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Is Your Job Actually Important to Your Restaurant?

Chef Steven Howard| Chef's Blade


For anyone who has been in the industry for any appreciable time, they know this is the most important position in any restaurant. You can cook the most incredible food in the world, but if you don’t have dishes to put it on, it’s pointless – kind of like being all dressed up with nowhere to go.

You affect the profitability of the restaurant by making sure each utensil, plate, and glass sparkles without any residue or residual food particles. The chef’s presentation only works on a glistening stage. The crystalline brick red pinot noir only invites the drinker if the glass shines like a diamond. Problems with unclean dishes, scummy silverware, or glasses with residue is usually a product of a poorly operating dish machine, so you keep customers coming back to the restaurant and keep the business profitable by maintaining the equipment and machinery. Also make sure that when dishes are dry you do a sight inspection and final wipe down before distributing them to their proper stations. This saves all the other employees time (therefore money) in having to check your work. Nothing destroys a restaurant faster than dirty plates, glasses, and silverware.

Most dishwashers want to become cooks. While you can’t take time away from your dish shift, you can show up to work a couple hours before your shift and work for free with the prep cooks who will be happy to have you help with their workload. Then when a position becomes open, the manager will hire your dish replacement, you will train them, and then your cooking career is off and running!

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