Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Name is Sue, How Do You Do?

The thing about a restaurant is you have to have a dishwasher. Not a machine. That's the easy part.  Finding the person to put the plates and glasses and silverware onto the trays to send through. Who will also put all those dishes back onto shelves and behind the bar. Then fill the pans with ice because the sous chef is always magically doing the produce order during this part of prep, peel the case of potatoes between washes, and clean the vomit from the bachelorette party off the bathroom floor, walls and toilets. There are 20 other tasks the dishwasher is laden with during the course of a shift, and the finale is dragging several 30 lb. rubber mats covered with the scraps of the entire service out into the alley to spray and scrub clean. You let these dry while you mop. Sometimes you get to leave them for the am person, sometimes you have to drag the wet mats back into place.

It SUUUUUUCCKKKSSS to be the person who does this, but it makes you the unsung hero of the restaurant business because no place with barf on the walls is getting past Yelp these days.

You'd think this person would be one of the first considered. When building, when hiring, when planning menus and deciding what kind of service you're going to have. That's a funny joke.

The dishwasher is usually hired eleven minutes before the soft opening after somebody's cousin or brother flaked during menu-testing. I've worked for chefs who were in the dining room drinking wine while I hurled pans across the kitchen into the sink because they couldn't be bothered to lead their kitchen (thanks Lenny Rede) and I've found myself dragging those filthy mats outside plenty of times
because a kitchen is a kitchen and shit has to get cleaned no matter your rank. (Chefs find a way to avoid this always, though. Cop to it, you dicks, you do)

The dishwasher is not always named Hector.

I want y'all to meet Sue.