Are These Restaurant Side Work Chores Getting Missed in Your Restaurants?

Restaurant side work. It’s the least favorite part of your employees’ jobs at the end of their shifts. No one wants to fold napkins or fill salad dressings after they have served people for the last four hours. But side work keeps your restaurant clean and your customers returning. Therefore, the chores must get done, and the only way to get them all covered is to share the responsibilities among employees. But what about those chores that you don’t know you are missing? There may be some that should be done but are not or others that can prevent poor customer opinions and experiences?

Here are five restaurant side work chores that you may want to consider adding to your daily list:

1. Check Silverware

Once silverware is washed, employees assume they can grab it and start their silverware rollups. The faster their rollups are done, the faster they get to go home. However, dried pieces of food are often left behind on utensils from the industrial dishwasher. It’s both embarrassing to the employee and frustrating to a guest when dirty utensils are on the table. To avoid this, add silverware checks to your side work list each night. Have an employee pull the silverware out of the washing container and check them prior to getting the napkins ready for rolling. You can also give them a cloth, and have them wipe off water marks to leave the silverware looking spotless.

2. Wipe Underneath Booth Cushions and Cracks

Yes, booths get wiped down by bussers after guests leave. But have you popped your booths up lately and seen the crumbs that have slid down underneath the cushions? At the end of the night, have your bussers or other employees pop up the seat cushions in their sections and thoroughly wipe them down. This will not only help keep your restaurant clean -– it will also help with possible pest and health code problems.

3. Clean Under the Table Tops

Things that go unseen go unaddressed. It is not a pleasant experience when guests inadvertently touch someone else’s gum or food under a table when they are dining at your restaurants. You can avoid this by assigning employees to check under the table tops once a week. It’s not a fun chore, but it’s needed.

4. Wipe Down Menus

This should be self-explanatory. No one wants to touch sticky menu pages, or pull apart pages that are stuck together with someone else’s spilt Daiquiri. This is a great side work chore for your host staff during down time.

5. Check Glassware for Smudges

Bar glasses are usually hand washed behind the bar. This is great in minimizing the number of glasses that get broken from the dishwasher but it also allows for water marks and smudges to appear when the glasses are air dried behind the bar. Keep a microfiber cloth on hand, and have your bartenders “polish” the stemware to avoid those marks that make a guest’s glass look dirty. This will not only prevent a bad guest experience, it will also save you money on having to remake and re-pour those drinks.


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