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Dishwasher Job Description: 2024 Updated Template

Dishwasher job description: A man is smiling in a restaurant kitchen, wearing an apron.

A dishwasher’s (someone who washes dishes) main responsibility is to ensure the cleanliness and sanitation of dishes, utensils and kitchen equipment. A dishwasher is a cleaner, tasked with scraping food residue, operating dishwashing machines, hand-washing delicate items and organizing cleaned items.

Dishwasher job description: A man is smiling in a restaurant kitchen, wearing an apron.

According to the most recent government data, around 431,840 people in the United States (U.S.) are working as dishwashers. That’s a 34.5% increase compared to 2020 data.

This role is typically an entry-level position in the restaurant and food service industry. A dishwasher job entails the responsibility of cleaning and sanitizing dishes, utensils and various kitchen equipment and many people choose it as part-time or temporary employment.

Image of featuring the stat of more than 400,000 people who work as dishwashers in US
[Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics]
Even though people of various ages work as dishwashers, it is common for teenagers and young adults in the U.S. to take up dishwasher jobs as their first working experience.

This article aims to offer a comprehensive overview of the dishwasher job description, including their responsibilities, required skills and salary ranges in cities with high demand for restaurant employment, such as Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City.

Additionally, we will present a selection of sample interview questions suitable for both hiring managers seeking to fill dishwasher positions and individuals actively pursuing employment in this field.

Restaurant Dishwasher Job Description

Dishwashers should be able to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment, especially during peak hours. Attention to detail is essential to ensure dishes are properly cleaned and sanitized, without damaging them.

While this is an entry-level position, previous experience is a plus. Either way, a dishwasher must be able to work well in a team and follow safety and hygiene standards.

Dishwasher job description: two men are washing a restaurant kitchen.
A dishwasher’s main responsibility is to ensure the cleanliness and sanitation of dishes, utensils and kitchen equipment

Dishwasher Training & Education

Typically, there are no strict training and education requirements for this role.

Most establishments provide on-the-job training to familiarize new hires with their specific processes and expectations. The training covers proper dishwashing techniques, handling of kitchen equipment and adherence to safety and hygiene protocols.

Dishwashing skills can be learned through practical experience, but a willingness to work efficiently and follow instructions is essential.

While formal education may not be necessary, a basic understanding of food safety practices and the ability to communicate effectively within a team are valuable assets.

Moreover, working as a dishwasher the quickest way one can get their foot in the door in the restaurant business. From there, with work and dedication, a dishwasher can move up in the restaurant hierarchy and land higher-paid positions.

Once you establish trust with your colleagues, demonstrate a strong work ethic and solid communication and teamwork skills, you can start building a career in the restaurant industry.

Poll: What's the most challenging part of being a dishwasher?

Dishwasher Duties and Responsibilities

The role of a dishwasher is vital in the food service industry. Dishwashers are responsible for washing and scrubbing utensils, dishes and the entire dishwashing area.

Here is a list of responsibilities you can expect in a dishwasher job description ad:

Cleaning and sanitizing dishes, utensils, pots, pans and other kitchen equipment.

  • Removing food residue from dishes by scraping or rinsing.
  • Operating dishwashing machines, including loading, unloading and monitoring their performance.
  • Hand-washing delicate items that are not suitable for dishwashers.
  • Drying and polishing dishes and utensils to ensure they are ready for use.
  • Organizing cleaned items and storing them appropriately.
  • Maintaining cleanliness and organization in the dishwashing area.
  • Assisting in basic kitchen prep tasks, such as peeling vegetables or stocking supplies.
  • Disposing of waste and emptying trash receptacles as needed.
  • Adhering to safety and hygiene standards, including properly handling chemicals and following health regulations.

The list of dishwasher's responsibilities

Remember, the specific duties can vary based on the establishment and kitchen setup.

Skills Needed to Become a Dishwasher

Working as a dishwasher requires attention to detail, efficiency and the ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment. Here are the key skills needed to excel in this role:

  • Strong attention to detail for proper cleaning and sanitizing of dishes
  • Efficient work pace to handle high volumes of dishes during peak hours
  • Ability to follow instructions and work well as part of a team
  • Physical stamina for standing and handling repetitive tasks
  • Basic knowledge of food safety and hygiene practices
  • Adaptability to different dishwashing equipment and cleaning methods
  • Good communication skills for effective coordination with kitchen staff
  • Problem-solving skills to address any issues during the dishwashing process
  • Positive attitude and commitment to cleanliness and efficiency

The list of desired skills a dishwasher should have

Being a dishwasher requires a combination of technical skills, teamwork and a strong work ethic. These qualities, along with a commitment to cleanliness and efficiency, are essential for success in this vital role in the food service industry.

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