The Average Salary of Applebee's Line Cooks

Line cooks at Applebee's usually work one station per shift, such as grilling steaks. They set their stations up with utensils, spices and other accouterments, prep the grills and remove meats and vegetables from freezers. The biggest challenge for line cooks is coordinating the cooking of menu items while meeting Applebee's food presentation standards. If you can picture yourself hovering over a hot grill, with people shouting orders at you during rush hour, a job as an Applebee's line cook may be perfect for you. Average incomes are relatively low compared to most jobs.


Applebee's line cooks -- some of whom work part-time -- get paid by the hour. They earned average hourly rates of $10.67 in 2013, according to Glassdoor, or $21,350 per year. The job website Indeed lists average annual incomes for Applebee's line cooks at $24,000, or $11.54 per hour. Your annual income at Applebee's would likely fall between $14,000 and $36,000 in this job, or between $7 and $14 per hour. Incomes are usually contingent on experience, where you live and the number of years you've been with the restaurant.

Work Environment and Qualifications

It takes a lot of patience and hard work to be a line cook at Applebee's. You must be able to prepare meals quickly and accurately while standing on your feet for hours each shift. Although you don't necessary need a high school degree, you must be 18 to work as a line cook at Applebee's. Other essential requirements include physical strength, manual dexterity, mobility and the ability to read and write.

Income by Region

In 2013, average incomes for Applebee's line cooks varied within the four U.S. regions. In the Northeast region, the lowest incomes, $22,000, were in Pennsylvania and Maine, and the highest, $29,000, was in New York, according to Indeed. Midwesterners made between $19,000 and $26,000 per year, with the lowest earnings in South Dakota and highest in Illinois. If you worked in the South, you'd make $21,000 or $29,000, respectively, in Louisiana or Mississippi, which represented the lowest and highest salaries in that region. In the West, your annual income would range from $17,000 to $27,000, respectively, in Hawaii or California.

Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn't project job trends for Applebee's or line cooks in general. It does forecast job opportunities for chefs and head cooks, however, and expects them to remain the same over the next decade. You should be able to find a job as line cook because of high turnover in the restaurant industry. More jobs as an Applebee's line cook likely will be available in high-growth areas, especially where new shopping centers are under construction.

2018 Salary Information for Chefs and Head Cooks

Chefs and head cooks earned a median annual salary of $48,460 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, chefs and head cooks earned a 10th percentile salary of $32,230, meaning 90 percent earned more than this amount. The 90th percentile salary is $59,080, meaning 10 percent earn more. In 2018, 139,000 people were employed in the U.S. as chefs and head cooks.

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