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A grill cook must heat food on a grill to the individual preferences of the customer who orders it. By paying attention to speed, cleanliness and organization, a grill cook ensures that each food item prepared meets both the restaurant's and the customer's standards. Grill cooks are not always required to have prior experience in food services; however, it is often preferred.
A grill cook must understand the grill area layout, how to cook using prescribed portions, grilling procedures, and presentation requirements. Some are required to show proof of food handler certification. Depending on the restaurant, some grill cooks must prepare breakfast foods, perform short-order cooking, fry foods, grill meats and roast vegetables. All grill cooks must maintain safe food handling practices as required by the restaurant and the U.S. Department of Health.
Grill cooks must be able to safely use food service equipment such as grills, fryers, stoves, knives, slicers, blenders, choppers and ovens. Grill cooks walk frequently and are on their feet for the entire shift. Some lifting, carrying, pushing and pulling is usually required.
After gaining experience in various cuisines and at other kitchen stations, grill cooks can move into other kitchen roles such as chef or sous chef. Some employers, regardless of your experience as a grill cook, will require formal culinary training.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, grill cooks can expect to make roughly between $15,000 and $20,000 a year. However, a grill cook's earning potential is determined greatly by the type of employer, the employer's location and the cook's experience and/or professional training.
Grill cooks may be required to know how to chop, slice and dice vegetables, as they may not be able to rely on a prep cook to prepare their ingredients. In fact, grill cooks may find themselves doing everything from making soup to baking cookies, depending on the size of the kitchen and the number of cooks it can afford to hire.