Cook, Institution and Cafeteria Salary
The average Institution and Cafeteria Cook in the United States can expect to rake in roughly $11.73 per hour. The most important factor affecting compensation for this group is geography, followed by tenure and the particular employer. For the most part, Institution and Cafeteria Cooks enjoy their work and report high levels of job satisfaction. Health benefits are not enjoyed by everyone in this line of work, and roughly two in five lack any coverage at all. Medical benefits are reported by the larger part and dental coverage is claimed by slightly less than half. Institution and Cafeteria Cooks survey participants are largely women, dominating at 66 percent. The information for this snapshot was generated by responses to the PayScale salary survey.
Job Description for Cook, Institution and Cafeteria
Large institutions such as hospitals, hotels, and schools often have cafeterias for visitors and staff to order and eat food. Cafeteria cooks prepare and cook food for these guests that adhere to the relevant health guidelines and their institution's quality standards.Read More...
These professionals work indoors in a kitchen environment. They often collaborate with other cooks in the cafeteria and are responsible for documenting the ingredients required for the foods they are either asked to prepare or decide to prepare. Cooks who work at specialized institutions - for example, hospitals and assisted living facilities - may also be required to know the type of food that their clients can and cannot eat. This may also include preparing food choices that fit common dietary requirements, such as meals that are low in fat or contain no sugar. Cafeteria cooks must also follow the proper procedures for food waste and maintaining a sanitary workstation.
Cafeteria cooks must be able to efficiently establish an effective system for food preparation in the kitchen. This includes preparing their stations, cooking their food, serving a consistent portion size, and being able to adjust dishes if a client has special food related needs. They must able to prepare food under strict deadlines (such as specific lunch and dinner times), and they typically must be able to prepare food quickly and efficiently. The position may be both physically and mentally demanding; it also requires excellent communication skills with colleagues and, as needed, customers.
Cafeteria cooks generally need to provide proof of culinary arts and food preparation certification or accreditation from an accredited institution. Previous experience may be preferred.
Cook, Institution and Cafeteria Tasks
- Prepare ingredients by washing, chopping, weighing, and measuring.
- Operate cafeteria's equipment to cook and produce meals.
- Maintain food logs, expenditures, and inventory.
- Clean and maintain work area, utensils, and dishes.
- Monitor food quality and test for doneness, serving in standard portions and presentations.
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Popular Employer Salaries for Cook, Institution and Cafeteria
Many Institution and Cafeteria Cooks can be found at Compass Group, Sodexo, Inc., Aramark, Brookdale Senior Living Inc., and Unidine Corporation, firms that are at the top of the field. The biggest paychecks can be found at Unidine Corporation — the median salary there is $27K. Aramark, KinderCare Learning Centers, Inc., and Sodexo, Inc. are a few other companies that offer generous salaries, with Institution and Cafeteria Cooks earning around $27K, $26K, or $25K at each firm, respectively.
Also approaching the lower end are Compass Group at $23K, Brookdale Senior Living Inc. at $23K, and Brookdale Living Communities, Inc. at $25K.
Pay by Experience Level for Cook, Institution and Cafeteria
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Institution and Cafeteria Cooks do not generally earn higher incomes from more experience in the field. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $22K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $24K on average. Institution and Cafeteria Cooks who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $26K. In the end, more experience does seem to mean larger paychecks; seasoned Institution and Cafeteria Cooks with more than 20 years of experience earn a predictably higher median salary of $29K.
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Key Stats for Cook, Institution and Cafeteria
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