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(CNN)   Celebrity chefs and restaurateurs credit the humble stinky liquid-drenched dishwasher for saving their asses. "No guest, in my opinion, will ever know the importance of this person"   ( cnn.com) divider line
    More: Obvious, dishwashers, MVPs, washing dishes, Fair Labor Standards Act  
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1845 clicks; posted to Business » on 04 Sep 2014 at 4:19 PM (2 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-09-04 02:57:21 PM  
I worked in a restaurant washing dishes for a couple of summers (at the same place, I was also a line cook, waiter, and bartender).

It was tough work and the other dish washers where I were supplemented their incomes selling drugs.  The funniest thing that happened was when I had a table of some couples and they asked me if I knew where they could get a score.

I didn't do drugs and told them.  But I did bring it to the attention of the dishwasher who came out to give the table the big eye and coolly told me that they were narcs.

I have to agree with the article.  If you want to bring a restaurant to its knees, have the dishwasher walk out in a shift.  And when he comes in stoned as Tommy Chong, as a waiter, you need to inspect every inch of silverware, glassware and plates that you give your customers to make sure it doesn't have residue from the cheese ridden French Onion Soup that was the special.
 
2014-09-04 04:27:05 PM  
The article glossed over the rest of the quote, which I believe went something like "...but we're still going to pay him or her as little as humanly possible, treat him or her like a servant, and continue this behavior for as long as we can get away with it, though."
 
2014-09-04 04:27:46 PM  
I spent my high school working career as a dishwasher in a mexican restaurant.  With those line cooks you quickly learned to drink jalapeno juice without flinching.  Their favorite prank was to load up your straw with the stuff.

I also only made minimum wage for 6 months.  There is no excuse for anybody to make that little after a few months unless you suck at life.
 
2014-09-04 04:28:35 PM  
Former dishwasher in High School. Minimum wage, but shared in the tip pool. I was one of two. I did dishes and we had a grease guy for pots/pans who would only show up when he felt like it as he was a raging alcoholic. The nights I had to do both jobs meant I had to step down into the seventh circle of hell. Some nights I even had to bus tables too. got free food out of it anytime for me and my family. Karma caught up to the raging alcoholic because someone was running booze out of the back room and he got blamed for it. The day I quit that job was one of the happiest days of my life. It was one of 3 jobs I had at the time along with going to school.

/Bootstrappy
 
2014-09-04 04:31:34 PM  
As a former pearl diver, I agree. Let the sommelier go back and get his fancy cup on a chain caught in the dishwasher.
 
2014-09-04 04:33:28 PM  
 
2014-09-04 04:33:31 PM  
OT:

I understand the reason for the CNN icon shenanigans, however I don't understand the relevance of the -$4,600 (if any).
 
2014-09-04 04:50:04 PM  

Nexzus: OT:

I understand the reason for the CNN icon shenanigans, however I don't understand the relevance of the -$4,600 (if any).


Wolf Blitzer's score on Celebrity Jeopardy. Though I don't get the CNN icon shenanigans in general.
 
2014-09-04 04:57:26 PM  
Good place to work your way up from.

And any chef who isn't able to step in for the DW when he's down is no chef.
 
2014-09-04 05:03:14 PM  

LucklessWonder: Nexzus: OT:

I understand the reason for the CNN icon shenanigans, however I don't understand the relevance of the -$4,600 (if any).

Wolf Blitzer's score on Celebrity Jeopardy. Though I don't get the CNN icon shenanigans in general.


Lose a couple planes and then get back to us
 
2014-09-04 05:08:39 PM  
Approves of new CNN logo:

static.giantbomb.com
 
2014-09-04 05:10:49 PM  
Dishwashers are absolutely a vital portion of your team. Any chef worth his bones knows this. And you treat them as part of your team, or you are in some deep trouble.

The best chefs that I know all got their start in the dish room. Hells knows I spent my time in the dish room. The chefs I respect the most, still wind up in there, to give their boys or girls a hand. Chef Casey Douglas in Easthampton, brilliant guy, he owns the Apollo Grill, every night once the line is clear, he is the first one out back to give the dishwasher a hand, and no one leaves the joint until the dishwasher is clear. At  Glenndale Arena, Chef Jay was the regional chef for Sports Entertainment, and even with six guys in the dishroom for an arena for 16,000 people, he and his executive sous, were the first guys diving in and giving a hand when things got dicey. At the Iron Horse, I know that I was in there with my guy, when things were hectic, because I knew my crew could handle the line, but the dishwasher, that was vital to getting through the night, and I paid my guys better than damn near anyone, because it was a hard job. It was also where you find and train your next line crew. Some of my best crew have been on that dish line, and you promote from it, because the guys or gals who stick with you, they need to see that there's room for advancement, and that their commitment is rewarded. Any cook worth a damn has done time in the dishroom, and realizes that the job is hard, it's not pretty, and it's vital to the way the business is run. It's also a portal into the kitchen. You train your dishwashers to do more, you give them more responsibility, and you promote folks from that position into the kitchen. That commitment has to be rewarded.

Good dishwashers are like gold. They are valuable members of your team. It sometimes breaks your heart to see them leave the dishroom for the line, when you have to train a new guy, because you lean on them for the support. It is also satisfying as heck to see guys who got their start in the dishroom become great cooks, to grow into the position. They realize that you value their work, and the team values their contributions. You treat your dishwashers as disposable, then you've got issues in your kitchen, beyond just the cleaning of your dishes and the custodial aspect that most dishwashers wind up taking care of. That points to you having a team that classifies themselves above such work, and in kitchens NO ONE is above cleaning up after themselves. I see places that treat their dishwashers like sh*t, and those are places I don't want to touch with a ten foot pole. It speaks to deeper problems than just how they treat folks, and it is a symptom of how they put together their team, and how they approach food and labor in general.
 
2014-09-04 05:22:47 PM  
I wouldn't suggest making fun of dish washers.  I do that kind of work myself at a local Navy base,
and it's not a good idea to offend someone who can slip you a contaminated dish.  (Yes, it is
possible for a dish to be contaminated.)
 
2014-09-04 05:25:10 PM  
My first job was as a dishwasher at a golf course restaurant. Also was bus boy, server/waiter, and line cook at various points in time there. Was a disgusting job, but for a high school kid, I could've had it worse. I was within walking distance of home, and my brother worked in the pro shop, so we would often take out the golf carts at night. Lot of shenanigans went on there.

Glad I worked there with my younger metabolism because I ate so much free food and dessert, it would kill me now.
 
2014-09-04 05:29:10 PM  
Spent a lot of years in the kitchen before I moved up to consulting work - my first three restaurant jobs were washing dishes - the first job was for a place with the slowest dishwashing machine ever made - by end of breakfast, we would have two tables piled with unwashed dishes because the machine could not keep up.  Learned a lot there, mostly about showing up and keeping working.

Second was for a crazy couple, better hardware but a few years later, the owner and his wife got into a donnybrook in the dining room about 9 PM and she pulled out a pistol and took a shot at him (might have been a revolver, but she missed anyway).

Third job lasted for 8 years, thru high school then college - weekends, vacations, summers.  Started out washing dishes, worked into prep/third man, then graduated to prep cook and line cook.  In retrospect, it might have been the best job I ever had, we enjoyed the work, the place was popular and busy.  the owner was a good guy.

Learned a lot working in a small restaurant, was the golden age when a kid could have a real job.
 
2014-09-04 05:31:26 PM  

hubiestubert: Dishwashers are absolutely a vital portion of your team. Any chef worth his bones knows this. And you treat them as part of your team, or you are in some deep trouble.


I wish that was the case. I've worked as a dishwasher and a porter, and, no, not a single person at the three locations at which I worked thought of me as a seed from which a glorious new culinary career would blossom. Of course, I worked in places that weren't exactly hotbeds of progressive food culture, too.
 
2014-09-04 05:45:50 PM  
Kudos to subby for spelling accuracy.


/ *sigh* The things I do for FARK.
 
2014-09-04 05:45:55 PM  
As an anti-social, grouchy bastard, one of the few crap wage, menial jobs I didn't mind was dishwasher. If you work hard and show up every day, no one ever bugs you.

/or cares if you smoke a bowl on your break, not that I would condone illegal activity, of course ;p
 
2014-09-04 05:47:43 PM  
Washing dishes.  The de facto answer for privileged college grads that claim they understand hard work.

I'm not saying it isn't hard.  I'm not saying everybody is required to have character defining trials and tribulations.  But some folks make it sound like they spent twenty years as a migrant worker because they washed dishes for a couple summers.

/It'd be cool if they got paid more
//fark any restaurant manager that doesn't make them feel part of the team
 
2014-09-04 05:49:14 PM  
Article fails for not mentioning Dishwasher Pete.
 
2014-09-04 05:55:26 PM  

hubiestubert: Dishwashers are absolutely a vital portion of your team. Any chef worth his bones knows this. And you treat them as part of your team, or you are in some deep trouble.
 ...


I know pretty much nothing about the restaurant industry aside from what I like to eat and how much I pay, but I always appreciate reading your insights into it. The passion is very evident.
 
2014-09-04 06:02:41 PM  
I washed dishes for several years in high school and college in a variety of restaurants, banquet halls, dorms.   Pots and Pans duty was the WORST!   Scrubbing with the steel wool with the super hot water and you end up tearing the skin right off your knuckles.   Hated that.
 
2014-09-04 06:05:18 PM  
Did I not say this in last week's food thread?

If you make recipes from celebrity chefs, you will soon find out who does their own dishes and who does not.

(casts evil eye at Bobby Flay)
 
2014-09-04 06:27:36 PM  

hubiestubert: Dishwashers are absolutely a vital portion of your team


i used to work at a restaurant as a line cook, quit, years later went back, and my first day on the job... the dishwashing machine breaks, and the dishwasher quits... so, I was the dishwasher for the next couple weeks...

and for the first couple of nights, without a dishwashing machine.  those were a couple of days...

but yeah, you can't serve shiat if you're out of plates and wine glasses...  and, it is possible to get backed up in the dishwashing station.  not fun.  and, JESUS CHRIST, did you really have to use that much lipstick!?!?!?!?

/ but, dishwashing is basically a sacrifice to the system... just accept it the misery, and then it's almost fun.
// i was soaked to the core by the end of the night though, and my hands were basically pale dead raisin flesh... that was the worst part... my hands... after leaving work, it was straight to the pharmacy for hand lotion.
 
2014-09-04 06:29:55 PM  
i worked as a dishwasher. caught the chef and the maitre de smoking pot and after that i got a decent raise. it also convinced me that after doing some prep work and watching the regular staff working that restaurant work was not for me, so it was a valuable lesson for a kid with some interest in the culinary world
 
2014-09-04 07:11:40 PM  

Smeggy Smurf: I spent my high school working career as a dishwasher in a mexican restaurant.  With those line cooks you quickly learned to drink jalapeno juice without flinching.  Their favorite prank was to load up your straw with the stuff.

I also only made minimum wage for 6 months.  There is no excuse for anybody to make that little after a few months unless you suck at life.


Hah! Loser. I never settled for minimum wage.

I got 20 cents over minimum wage at the package store to sort all the bottles and cans that our esteemed customers returned for nickels, so that they could raise funds to invest in tall boys, generic cigarettes, and scratch tickets.
 
2014-09-04 07:32:36 PM  

The Googles Do Nothing: I washed dishes for several years in high school and college in a variety of restaurants, banquet halls, dorms.   Pots and Pans duty was the WORST!   Scrubbing with the steel wool with the super hot water and you end up tearing the skin right off your knuckles.   Hated that.


Working as a porter was worse, for me. Scalding my hands and arms while washing pots, or getting stitched up because someone left a knife somewhere it wasn't supposed to be, takes a back seat to spending hours cleaning various bodily fluids and solids off the floor, walls, and hardware, because someone thought it'd be funny to smear shiat on the walls while drunk and then barf all over the place. Dealing with a shift's worth of trash upended next to the building, because some asshole thought it'd be funny to roll a Dumpster. Steam-cleaning a kitchen & prep area, floor to ceiling. Dumping traps.

I don't miss it.
 
2014-09-04 07:41:26 PM  
Isn't there a mechanical device that performs the function of washing dishes?
 
2014-09-04 07:41:50 PM  

tlchwi02: i worked as a dishwasher. caught the chef and the maitre de smoking pot and after that i got a decent raise. it also convinced me that after doing some prep work and watching the regular staff working that restaurant work was not for me, so it was a valuable lesson for a kid with some interest in the culinary world


Snerk. Who are you going to narc out the chef to? The owner? For pot? Hahaha. Good luck with that. And farking with the maître d' is like farking with a Marine Gunnery Sergeant. This sounds more like they decided you weren't right for the job and ran you out without you even knowing.
 
2014-09-04 08:42:02 PM  

pute kisses like a man: hubiestubert: Dishwashers are absolutely a vital portion of your team

i used to work at a restaurant as a line cook, quit, years later went back, and my first day on the job... the dishwashing machine breaks, and the dishwasher quits... so, I was the dishwasher for the next couple weeks...

and for the first couple of nights, without a dishwashing machine.  those were a couple of days...

but yeah, you can't serve shiat if you're out of plates and wine glasses...  and, it is possible to get backed up in the dishwashing station.  not fun.  and, JESUS CHRIST, did you really have to use that much lipstick!?!?!?!?

/ but, dishwashing is basically a sacrifice to the system... just accept it the misery, and then it's almost fun.
// i was soaked to the core by the end of the night though, and my hands were basically pale dead raisin flesh... that was the worst part... my hands... after leaving work, it was straight to the pharmacy for hand lotion.


This is why you KEEP your service contract open for your Hobart. Your Hobart is a Kitchen God, one of the many Kami you propitiate and feed a steady diet of blood and sweat, and occasionally the blood, sweat and tears of service personnel to make sure its guts are in working order. One of the first things I do when I take over a new kitchen is review who the joint has for repair services, and if they're lacking, it's one of the first orders of business to get those contracts set up. Most of the time, Hobart or other services will send someone out until 8pm, because they know that you can't have your machine down for long. They're tough machines, they're relatively simple to keep running and to fix, but if they do go down, they're a b*tch to do without. When I was at the Iron Horse, our Hobart when down, and my dishwasher nearly walked out, until he realized that EVERYONE was doing dishes with him. He had been burned a few times by kitchen managers, and he was ready to bail when he saw the machine go down, and then when he realized that we had the tri-sink ready to go, and that his buddies who got him the job were already doing pots and pans, he calmed the heck down. He was a good kid, never really able to make the jump into the kitchen, but he was strong in the dishroom, and by the time he left the Horse, he was making more per hour than some of the line cooks in the area. Good cat to have around, and I likened working at the Horse to training with weights in a pool. You could make it on that line, or in that job, you could go anywhere in the area and do just fine. I used to have other KMs call and see if I had anyone who needed just part time, because the crew we had was so damn good. We used to do about 250 covers in the space of an hour and a half or so, and once you get that many plates moving, that quickly, you can handle 600 in the course of a six hour shift, easy. My dishwashers were f*cking Gods, and so were my grill guys or garde mangers.
 
2014-09-04 08:58:55 PM  

hubiestubert: Your Hobart is a Kitchen God


gospel
 
2014-09-04 09:06:50 PM  

tlchwi02: i worked as a dishwasher. caught the chef and the maitre de smoking pot and after that i got a decent raise. it also convinced me that after doing some prep work and watching the regular staff working that restaurant work was not for me, so it was a valuable lesson for a kid with some interest in the culinary world


Back in the day at the Iron Horse, I hired a guy just for the story, and to piss off a manager at a bar I used to frequent after getting out. Curly was fired from Packards, because he got caught railing said manager's girlfriend on a pool table on the third floor, just a bit before closing time. I hired him essentially so that I could tell the bartenders in earshot of said manager about this AMAZINGLY SKILLED grill man who just made my life a whole lot easier. He also sold a fair amount of pot on the side. One day, we had P-Funk come in to play, and their road manager asked me if I knew anyone who could hook them up, because they'd hit a roadblock, and they had to toss their entire supply. I turned to Curly and told him in no uncertain terms, that he was to go with the road manager, take care of whatever they needed, and BE BACK BY 5PM, NO MATTER WHAT. To his credit, he went and smoked up P-Funk and then got his ass back on the line, a bit bleary, and the owner asked me if Curly was OK, and I told him, truthfully, that Curly was just fine, and that he'd really stepped up that day to make sure that the show could go off without a hitch. I paid one of my guys to go out and smoke up P-Funk and I regret nothing.

Pot in this business isn't much of anything. At Glenndale Arena, the other manager for the clubs sold pot to pretty much the entire building staff, including the chef and the executive sous. It's a part of the culture, and unless someone is just entirely incapable of working, you let sleeping dogs lie. Heck, I had a guy at Sugarloaf Mountain that I had to send OFF the line, because he wasn't stoned. Marko was a great cook, and we were always in tune, we rarely had to speak, and we were so in synch that it sort of creeped out waitstaff, because he could nod and inhale, and I could translate for the waitstaff fairly complex updates on their orders. We just had worked together enough, that we KNEW what the other was going to do without really looking. Marko, one day, was just off his game. And when I realized how bad off he was, I realized that he WASN'T stoned. And he was a wreck. He was making mistakes, his timing was way off, and I told him flat out, that if he didn't get it together, or he didn't smoke up, that I'd have to send him home. He eventually pulled it together, but he was so used to working stoned, that without it, he was a shambles. Mind you, pot was how he self medicated past his PTSD, and he eventually got some help, and I was glad for it, because he was a strong, strong line cook, and a good cat. But he was NOT someone that dealt with straight up cold turkey reality at that point.
 
2014-09-04 10:23:54 PM  
'Restaurateur' is the dumbest word in the history of written language.
 
2014-09-04 10:45:46 PM  
and here I thought I was good because I worked the wash line in the college I was attending.
 
2014-09-04 11:13:25 PM  

Schroedinger's Glory Hole: Washing dishes.  The de facto answer for privileged college grads that claim they understand hard work.

I'm not saying it isn't hard.  I'm not saying everybody is required to have character defining trials and tribulations.  But some folks make it sound like they spent twenty years as a migrant worker because they washed dishes for a couple summers.

/It'd be cool if they got paid more
//fark any restaurant manager that doesn't make them feel part of the team


It's not hard. It sucks, it's certainly not fun. But it's not hard which is why pretty much anyone with a brain stem can get a job washing dishes. And why so many stoners do it.

People act like its migrant work because for those people it's the closest thing they've ever done to actual labor. When you spend all say in a climate controlled office screwing around on Fark, the summer spent dishwashing feels like migrant farming to you.
 
2014-09-05 12:11:44 AM  
Breaking news: the lowest-paid, least-respected, "least-skilled" employee is actually incredibly important. Maybe even more than .00000004% as important as the CEO or whatever the pay disparity suggests.


Dishwasher Pete's book sucks donkeyfarks, btw.
 
2014-09-05 01:12:51 AM  

The Googles Do Nothing: I washed dishes for several years in high school and college in a variety of restaurants, banquet halls, dorms.   Pots and Pans duty was the WORST!   Scrubbing with the steel wool with the super hot water and you end up tearing the skin right off your knuckles.   Hated that.


LUXURY!  I ran out of hot water 30 minutes into the 7 hour shift.  Washing greasy plates in a Mexican restaurants with cold water is damned near impossible.

Yes there were lots of complaints about food poisoning there.
 
2014-09-05 05:34:15 AM  

FormlessOne: The article glossed over the rest of the quote, which I believe went something like "...but we're still going to pay him or her as little as humanly possible, treat him or her like a servant, and continue this behavior for as long as we can get away with it, though."


Yes, this. It's insane to laud them so obsequiously while counting your mountains of money with no shame. Just above minimum wage vs 2-3 times what the highest paid cooks make (FOH pile of money) should provide the Sommelier with a tad more shame.

Only dishwashing I've ever done is the occasional volunteer shift as sous-chef or veteran cook when needed. Done without fanfare, but out of respect for the team. It sucks, I was still making my wage or salary and it sucked. It can be relaxing for a little while, maybe even a shift a couple times a year, to not have much to worry about w/r/t service and prep, it still sucks.

I talk to the dishwashers I work with as much as possible, despite nearly universal language issues. I clean up after myself and stack busbins of dishes in an organized matter. I make them food I would want for their staff meal. When the sink clogs up or the smoker needs cleaning or the drain bucket in the fridge needs emptying, I put on gloves. I don't want their jobs nor them to have it. It is what it is, no self congratulatory empathy covers it.
 
2014-09-05 10:09:25 AM  
I used to wash dishes too.  Man, that was a lot of dishes, even with the industrial dishwasher, it took me a good 4-5 hours to do them all.
 
2014-09-05 12:53:57 PM  
If you have ever run any kind of kitchen then you have had days when the dishwasher doesn't show up. That is what they do, it is why they are dishwashers. An important but easily replaceable cog in the wheel. It is a job the literally anyone can do.
 
2014-09-05 01:47:40 PM  
Guests might not but people in the industry sure do. When Thomas Keller opened Per Se, he flew the French Laundry dishwashing crew out to NY to train the dishwashers at the new place.
 
2014-09-05 02:27:34 PM  

Kuroshin: Approves of new CNN logo:

[static.giantbomb.com image 684x412]


Well that answers that
 
2014-09-05 02:52:38 PM  
First job i ever took at 16 was a dishwashing job.  I quit in 3 days, and decided to study so I could enter college and never, ever have to do that again.
 
2014-09-05 03:28:45 PM  

CMYK and PMS: If you have ever run any kind of kitchen then you have had days when the dishwasher doesn't show up. That is what they do, it is why they are dishwashers. An important but easily replaceable cog in the wheel. It is a job the literally anyone can do.


Thank you for illustrating exactly the attitude that causes me to shun a joint. When you treat employees like cogs, your food and service reflect that. You can just taste the resentment inherent in every bite, and it's just not the spice profile that don't like.
 
2014-09-05 03:30:35 PM  
"...that I like"...

/stoopid mobile
 
2014-09-05 03:55:10 PM  

hubiestubert: CMYK and PMS: If you have ever run any kind of kitchen then you have had days when the dishwasher doesn't show up. That is what they do, it is why they are dishwashers. An important but easily replaceable cog in the wheel. It is a job the literally anyone can do.

Thank you for illustrating exactly the attitude that causes me to shun a joint. When you treat employees like cogs, your food and service reflect that. You can just taste the resentment inherent in every bite, and it's just not the spice profile that don't like.


Ok, you keep thinking that everyone is beautiful in their own way and every job is as valuable as any other. I've been through dishwashers quitting on me so I roll my sleeves up and do it myself until I had  the time to go in the ally and give some homeless guy $20. and a meal to finish out the night. It might seem like a complex job to you but it really isn't
 
2014-09-05 06:37:02 PM  
Every restaurant I worked at had a first generation immigrant washing during the day and a high school/ college kid at night. Mostly I think that's because you relize cooks make more and you learn how to. Or you don't care since the boss didn't care if you are stoned out of your mind. It was hs what can I say. I grew up since then. FOH and the kitchen are totally different worlds though. I hated when I had to fill in in front. Unless you're in an old school diner.
 
2014-09-05 07:46:51 PM  

CMYK and PMS: If you have ever run any kind of kitchen then you have had days when the dishwasher doesn't show up. That is what they do, it is why they are dishwashers. An important but easily replaceable cog in the wheel. It is a job the literally anyone can do.


I'm not sure if you are serious or not...because in my experience, yea, anyone can be taught the basics of the job in an hour or less, assuming an IQ above room temperature.  BUT being able to do it and being able to do it when the entire place is in chaos on Friday night, the kitchen is totally in the weeds and one of your bus boys drops two bins of critical dishes when the stock is low...

it's the difference between knowing how to change a flat tire on your car and being a tire guy in an indy car pit crew...unless your restaurants are different from every single one I've seen in my career that spanned 40 years in foodservice.
 
2014-09-05 08:53:53 PM  

bmwericus: m not sure if you are serious or not...because in my experience, yea, anyone can be taught the basics of the job in an hour or less, assuming an IQ above room temperature.  BUT being able to do it and being able to do it when the entire place is in chaos on Friday night, the kitchen is totally in the weeds and one of your bus boys drops two bins of critical dishes when the stock is low...

it's the difference between knowing how to change a flat tire on your car and being a tire guy in an indy car pit crew...unless your restaurants are different from every single one I've seen in my career that spanned 40 years in foodservice.


No. No it's not like that at all. Washing dishes is about the lowest job on the totem pole. Some are better than others but some people who dig ditches are better than others. If you had run your kitchen correctly in those 40+ plus years you would know that dishwashers are the most replaceable people on the planet. Hint: you need to have enough dishes on hand for when you are "in the weeds".
 
2014-09-05 09:57:07 PM  

CMYK and PMS: hubiestubert: CMYK and PMS: If you have ever run any kind of kitchen then you have had days when the dishwasher doesn't show up. That is what they do, it is why they are dishwashers. An important but easily replaceable cog in the wheel. It is a job the literally anyone can do.

Thank you for illustrating exactly the attitude that causes me to shun a joint. When you treat employees like cogs, your food and service reflect that. You can just taste the resentment inherent in every bite, and it's just not the spice profile that don't like.

Ok, you keep thinking that everyone is beautiful in their own way and every job is as valuable as any other. I've been through dishwashers quitting on me so I roll my sleeves up and do it myself until I had  the time to go in the ally and give some homeless guy $20. and a meal to finish out the night. It might seem like a complex job to you but it really isn't


I will keep thinking that these folks are valuable resources. That's why I tend to retain folks, promote from within, and train folks to do the "impossible" on a regular basis. At Glenndale Arena, we had a crew of 13 to do most of the food for 16,000 people. Our dishwashers wound up doing stints on our carving stations, because that was an easy way to get them to learn new skills, and get them used to working with the public. It was a way out of the dishroom, and into better paying gigs, and introducing them into other aspects of the team. Those cats were MONSTERS in the dishroom, and when they out, they applied that same work ethic, because they saw us doing the same damn thing.

You can't just hope that folks pick up on the ethic. You have to prove it to them. That they ARE valuable, because then, oddly enough, they take that faith in their work, and apply it elsewhere. It is perhaps a difference in management technique, but it's one that keeps my turn-over low, and my labor actually fairly low, because I can do more, with less people. I don't want some kid who can barely hold it together before his next fix. I want people I can invest in, that will then invest in the company and their coworkers. Yeah, that means being involved. That means talking with their parole officers, getting them a place to stay when things go FUBAR in their personal life, that means maybe doing some babysitting, or helping them move. It means investing in people. You do that, and folks tend to repay that kindness, and they help your business become far more than just a paycheck. You build crews, and you build families. Or you just sign paychecks and hope that folks show up--which winds up costing you time and effort in training, it means having to watch the crew constantly, and it means less time paying attention to other things that need paying attention to as well. Not my style. I'd rather invest a bit, and reap the rewards for that. It takes some time and effort, but it pays off in ways beyond just the 25-26% labor cost that I post. I'm on salary, so my time is already paid for, and if I invest in my crew a bit, then that's on me. My crew pays me back when it comes time to look at the bonus structure, and if I've done my job taking care of them, they generally have taken care of me and my numbers already.
 
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