What they do
Fast food cooks prepare a restricted range of food in fast food restaurants. They inspect and wash raw ingredients then prepare and cook the food according to pre-set menus and customers’ requirements. In smaller establishments, these cooks may take orders and wash cooking equipment, kitchen surfaces and cutlery. They can find work all over WA, from busy Perth cafes, fish and chip shops in coastal towns, to roadhouses and hotels in regional areas.
Specialisations include: Short order cook
Fast food cooks work in the kitchens of fast food restaurants, food courts, canteens and cafes that can be noisy, cramped and hot. They are required to produce meals very quickly, so their work environment can also be very busy and stressful. They often work long hours during early morning, evening and weekend shifts.
Tools and technologies
Fast food cooks use cooking utensils such as knives, tongs, pots, pans, mixing spoons and bowls. They often also use industrial ovens, grills and fryers, as well as large electrical mixers. Since hygiene standards are very important, these cooks are usually required to wear hats or hair nets, gloves and enclosed non-slip shoes. They are frequently required to wear uniforms.
How do I become one?
Education and training
You can work as a fast food cook without any formal qualifications and get training on the job. However, entry into this occupation may be improved by obtaining a qualification in hospitality.
The Certificates I and II in Hospitality and Certificate II in Kitchen Operations are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.
You can also undertake a traineeship in hospitality (commercial cookery) (level 2) or hospitality (Asian cookery) (level 2). The traineeships take nine months to complete and are available as a school-based traineeship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer, enabling you to complete training towards a nationally recognised qualification. You spend time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider.
You can do an apprenticeship or traineeship if you are a school-leaver, re-entering the workforce or as an adult or mature-aged person wishing to change careers. You can even begin your apprenticeship or traineeship while you're still at school.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
Required registration and licensing