A cook supervisor is a food preparation professional who oversees kitchen staff and other employees of a restaurant or food service establishment. These professionals ensure the quality, preparation and service of food meets the employer's standards on a daily basis. Cook supervisors can be found in a variety of food service settings such as fine dining, cafeterias, casual dining and fast food establishments.
Most employers require a least a high school diploma or GED for this occupation. Although most employers are willing to hire cook supervisors who have several years of experience, employment and promotional opportunities may increase for those who obtained at least an associate's degree in culinary arts, hospitality services or a related discipline.
In most food establishments, food and food preparation products are delivered fresh on a daily basis. Cook supervisors may select and order food for the food service establishment and receive the deliveries. This involves ensuring the quality of the food received, stocking perishable and non-perishable items, as well as maintaining inventory levels on a daily basis.
Cooking supervisors hire, train and supervise food preparation and service staff, prepare budgets related to food services, schedule employees and ensure the establishment operates efficiently and profitably. Supervisors also ensure regulated sanitation and safety standards are followed and comply with local regulations. Sanitation and safety standards include proper food preparation, cleanliness of food areas and employees, as well as ensuring customers are safe from possible illness or infection related to food preparation and service.
Cook supervisors spend most of their time in the kitchen of a food service establishment. Conditions may be hot or cold depending on the type of food prepared, and much of their work is done standing up or walking around. Some hazards accompany this type of occupation such as working sharp equipment and machines, hot surfaces and wet floors. Work hours can be early mornings, late evenings, as well as holiday and weekends.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expected 6 percent growth for this occupation between 2008 and 2018, which is slower than the average employment growth for all occupations. Growing populations and a growing variety of food establishments will provide new job opportunities. In May 2008, the national median salary was $28,970 per year for this occupation.