Cooks and food preparation workers must be efficient, quick and work well as part of a team. Manual dexterity is helpful for cutting, chopping and plating. These workers also need creativity and a keen sense of taste and smell. Personal cleanliness is essential because most states require health certificates indicating that workers are free from communicable diseases. Knowledge of a foreign language can be an asset because it may improve communication with other restaurant staff, vendors and the restaurant's clientele.