Dishwashers, also known as Kitchen Helpers, work in the kitchen of any kind of restaurant. Their main role is to clean dishes, utensils, and all kitchen appliances. They are also commonly tasked with mopping and washing the floors and general areas of the kitchen, as well as taking out the trash and placing it in the designated areas. Depending on the size and number of clients a restaurant may have, their Dishwashers may work in teams and using specialized machinery to facilitate and optimize their job.
The work of a Dishwasher is essential to the operations of a restaurant, given that cleanliness plays a crucial role in the sanitation standards of these establishments. The reputation and quality of service of the restaurants rest in their shoulders.
Here’s a non-exhaustive list of common tasks Dishwashers are required to complete.
- Cleaning and washing dishes, glassware, silverware, utensils, pots, and pans:
- Collecting dirty dishes and utensils from dining areas and placing them in the designated cleaning areas;
- using special equipment (e.g. pressure hoses, dishwashing machines, steam cleaners, and disinfecting chemicals) to clean dishes and other utensils; and
- drying and placing all utensils in their designated storage areas.
- Maintaining kitchen and dining areas clean and in an orderly manner:
- Mopping, sweeping, and scrubbing floors; and
- cleaning surfaces, stoves, cutting boards, and other food preparation utensils.
- Sorting and removing garbage and other waste:
- Sorting and placing garbage in designated containers;
- placing garbage cans and bags in the designated areas for later disposal by sanitation services; and
- cleaning garbage cans with pressured water and disinfecting soap for reusing.
- Receiving, unloading, and storing supplies:
- Taking supplies from storage to working areas as requested by Chefs.
- Setting up tables and assisting in the cleaning of dining areas.
- Assisting kitchen personnel with cooking tasks when requested.
- Collecting dirty dishes, utensils, pans, and pots for cleaning.
- Cleaning dishes, utensils, and appliances using specialized machines.
- Sorting and storing clean dishes, utensils, and appliances in the designated areas.
- Sorting and taking out the garbage to the designated disposal areas.
- Maintaining kitchen and dining areas clean.
- Assisting in the unloading and storing of food supplies.
The average Dishwasher salary in Canada is $24,053 per year or $12 per hour. This is around 0.7 times less than the Median wage of the country. Entry level positions start at $17,000 while most experienced workers make up to $34,000. These results are based on 644 salaries extracted from job descriptions.
- Organizational and time management skills:
- Having strong multitasking skills; being able to work under pressure in a dynamic, fast-paced environment;
- being highly responsible and reliable; and
- being organized, detail-oriented, and structured.
- Interpersonal and communication skills:
- Communicating clearly, especially verbally, in order to create a clear and communicative environment with coworkers; and
- speaking with customers or staff using clear, professional, and respectful language at all times.
- Ability to work cohesively as part of a team and possess good judgment.
- Self-motivated, decisive, responsible, and always driven to provide the best service.
- Motor coordination and physical strength:
- Being able to spend an entire work shift on their feet carrying heavy trays, dishes, and glasses; and
- moving, lifting, carrying, pushing, pulling, and placing objects weighing less than or equal to 25 pounds without assistance.
Although it is not one of their daily tasks, sometimes Dishwashers may have to interact with customers; therefore, it is necessary that they possess good customer service skills which may also come in handy when applying for a promotion.
Most employers look for schedule flexibility when hiring Dishwashers. The staff of a restaurant works even when it is closed for customers, so it is common for Dishwashers to work in different shifts including before opening hours and after closing time. Furthermore, Dishwashers may be asked to work late hours, weekends, and even during holidays.
The position of Dishwasher is often at the bottom tier of a restaurant’s staff. However, it is common for them to ascend and take on roles with more responsibilities, usually involving direct interaction with customers after some time. The exact amount of time it takes to get a promotion depends on the level of responsibility and commitment displayed by the employee, as well as the judgement of the Restaurant Manager or Supervisor, but it may be from six months to a year.
As for education, most employers look for candidates that have completed their secondary education. However, completion of high school is not mandatory as this is a common job for junior and senior high school students.