Cook, Fast Food Salary

Pay for Fast Food Cooks in the United States sits in the ballpark of $7.95 per hour. Compensation ranges between $7.21 per hour and $9.77. The specific employer is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by the particular city and experience level. Job satisfaction is considered about average by most people in this profession. About an eighth report receiving medical coverage from their employers and less than one-tenth collect dental insurance. Generally, women make up less than a third of all Fast Food Cooks who answered the questionnnaire. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$7.21 - $9.77
MEDIAN: $7.00

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National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
Hourly Rate
$7.21 - $9.77  
Hourly Tips
$0.00 - $1.05  
$1.54 - $15.82  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
$0.00 - $147.95  
Profit Sharing
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
$15,020 - $21,030  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 590
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Job Description for Cook, Fast Food

A fast food cook holds an entry-level position in casual, quick-serve restaurants. Most of these establishments are part of national chains, and thus put an emphasis on consistency of output on their cooks. A fast food cook normally learn one station (including its required food preparation) and then moves to others. New fast food cooks are traditionally paired at first with more experienced cooks who gradually add more and more duties to the new cook's responsibilities. A cook at this level frequently finds that many of the processes are automated and that a variety of timers and temperature gauges take much of the judgment and guesswork out of the food-preparation process, helping the cook ensure consistent product output.


Cook, Fast Food Tasks

  • Bake, roast, fry, grill, meats, fish, and other foods.
  • Clean and sanitize work areas, equipment, and tools.
  • Prepare a short range of menu items in a fast-food restaurant.

Cook, Fast Food Job Listings

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Popular Employer Salaries for Cook, Fast Food

Known for taking on a considerable number of Fast Food Cooks, McDonald's Restaurants Ltd., Burger King Corporation, McDonald's Corporation, Chick-Fil-A Inc, and Sonic Drive - In are leading firms in the industry. For Fast Food Cooks, comfortable salaries can be found at Whataburger Restaurants Lp.; in fact, median earnings sit around $18K, the highest in the area. Soaring salaries can also be found at Chick-Fil-A Inc, Sonic Drive - In, and Zaxby's, where earnings of $17K, $17K, or $16K are standard for Fast Food Cooks.

The lowest salaries can be found at Burger King Corporation — median pay is $15K — and there is little variation in compensation, with paychecks starting at $15K and only reaching $18K. Employees at Sonic Restaurants Inc, Taco Bell Corporation, and McDonald's Restaurants Ltd. can also expect below-average earnings of $16K.

Pay by Experience Level for Cook, Fast Food

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.

Fast Food Cooks with more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Salaries for inexperienced workers average out to $17K, and those with five to 10 years' experience earn a higher median of $17K. Fast Food Cooks who work for 10 to 20 years in their occupation tend to earn about $17K. Ultimately, more time spent in the workforce does seem to translate to bigger paychecks; seasoned veterans with more than 20 years of experience report a median income of $18K.

Cook, Fast Food Reviews

What is it like working as a Cook, Fast Food?

Cook, Fast Food in Saginaw:
"Great Place."
Pros: Hard work is recognized/ rewarded. Great management and good employees, great food, and clean restaurant.
Cons: Long hours, very late close time, wouldn't get out of work until 1-2 AM, lack of variety.

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Experience Affects Cook, Fast Food Salaries

up arrow 11%

up arrow 4%

up arrow 4%

National Average

Job Satisfaction

Rated 3 out of 5
based on 93 votes.


25 %
75 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
1-4 years
5-9 years
10-19 years
20 years or more

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 12%
dental benefits
Dental: 6%
medical benefits
Vision: 4%
dental benefits
None: 87%