How to be a Professional Dishwasher–Tips from Restaurant Dishwashers

Restaurants put a great deal of trust in the hands of their dishwashers. A good dishwasher is rare, but a great dishwasher is indispensable. It is the responsibility of the dishwasher to maintain the efficiency of the kitchen. In the best case scenario great things can happen. Ali Sonko, a dishwasher of the world-class Danish restaurant Noma was named a co-owner.

At DishwasherHero we hire only the best dishwashers to send to our clients. We know the value of a great dishwasher. 

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Here are a few ways you can standout at your restaurant as a professional dishwasher:

1. Punctuality is Key.

Be professional and make a strong impression on your employer by arriving 15 minutes early. If you travel by public transit, arriving early is even more important.

If you are running late call your employer. In the event that they are unable to be reached, alert them via text. Phone calls are always preferred. Grant your employer the courtesy of an update in the event of any mishap.

2. Do not text/talk on the phone while working

Distractions in the kitchen can be fatal. Your full attention is required in a kitchen full of hot pots and pans, knives, glassware, and other potential hazards. Your eyes and ears must be on alert at all times, especially when a cook warns, “Hot plate!”

3. Clean the kitchen at the end of your shift

Yes, in addition to keeping the kitchen clean throughout your shift you are also expected to clean the kitchen at the end of your shift. It is easy for newcomers to overlook this responsibility, but for restaurant veterans it is the sign of a true professional.

Sweeping the floor, mopping, and clearing clutter in the kitchen after your shift is completed is always appreciated by the staff that works after you. Forming good habits, such as this will build your reputation as a valued member of the dishwashing staff.

4. No bossing other staff around/polite

After working with the same group of people, it is easy to see the weakest link, but your job is dishwashing. Try your best to focus on your area of expertise for the moment. Although your opinion/feedback may be intelligent, it may not be requested by the higher ups.

We recommend dishwashers focus on just what they have been hired to do—wash dishes.

5. Wear professional attire

Although you are in the back, you are still a representation of the restaurant. Give your employer a sense of confidence in your ability by arriving in the proper attire.

The proper attire also honors food safety and health codes. Having a clean professional appearance, along with the proper accessories to assist you with your job deeply conveys professionalism. Having your own set of rubber gloves, a waterproof apron, and no slip shoes are simple choices that help make the job much easier.

6. Come to work with a great attitude

Everyone in the restaurant industry knows that dishwashing is a tough job, but employers still search for that one person with a great attitude.

At work you will spends hours working alongside one another, and it is vital that those hours together are a pleasant experience for everyone. Showing up to the shift tired, hung-over, or unmotivated is the quickest way to get fired. Everyone knows when a worker appreciates their job and when they are secretly resentful towards their coworkers.

Restaurants owners and caterers are busy people, and the last thing they want to deal with is an angry person on payroll.

7. Be hygienic

Food workers must obey the laws of Food Health and Hygiene. Be sure to also take care of your personal hygiene. Arrive to work clean, and always wash your hands after leaving the bathroom.

The health and safety of patrons relies on your cleanliness, as well as the trust and reputation of the business.

8. Be Safe

Know all of the rules for kitchen safety. Use proper technique when working with sharp objects. After you mop post wet floor signage. Knowledge of all kitchen safety measures prevent injury and make the environment safer and more productive.

9 & 10  Be reliable. Go the extra mile.

You are on the couch relaxing, and you receive a phone call from the restaurant that they need you to come in. What do you do? We say go!

Always go the extra mile. Every shift is an opportunity.  Reliability is gold. The story of Ali Sonko named as a co-owner of the establishment where he worked for 14 years. Other stories of restaurants nurturing their relationships with their dishwashers includes one restaurant’s practice of offering free language instruction for any of his employees.

It’s obvious, but it goes without saying. Hard work pays off.


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DishwasherHero is the ultimate stop for finding emergency dishwashers for restaurants, caterers, and events. Book your dishwasher today. We also love blogging about dishwashing and providing dishwashers with employment opportunities!

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