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Restaurant meals don't just appear by magic. They start out as raw ingredients, and it can take a team of skilled workers to process those into the finished dish. Chefs may be the best-known members of the kitchen team, but the contribution of food preparation workers is key to successful catering.
As a food preparation worker you would take raw ingredients, such as vegetables, meat, seafood and poultry, and cut, dice, or grind them as needed. You might arrange cold dishes, or prepare salads, stir soup, weigh out ingredients or fetch utensils. You would probably also help to keep the kitchen and its equipment sparkling clean and hygienic.
What skills do food preparation workers need?
Food preparation workers need to be team players and able to work with others in a busy kitchen where there may be steady time pressure. You also need to be hygienic in your working habits and have the manual skills to prepare food quickly and neatly. You will be on the go much of the time, so a good level of physical fitness is also useful
Food Preparation Worker Training
You may be able to find a job as a food preparation worker straight out of high school, but you may wish to go further in your catering career. A diploma or degree program in culinary arts or a related field can prepare you to train as a chef or move up to supervisory positions.
Food Preparation Worker Job Outlook
The catering and hospitality industries are vast, and employed 850,000 food preparation workers in 2002.
Continued demand for catering services should see steady growth in job opportunities, but the quality, pay, and outlook of jobs will vary by establishment and location. The better your education and training, the more chance you will have of finding the best-paid jobs in high-quality food outlets.