Dishwasher might not be the most glamorous job title in the restaurant industry, but it's certainly important work.
The dishwasher keeps things running smoothly in the kitchen and helps the restaurant provide excellent service. After all, everyone wants their dishes to be sparkling clean.
It's the ideal foodservice job for someone who doesn't have much experience or wants to work full-time or part-time.
But how do you get a dishwasher job?
It can be hard to know what to put on a dishwasher resume, especially if you're just entering the workforce. Learn what it's like to be a dishwasher and as well as some tips to land a dishwashing position.
A dishwasher, as you can guess from the name, cleans dishes at a restaurant. They wash dishes by hand or use an industrial dishwashing machine.
But that’s not all they do.
Depending on the employer, dishwashers may perform a number of other tasks to keep things in the kitchen clean, organized, and operating smoothly. This can include tasks like emptying trash containers and cleaning food prep stations.
Dishwashers are usually employed by restaurants but can work in other settings where food is served, such as nursing homes.
The job duties of a dishwasher are more diverse than you might expect from the position title.
Of course, dishwashers wash dishes, including cookware, silverware, and glassware.
In some smaller restaurants, this is all done by hand. In larger kitchens, there will usually be an industrial dishwashing machine, and you might only hand-wash certain items.
A restaurant kitchen has to move quickly, and the dishwasher keeps things from getting cluttered or dirty in the process.
Dishwasher duties might include:
Sanitizing surfaces with cleaning supplies
Sweeping or mopping kitchen floors
Maintaining storage areas
Taking full trash cans out to the dumpster
Even though dishwashers aren’t generally involved in food prep, their work is essential to making sure that food safety standards are met and customers have a positive dining experience.
Besides knowing how to scrub dishes and use an industrial dishwashing machine (which you’ll learn on the job), being a dishwasher doesn’t require many hard skills.
It does require several soft skills, including:
It’s important that you never miss a spot on the dishes. If the dishwasher doesn’t pay attention to details, they may send a dirty dish back out to a customer. They also need to be thorough in maintaining a clean kitchen.
Kitchens are a fast-paced work environment.
As a dishwasher, you may not be the one making the food, but the whole food preparation process could be slowed down if you let the dirty dishes pile up.
Time management is important to make sure you keep things moving along.
When you’re the dishwasher, showing up a bit late could cause the whole kitchen to run less smoothly. You need to be there from the very start of your shift.
You’ll be working in close quarters with other members of the kitchen staff. Good communication skills help you all work together toward the goal of providing excellent service to restaurant customers.
Dishwashing and other kitchen cleaning tasks are physical work. You’ll need to be able to do things like stand for long periods of time, bend over to clean surfaces, and lift heavy items onto top shelves.
Becoming a dishwasher doesn’t require any specialized education or experience. Some jobs require a high school diploma or GED, but many don’t. Training is provided on the job.
Many restaurant industry jobs, including dishwashing jobs, are part-time or seasonal. Sometimes they’re open to people who are under 18 years old. Working as a dishwasher can be a good option if you’re new to the workforce or still in school.
Dishwashers make an average of $25,270 per year. The job outlook for dishwashing is holding steady, with no expected increase or decrease in available positions.
Restaurant dishwashers often move into other food service positions eventually, such as a server or busser. If you prove you can keep up with the fast pace of a restaurant job, you might be able to move into a higher-paying role.
People often become dishwashers without much previous work experience. That makes it hard to know what to put on a resume.
If you don’t have many past jobs to list, focus on soft skills. Employers like to see those — your new supervisor can teach you the proper way to clean dishes, but they usually can’t fix poor interpersonal skills or a lack of attention to detail.
You can list your skills in a “Skills” section of your resume or put them in your resume summary.
For ideas on which skills or experience to list, look at the job posting and use keywords from it.
Make sure to proofread your resume and cover letter before you send them in. We’ve explained to you that attention to detail is important for dishwashers — prove you have that skill by preparing a flawless resume.
Becoming a dishwasher is a great choice if you’re looking for part-time or seasonal work or if you’re interested in getting a taste of the restaurant industry.
There are always restaurants offering full-time and part-time dishwasher positions. Start your search for a dishwasher job here on Jobcase.
Would you consider working as a dishwasher?