Learner Login FAQ +1-650-690-2515

How to Apply 5S - Dishpit Hell - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Do you enjoy doing dishes? Most people don’t, so it’s pretty easy for dishes to pile up and become a Dishpit Hell. The good news is that you can easily prevent this from happening with 5S. Here’s an example of how 5S helped improve the service at popular Hawaiian restaurant whose customers were becoming increasingly frustrated because their food was taking too long to be served. The reason? Lack of clean dishes to serve their food on.

Before 5S: Dishpit at a Busy Restaurant.

The wait help and bussers throw their dirty dishes in the Dishpit. The result? A giant mix of food, plates and cups everywhere leading to broken glass. There is no organization which creates a hazardous, chaotic working environment.

5S - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 1: Sort

The team begins by sorting through the dishes and cups by throwing away trash and broken shards of glass. They throw the compostable trash in one receptacle, and the non compostable in another. They also scrape the excess food particles off the dishes.

Dishpit Hell - Sort - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 2: Set In Order

They then set the Dishpit in order by stacking the different plates and cups in their appropriate group, and into their proper crates. They also place the utensils in the soak bin.

Dishpit Hell - Set In Order - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 3: Shine

Next, they begin shining the Dishpit by cleaning the dirty plates, cups and utensils in the dishwasher at a proper rinse temperature. They place the clean, shiny dishes, cups and utensils in their appropriate areas. They also hose and scrub down the area and finally squeegee the excess water away.

Dishpit Hell - Shine - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 4: Standardize

The team then standardizes a process where the wait help and bussers scrape off their dishes before stacking them in their proper groups in the Dishpit. They place trash in the side receptacles. They also stack all plates and cups in their proper crate or neatly on the side, as well as place all utensils in the soak pan.

Dishpit Hell - Standardize - GoLeanSixSigma.com

Step 5: Sustain

Lastly, they continue to sustain the organization of the Dishpit by coaching the wait help and bussers in the new standardized process. They communicate with the dishwasher when it starts to get busy to maximize efficiency and flow of the restaurant.

Dishpit Hell - Sustain - GoLeanSixSigma.com

The Results

By applying 5S to their Dishpit, the team at the restaurant is less stressed. More importantly, their customers are happier because their food is delivered more quickly. This also resulted in the restaurant:

  • Increasing financial savings (less broken glass to replace)
  • Increasing productivity and profit (more customers served)
  • Increasing safety (less chance of injuries from broken plates)

Their Dishpit Hell is now more of a Dishpit Heaven (if a Dishpit could ever be heavenly)!

Have you applied 5S at work or at home? Share your story with us in the comments below!

Karlo Tanjuakio

Karlo is the CEO of GoLeanSixSigma.com. He ensures you and your organization have all the support you need for an exceptional experience both learning and applying Lean and Six Sigma to help you achieve your goals.
  • Sargent Chumley

    I loved this article. I found it to be a very fun way of illustrating Lean Six Sigma.

    • GoLeanSixSigma

      Thanks for your feedback, Sargent!

  • Andy l

    Working as a LSS specialists process improvement has become some professional deformation. I did a 5s with my daughter to clean up her desk and to improve her homework “process”!

    • GoLeanSixSigma

      What a great way to use 5S! Thanks for sharing!