That goes for both "indie" and corp. kitchens. You do what's needed.
Whether you have prep cooks or do the prep yourself have nothing to do with corp or not. Its about how owners/management choose to run their kitchens.
If dishwashers and prep cooks leades to a happier, more productive kitchen earning more cash, why not?
I could be doing dishes or making more elaborated food wich takes more work. But if I can choose between having those luxuries or not, of course it's nice to have them.
I dropped out of college and landed in a fast-paced corporate kitchen, worked there for a little under a year, and just recently moved to a much nicer/high-end indie place in a great part of town once I could update my resume to show that crucial "one year's kitchen experience."
It's much harder and more varied work, but the kitchen is way smaller and the restaurant seats about half of what my old place did, so the the lunch rush on weekdays and six hour "brunch" rushes on the weekends have so far been on par with what I did at my old gig. I much prefer the wider range of responsibilities here. I'm no longer just a cog in a well-greased machine but an actual member of a platoon and in the process I'm learning exponentially more than I did at my old place.
That being said the pastry staff here is so annoying. We have a rack of eight ovens close to the line that they use both before and during service and they constantly leave timers buzzing for upwards of thirty seconds/minute. It really hinders movement in and out of the line to the dish pit/dish rack during those rushes and I wish the system was different. Oh well.
Anyways, my point is there are a ton of young, inexperienced cooks looking to move from a corporate kitchen to an "indie" one who are well, well aware of the extra responsibilty and extra work required. We crave that. That's why we applied in the first place. So don't stop looking and don't let this one lazy turd discourage you from hiring green cooks in the future.
Next time maybe require a stage before hiring? My current gig made me stage for two shifts just to make sure I wasn't a complete bozo on the line and that I knew some really basic stuff.