Tips for Better Glassware Care

Glassware Care

Once you've invested in glassware for your restaurant or catering business, it's important to practice proper glassware care to make sure it lasts as long as possible and maintains its appearance.

Preventing Breakage

No one likes to hear glass break in a restaurant, especially if the accident was caused by a server or kitchen staff member. Although you can't avoid the wear and tear glasses will go through in the hands of customers, you can make sure your glassware is handled with the proper care by your staff to prevent any unnecessary breakage. Utilize these tips to help keep your glassware in one piece:

  • Don't stack glasses unless they're meant to nest. Although doing so can save space, stacked glasses are too easily knocked over. Glasses that are intended to nest should only be stacked after they're dry.
  • Avoid storing glasses directly on a hard surface, like a bar or counter. Not only is this unsanitary, but glasses placed rim-down on a hard surface are more likely to chip. Instead, store and dry glassware in dedicated racks.
  • Invest in glass racks, which are a safe way to wash, store, and stack glasses. Most glass racks can hold 25 glasses, but come in many sizes to fit a variety of glass styles and types. Make sure to know the height and diameter of both your glasses and the glass rack you're purchasing to avoid any sizing complications.
  • Carry one glass in each hand instead of trying to carry multiple glasses at once. Not letting glasses bump into each other during transportation from the kitchen to the table and back again avoids added stress that could lead to scratches or breaks. Glasses should always be carried by their stems instead of the bowl or foot. Providing your servers with serving trays will allow them to safely carry multiple glasses to and from a table at once.

Keep Glasses Clean

To adhere to sanitation laws and protect the health and safety of your customers and employees, it's important to ensure every employee knows how to clean glassware properly. The best way to do this is to invest in a glassware washer, which can conveniently fit under a countertop. This allows it to be placed behind the bar or in the kitchen. If you'll have it in a customer area like a bar, you may want to look for a model that reduces the amount of steam released when the door is opened.

These washers use either a high temperature rinse or a low temperature rinse with chemicals to sanitize glasses; high temperature washes use more water and energy, but chemicals can leave behind unwanted residue. Although glasses can be washed in a regular commercial dishwasher, it will not be as effective as a glassware washer, which is engineered specifically for cleaning glassware.

Aside from chips, cracks, and scratches, glassware's appearance can be affected by hard water and soft water that results in cloudy glasses. Hard water can leave behind a white film, which is usually a deposit of magnesium or calcium that can be removed. Over time, using soft water, especially water that has been chemically softened, can result in a permanent discoloration called etching. If your water is too hard or too soft and you're worried about how this will affect your dishes, consider installing a water filtration device.

If installing a dedicated glass washer isn't an option, invest in dishwasher racks to help protect your glasses from breaking during the wash cycle. If your staff will be washing glasses by hand, teach them how to properly adhere to the three-sink method of rinse, wash, and sanitize.

After your glasses are clean, they'll need to be set out to air dry. Although this can take some time, towel-drying glasses may contaminate them. It's important not to use glasses as soon as they are removed from the washer, as they need time to cool down. Placing ice and cold drinks into a warm glass could result in the glass cracking from thermal shock.