Who Should Be Responsible for Washing the Dishes: Cooks or Dedicated Cleaning Staff?

In the culinary world, the question of who should be responsible for washing the dishes – the cooks or a dedicated cleaning staff – is a topic of ongoing debate. This question is not only relevant in professional kitchens but also in households where the division of labor can often be a contentious issue. The answer to this question is not straightforward and depends on various factors such as the size of the establishment, the number of staff, and the nature of the tasks involved. Let’s delve deeper into this topic and explore the different perspectives.

Responsibility in Professional Kitchens

In professional kitchens, the responsibility of washing dishes usually falls on a dedicated cleaning staff known as dishwashers or kitchen porters. This is due to several reasons:

  • The cooks are primarily responsible for preparing meals. Their skills are best utilized in cooking rather than cleaning.

  • Professional kitchens are high-pressure environments where time is of the essence. Having a dedicated cleaning staff ensures that the cooks can focus on their primary task without any distractions.

  • Health and safety regulations often require professional kitchens to maintain high standards of cleanliness. A dedicated cleaning staff is better equipped to meet these standards.

Responsibility in Households

In households, the responsibility of washing dishes can be more flexible and depends on the agreement between the family members or housemates. Here are some common approaches:

  • Whoever cooks doesn’t clean: This approach is based on the idea that the person who has put in the effort to prepare the meal should be exempt from cleaning duties.

  • Divide and conquer: In this approach, the cooking and cleaning duties are divided equally among all members. This ensures that the workload is shared and no one person is burdened with all the tasks.

  • Rotating schedule: Some households prefer to have a rotating schedule where the responsibility of cooking and cleaning rotates among the members on a daily or weekly basis.


In conclusion, the responsibility of washing dishes depends on the context. In professional kitchens, it is usually the job of a dedicated cleaning staff, while in households, it can vary based on the agreement between the members. Regardless of who does the washing, it is important to remember that every role is crucial for the smooth functioning of a kitchen and should be respected and appreciated.