A short order cook is a cook who specializes in preparing simple dishes which can be cooked very quickly. These types of cooks work in places like diners and fast food restaurants, where speedy service is emphasized, and the menu tends to be kept very simple. Some short order cooks have formal training, but others learn through apprenticeship by working in kitchens and seeing experienced cooks on the job. Work is usually easy to find for a short order cook, because restaurants often need new staff.
Short order cooks can prepare the items listed on the menu, along with a few variations. Some create special dishes which are not formally listed or disclosed to diners, but can be made for those “in the know” who are familiar with the cook’s repertoire. Typically, short order cooks work primarily at the grill, although they also use a stove in the preparation of some dishes, and they may prepare baked goods such as biscuits as well.