Commercial Glassware Handling Tips

Tips that help you better maintain your restaurant supplies - Chef Al's Restaurant Equipment Tips

Persons handling glassware should be advised of the fine qualities of glassware and how glassware should be treated and handled. These tips are designed to improve the handling of glassware in your operation. Improved handling means less breakage and this translates into higher productivity and less chance of an injury or accident. There are two causes of glass breakage — Mechanical Impact and Thermal Shock.

Mechanical impact is the result of contact with another object. It may be a spoon, a beer tap or another glass. This contact can cause a minute abrasion, invisible to the eye. These abrasions weaken the glass and make it more susceptible to breakage from impact and thermal shock. Any severely abraded glass must be removed from service.

glassware on saleThermal Shock is the result of temperature change. Glass holds temperature and quick temperature change can cause enough stress in the glass to cause breakage. For example, glass with ice in it cannot be emptied and put directly into the dishwasher. Similarly, glass coming out of the dishwasher cannot be put directly into service. In both cases, the glass must be allowed enough time to reach room temperature. Never put cold water or ice into a warm or hot glass. Cracks that result from thermal shock usually form around abrasions caused by mechanical impact. Any severely abraded glass must be removed from service. Remember, the thicker the glass the more time it needs to reach room temperature.


• Keep adequate supplies of glass to prevent recently washed glasses from going directly into service.
• Place guides on scrap table for busboys to place glass, china and flatware in separate areas.
• Check dishwasher temperature twice daily. Replace worn glass washer brushes.
• Instruct busboys to “BE QUIET. NO ONE WANTS TO EAT IN A NOISY PLACE.” This rule will cut down on breakage of glassware and china as well as help create atmosphere.
• Always use plastic scoops in ice bins. Metal scoops sometimes chip the glassware. Never scoop ice with the glass.
• Never put cold water or ice into a warm or hot glass.
• Ideally, bus glassware directly into racks, or use divided bus trays with flatware baskets.
• Color code your racks for different glassware items.
• Any severely abraded glass must be removed from service.

Carefully read each column as specific job functions may vary from one establishment to another.