Tip the Dishwasher

I have mentioned on many occasions that I am fortunate to live in a neighborhood with many eating options.  I am lucky.  On any given night, I can eat Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Thai (3 choices there, actually), Indian, American, etc.  If I am not feeling like any of those, I can just decide to get some of the delightful prepared food at New Seasons.

What about the service?

Sure, some of these places have better service than others, but (with some exceptions) most of them are making the effort.  There is one place that I like to frequent, where the service is fair–they are trying, but have obviously received no training or guidance–but the one that I see working the hardest every time I go in, is the dishwasher.

I have always told my students, if all things were equal in the restaurant biz, I would gladly be the dishwasher.  Get some music going back there and just put my head down and get to work.  Don’t have to deal with any customers, and if I’m lucky not too much with my co-workers either.  Unfortunately, things are not equal in the restaurant business and the dishwasher is usually paid minimum wage, and sees little, if any, tips.

Willie Mays

I worked as a server in an upscale place in L.A. when we were all ‘asked’ to volunteer for an event they were putting on.  Yeah, right, volunteer.  I signed up to wash dishes.  I figured if they were going to make me work the event, I could at least do what I wanted to do.  Besides, Willie Mays was supposed to attend.

My bosses all thought I was kidding about the signing up to wash dishes, and when I showed up in my grubby clothes instead of my server uniform, I guess they figured maybe I wasn’t.  It may have pissed off my bosses, but I won the kitchen staff over that night.  Partly because for a night I was one of them.  Partly because I had thumbed my nose at the man.

Do you have a point?

Yes, as always with this blog I do have a point.  At least I try to.  Dishwashers work hard.  Long hours, no praise, and very little dough. Completely taken for granted in most places.

Imagine a chef preparing your food, without a clean pan to cook it in.  Or without a clean plate to put it on.  So, maybe on your way out you can take care of those guys.

I mentioned before that you should thank the kitchen. 


So, if you don’t feel like tipping the dishwasher, at least go thank him.

By the way…Willie Mays never showed up.  He used to be my favorite baseball player.  He’s dead to me now.


One Comment Add yours

  1. Jane says:

    That’s it. I am moving out of the suburbs and into town where there is something to eat. And kitchen staff to compliment.

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