Closing Time – What a Dishwasher Can Teach a Professional

Closing time – a phrase immortalized by Semisonic in their 1998 pop hit.  The song focuses on that moment late in the evening when the lights of the bar come up signaling that it’s time for the patrons to leave.  But for those working in those environments – bars, restaurants, retail stores – closing time is just the beginning of the end.

After Hours Effort

What I’m talking about is the closing routine that starts after the last customer leaves.  Much of the really hard work begins here – the cleaning, scrubbing, tossing and organizing.  It all needs to be done before the day is really over.  The closing routine is a fundamental part of preparing for the next day, so it’s a process worth perfecting to maximize it’s effectiveness.

The restaurant kitchen is a great analogy for this analysis, primarily because “Dishwasher” was the first title your humble author held in his working career.  The cycle of productivity in a restaurant kitchen can be easily described as (a) prepare to cook, (b) cook, (c) clean up from cooking.  Interestingly, (a) and (c) are interrelated.