Never a Glass Unpolished
While most of our customers picture us standing behind a bar, there’s a place in the tasting room where we each spend a good amount of our 4.0 time: the polishing place. This is where we make sure that the glasses we hand to our customers are streak and spot free. And we have a whole system in place to ensure clean glasses.
First, dirty glasses go into our industrial dishwasher for three minutes (I’ve often wished for one of these in my own kitchen). Once clean, someone sets the rack of glasses next to the washer to dry for a bit. Then the rack moves to the polishing place in the back corner of the tasting room where we take turns sitting for a few minutes to polish glasses until they gleam.
We all have different polishing techniques. Some of us begin with the sides of the glass and then move to the inside and the bottom. Some of us use only one cloth while others rely on the “two cloth” method, using one damp cloth to remove streaks and spots and another to completely dry the glass. If the rack is still wet, then we have to address that, too, before putting a shiny, dry glass back into it.
My method (honed over a few years and after much observation) relies on two cloths. I begin at the base of the glass, move up the stem, and then tackle the outside and inside of the glass, holding the glass to the light as I work to make sure I haven’t missed anything. If the rack is wet, I quickly dry it with my damp cloth before working on the glass.
One thing’s for certain: Every one of us at 4.0 has ample opportunity to perfect our glass polishing skills (though I’ll admit that some of our colleagues would rather clean the bathrooms and take out the trash than polish glasses). At the end of a busy Saturday, we might have as many as 12 racks of glasses to polish. And that doesn’t include all the racks that have been polished throughout the day when we have a moment to sit down. Let’s do the math on this. One rack holds 25 glasses, so 12 racks? You see where this is going.
One of our former colleagues once tried to figure out how many glasses she polished in one year. The math got exhausting…and she’s a rocket scientist. I’m not kidding. Carl once polished glasses for so long that a customer wondered if he was hired to do only that. Not hardly!
Despite the fact that we’ll all probably have some form of carpal tunnel down the road, polishing glasses gives us time to rest our feet and socialize with one another for a bit. Chatting over soon-to-be-shining glasses gives us a chance to check in with one another and share our lives outside of 4.0. And some of the funniest conversations I’ve had at 4.0 have happened over glass polishing.
So the next time your 4.0 server hands you a glass, take a moment to consider the time and care (and perhaps even the giggles) that went into getting it ready for you.