A dish washer is responsible for washing dishes in a restaurant, dining hall, cafeteria, or other eatery. The job usually requires using a large automatic dishwasher, scrubbing pots and pans, and maintaining a general level of cleanliness in the kitchen. A dish washer doesn't receive much training, and there are not many requirements to get the position.
The main duty of a dish washer is to stack dirty dishes, from both the kitchen and dining room, into washing crates, and then feed them through the dish washing machine. After the dishes are cleaned, the dish washer is responsible for putting them back where they belong. Servers in the restaurant bring dirty dishes to the washing area, but the dish washer may need to go onto the kitchen line to gather dishes from the cooks, who are busy and cannot bring the dishes over.
The dish washer is often responsible for keeping a steady supply of clean dishes stocked at each station of the cooking line. The cooks need plates to prepare the food for the customers, and running out of plates or bowls during the dinner rush can back up the whole line. He must also bring clean glasses to the bar, and make sure that the expedition area of the kitchen, where sauces and garnishments are added to each plate before it is brought to the customer, is stocked with the dishes it needs to get everything out of the kitchen on time.
Dish washers are usually in charge of keeping the kitchen picked up, most commonly during slower times of the day. This includes sweeping and mopping, taking out garbage bags, and cleaning the counters and sinks. They must also keep the dish washing area wiped down and dry, to prevent contamination between clean and dirty dishes, and to prevent dangerous slippery zones.
During slow times, the dish washer may get to perform some of the food preparation for the day. In many kitchens, dish washers are trained in basic prep skills once they have expressed interest or have shown competency. Dish washers may also be called upon to chop vegetables, mix sauces, or make other basic items the cooks are running low on during the lunch or dinner rush. They may also be asked to grab food from the coolers, freezer, or dry stock area if the cooks are unable to leave the line to get it themselves.
Washing dishes in a busy restaurant is not as easy as many think it is. It is a very stressful position, as dirty dishes come in faster than the dish washing machine can get them cleaned. This can create a back up of dirty dishes. An inexperienced or slow dish washer can bring the entire restaurant to a halt by not having the required dishes cleaned and ready for use. Many kitchens treat their best dish washers well; they are an invaluable resource in a busy restaurant.