Speech Clarity — The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
- Speech Recognition — The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
- Trunk Strength — The ability to use your abdominal and lower back muscles to support part of the body repeatedly or continuously over time without 'giving out' or fatiguing.
- Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People — Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.
- Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates — Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
- Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships — Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
- Handling and Moving Objects — Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.
- Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material — Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.
- Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards — Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
- Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information — Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.
- Getting Information — Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
- Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others — Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.
- Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events — Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
- Performing for or Working Directly with the Public — Performing for people or dealing directly with the public. This includes serving customers in restaurants and stores, and receiving clients or guests.
- Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge — Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
- Coaching and Developing Others — Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.
- Performing General Physical Activities — Performing physical activities that require considerable use of your arms and legs and moving your whole body, such as climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
- Training and Teaching Others — Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.
- Making Decisions and Solving Problems — Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
- Developing and Building Teams — Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.
- Processing Information — Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
- Scheduling Work and Activities — Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.
- Thinking Creatively — Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
- Assisting and Caring for Others — Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
- Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work — Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
- Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others — Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.
- Provide Consultation and Advice to Others — Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.
Detailed Work Activities
- Clean food preparation areas, facilities, or equipment.
- Clean tableware.
- Operate cash registers.
- Process customer bills or payments.
- Store supplies or goods in kitchens or storage areas.
- Arrange food for serving.
- Package food or supplies.
- Cook foods.
- Assess equipment functioning.
- Record operational or production data.
- Serve food or beverages.
- Prepare foods for cooking or serving.
- Stock serving stations or dining areas with food or supplies.
- Move equipment, supplies or food to required locations.
- Clean food service areas.
- Cut cooked or raw foods.
- Remove trash.
- Measure ingredients.
- Assist chefs or caterers with food or drink preparation.
- Present food or beverage information or menus to customers.
- Prepare hot or cold beverages.
- Mix ingredients.
- Spend Time Standing — 76% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Time Pressure — 77% responded “Every day.”
- Work With Work Group or Team — 66% responded “Extremely important.”
- Coordinate or Lead Others — 58% responded “Extremely important.”
- Contact With Others — 76% responded “Constant contact with others.”
- Deal With External Customers — 68% responded “Extremely important.”
- Face-to-Face Discussions — 54% responded “Every day.”
- Importance of Being Exact or Accurate — 44% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsible for Others' Health and Safety — 52% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Spend Time Walking and Running — 41% responded “More than half the time.”
- Frequency of Decision Making — 61% responded “Every day.”
- Wear Common Protective or Safety Equipment such as Safety Shoes, Glasses, Gloves, Hearing Protection, Hard Hats, or Life Jackets — 68% responded “Every day.”
- Indoors, Environmentally Controlled — 64% responded “Every day.”
- Physical Proximity — 47% responded “Very close (near touching).”
- Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls — 62% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Importance of Repeating Same Tasks — 34% responded “Extremely important.”
- Responsibility for Outcomes and Results — 33% responded “Very high responsibility.”
- Frequency of Conflict Situations — 48% responded “Every day.”
- Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions — 47% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
- Freedom to Make Decisions — 37% responded “A lot of freedom.”
- Deal With Unpleasant or Angry People — 33% responded “Every day.”
- Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results — 39% responded “Very important results.”
- Spend Time Bending or Twisting the Body — 41% responded “Less than half the time.”
- Structured versus Unstructured Work — 42% responded “Some freedom.”
- Telephone — 40% responded “Every day.”
|Title||Job Zone One: Little or No Preparation Needed|
|Education||Some of these occupations may require a high school diploma or GED certificate.|
|Related Experience||Little or no previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, a person can become a waiter or waitress even if he/she has never worked before.|
|Job Training||Employees in these occupations need anywhere from a few days to a few months of training. Usually, an experienced worker could show you how to do the job.|
|Job Zone Examples||These occupations involve following instructions and helping others. Examples include counter and rental clerks, dishwashers, cashiers, landscaping and groundskeeping workers, logging equipment operators, and baristas.|
|SVP Range||(Below 4.0)|
Interest code: RC
- Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
- Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
- Self Control — Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
- Cooperation — Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
- Integrity — Job requires being honest and ethical.
- Social Orientation — Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
- Attention to Detail — Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
- Dependability — Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
- Initiative — Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
- Leadership — Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
- Persistence — Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
- Concern for Others — Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
- Stress Tolerance — Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
- Achievement/Effort — Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
- Independence — Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
- Adaptability/Flexibility — Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
- Analytical Thinking — Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
- Innovation — Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
- Support — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.
- Relationships — Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.
- Working Conditions — Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.
Wages & Employment Trends
|Median wages (2016)||$10.31 hourly, $21,440 annual|
|Employment (2014)||874,000 employees|
|Projected growth (2014-2024)||Average (5% to 8%)|
|Projected job openings (2014-2024)||298,300|
|Top industries (2014)|
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016 wage data and 2014-2024 employment projections . "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.
Job Openings on the Web
Sources of Additional Information
Disclaimer: Sources are listed to provide additional information on related jobs, specialties, and/or industries. Links to non-DOL Internet sites are provided for your convenience and do not constitute an endorsement.
- Food preparation workers . Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition.
- American Culinary Federation (ACF) , 180 Center Pl. Way, St. Augustine, FL 32095. Phone: (800) 624-9458. Fax: (904) 825-4758.
- International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education (ICHRIE) , 2613 N. Parham Rd., 2nd Floor, Richmond, VA 23294-4442. Phone: (804) 346-4800. Fax: (804) 346-5009.
- National Restaurant Association (NRA) , 1200 17th St. NW, Washington, DC 20036. Phone: (202) 331-5900.