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How to Write a Dishwasher Job Description (Duties, Responsibilities)

Grace JidounAuthor

How to Write a Dishwasher Job Description (Duties, Responsibilities)

One thing holds true for all restaurant-goers: everyone values a clean environment. There are few things more off-putting than a dirty dish or a spotty water glass. The dishwasher may not be the most glamorous position, but this professional is integral to a restaurant’s success. Regardless of how fabulous the cuisine is or what celebrity toque is behind the stoves, the cleanliness of your restaurant reflects how you run your business. Dirty dishes can quickly kill the ambiance, make food seem unappealing, and in extreme cases, introduce harmful bacteria to your customers. No, thank you. 

The dishwasher is responsible for cleaning all dishes, from silverware and plates to a varied array of pots, pans, kitchen utensils, and other specialty cookware. With a good dishwasher on your team, tableware will always be at the ready. Kitchen staff will never scramble for a clean sauté pan during service. And all utensils will be organized and spot-free. Dishwashers should maintain a positive attitude toward their jobs and be able to stay on task. They are in the thick of the fast-paced kitchen environment and must work quickly and efficiently without distractions. Washing dishes might seem like a no-brainer, but many skills are involved. 

List of Duties for the Job 

Prepare dishes for washing

Thorough cleaning has taken on even more importance since the pandemic. We all know by now that there are millions of germs not visible to the human eye. No matter how powerful, there’s no industrial dishwasher that will remove all the icky gunk and crusted-on food from plates and pots. Before loading the machines, the dishwasher scrapes off all the excess food and expertly wields a high-pressured wand to blast sauces and food particles. Dishwashers often rinse dishware in hot water that is spiked with a chemical sanitizer, so they should be comfortable and familiar with all appropriate cleaning chemicals.

Load the washing machines

There’s that old joke that stacking a dishwasher is like playing a game of Tetris. It’s true: stacking requires spatial awareness and is an important skill that, when done correctly, ensures water can flow freely to every dish on the rack. Even more critical: The dishwasher must know how to operate the washing machinery safely. The sheer variety of commercial machines is impressive, with conveyor belts, rinse sprays, and even mini mitter curtains like you might find at a car wash. A dishwasher should be knowledgeable about the machinery, including maintaining the correct water temperatures and using cleaning agents properly. The FDA has specific requirements about the percentage of germs that need to be killed, so following instructions is paramount.

Handwash dishes

Smaller restaurants may not have a washing machine, and it falls to the dishwasher to carry out the task. The mantra remains the same: Rinse, Wash, and Sanitize. The dishwasher must be highly organized and acutely aware of safety procedures to ensure the sinks are not cross-contaminated. For instance, no one should be thawing meat anywhere near the dishwasher’s domain. The dishwasher keeps their sinks clean, sanitized, and in good working order. 

Put away all dishware and cookware

Hand-drying is frowned upon in commercial kitchens because of the risk of cross-contamination with towels and rags. But the dishwasher’s job is not done once everything has air-dried. They put all dishware and cookware in their designated places. They are a key player in kitchen organization and keep operations running smoothly. Additionally, dishwashers may be tasked with mopping, taking out the trash, loading and unloading deliveries, and lending a helping hand whenever one is needed.


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Dishwasher Job Description Sample

To make it easier to create a dishwasher job description, here’s a sample you can use.

Job Title: Dishwasher 

Salary: $10–$15/hour 

Tip Income: Maybe

Schedule: Full-time (40 hours per week). Wed-Saturday 

Role: We are looking for an organized and motivated Dishwasher to join our kitchen staff. You will play a significant role in maintaining our restaurant's cleanliness and pleasant atmosphere. You will work closely with the janitorial and kitchen support teams to ensure smooth behind-the-scenes operations by loading washing machines, stacking washed items, and adhering to all safety and sanitary procedures.


  • Rinse and scrape all used dishware and cookware

  • Load and unload the dishwashing machine

  • Wash items by hand (large pots, delicate glassware, cutting boards, etc.)

  • Maintain dishwashing machine and ensure it is functioning properly

  • Organizing cleaning supplies and placing orders when necessary

  • Adhere to all hygiene, cleanliness, and safety requirements

  • Remove garbage promptly

  • Clean and sanitize sinks and other kitchen areas

  • Store clean dishes, glasses, and equipment properly

Additional requirements: Willingness to work in shifts and during evenings and weekends.

Tips for Writing Effective Job Descriptions

Be clear about the expectations of the job and what kind of safety or machinery training applicants will need.

Many dishwashers find jobs through referrals, so ask valued employees to make recommendations.

Ask for references. While many dishwashers might be just starting out in the industry, experienced professionals will be fine providing references from former workplaces. 

As a person who directly contributes to the comfort and well-being of your guests, the dishwasher plays an important role in your business. Just like any position, a dishwasher should show mastery of their duties and be a team player. 

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