How to Get a Dishwasher Job at a Restaurant

One of the most important jobs in a professional kitchen (and in home kitchens alike!) is that of a dishwasher. Unfortunately a dishwasher job is also one of the least appreciated.

What is the Job Description of a Dishwasher?

The job of a dishwasher is exactly what it sounds like-washing dishes. This can mean washing them by hand, or loading a commercial dishwasher. The job is generally not fun, provides relatively low pay, and is overall not a respected position to have, even though it is a necessary position in all restaurants, unless they rely on paper products only of course.

Responsibilities include not only washing dishes and making sure they are clean, but also making sure they are dry and put away, and in some restaurants, even making sure they end up the proper temperature for service (plates designated for hot foods in warming box, plates for cold foods in the refrigerator). The hours can be long, and pretty busy, since even during a slow period dishes are constantly being used. Dishwashers are not only responsible for dishes and plates that customers use, but also pots, pans, and utensils used by chefs who prepare food in the kitchen.

Why Would Anyone Want to Get a Dishwasher Job?

It’s no secret that most people who become dishwashers don’t do it because they truly enjoy washing dishes. Usually one becomes a dishwasher for one of two reasons: They simply need a job, or they want to break into the restaurant or industry and being a dishwasher is probably the easiest jobs to get with no experience, skills or education.

Speaking of skills, there are very few requirements. The ability to wash dishes until they are clean is most important, and being able to do it quickly is a bonus. If you can’t work on your feet at a relatively quick pace for your entire shift, you probably won’t make a great dishwasher. You won’t have to deal with customers, and even communicating with the rest of the staff is minimal. So the ability to wash dishes is pretty much all there is to it.

If you’re looking to break your way in to a popular or high end establishment, starting off as dishwasher is a popular route. Often if have a passion for food and cooking, a chef will be impressed with your willingness to do what is considered a demeaning job and move you up pretty quickly or at least let you try your hands at other positions until you can prove yourself. This is assuming that you work hard, show up on time every time, and get the dishes clean to perfection of course.

If you simply need a job, and any will do, a dishwasher is a pretty easy job to obtain. Many dishwashers don’t have professional restaurant experience, and since the turnover rate for dishwashers is pretty high, this is perfect for someone who can’t afford to be picky when it comes to employment.

How Can I Get a Restaurant Job as a Dishwasher?

Walk into a restaurant, and fill out an application. That’s pretty much it. Even if there isn’t a position open immediately, chances are one will open up soon. If you are truly looking to get a career started, talk to the Head Chef. Tell him about yourself, and what your goals are. It’s not uncommon for aspiring chefs and restauranteurs to offer to wash dishes for free to be given the opportunity to prove themselves. While working for free doesn’t seem fun at all, if it will help you achieve your ultimate goal it can be worth it, and remember it’s only temporary.

Bottom line: Washing dishes is not the best job out there, but if it can provide a source of income or a foot in the door to get to your dream, it’s not the worst job in the world.

More Information about Dishwasher Jobs:

Dishwasher Job Salary and Pay Rate Information

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