25 Busser Interview Questions and Answers
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a busser, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a busser, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.
A busser is an unsung hero of the restaurant industry. This position is the backbone of the front-of-house team, and a busser’s responsibilities are many and varied. They keep the dining room clean, clear dirty dishes, and help the waitstaff with drink refills and bread service.
If you’re interviewing for a busser position, you can expect to be asked questions about your cleaning and organizational skills, as well as your knowledge of drink and food service. To help you prepare for your interview, we’ve put together a list of common busser interview questions and answers.
Busers often work in a fast-paced environment, so employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable with that. They want someone who can keep up with the pace of their restaurant and be able to multitask. In your answer, explain why you are comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and how you have experience doing so.
Example: “Absolutely! I have experience working in a fast-paced environment and thrive in it. I am very organized, efficient, and able to multitask while keeping up with the pace of service. I understand that speed is important when bussing tables and I’m confident that I can keep up with the demands of the job. I also take pride in my attention to detail and making sure all dishes are cleared quickly and efficiently without compromising quality.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and experience. They want to know what you have done in the past that is similar to their job posting. When answering, think of a few things you did in previous positions that are relevant to this role.
Example: “I have been working in the restaurant industry for over five years now. I started out as a host and then moved up to busser, where I have been for the past three years. During this time, I have gained extensive knowledge of how restaurants operate and what it takes to be successful in this field. My experience has taught me the importance of customer service, organization, and multitasking. I am also familiar with different types of table settings and can quickly reset tables for incoming guests. I understand that bussers are an essential part of the team and take pride in my work. I believe my skills and experience make me the perfect candidate for this position.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you would handle a challenging situation at work. Use your answer to highlight your problem-solving skills and ability to stay calm under pressure.
Example: “If I were faced with a situation where I had to clear a table that had been left in a mess, my first priority would be safety. I would make sure that all sharp objects and any other potential hazards were removed from the area before beginning to clean up.
Once the area was safe, I would begin by clearing away any dishes or glasses that needed to be taken away for washing. Then, I would use a damp cloth to wipe down the surface of the table and chairs. Finally, I would sweep up any crumbs or debris on the floor around the table and dispose of them properly.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize tasks and manage your time. Your answer should include a specific example of when you had to multitask, the steps you took to complete each task and what the outcome was.
Example: “My process for handling multiple tables at once is to prioritize tasks based on customer needs. I always strive to provide the best service possible, so if a customer has a specific request or need that requires immediate attention, I make sure to address it first before moving onto other tasks. After prioritizing any urgent requests, I then move onto clearing and resetting tables in an efficient manner. This includes removing used dishes, wiping down surfaces, refilling condiments, and ensuring all necessary items are present. Finally, I ensure all areas of the restaurant are clean and tidy, including floors, walls, and windows. By following this process, I am able to effectively manage multiple tables while providing excellent customer service.”
Employers ask this question to see if you are willing to go the extra mile for their customers. They want to know that you will be a team player and help out your fellow servers when they need it. When answering, think of an example where you helped someone who was having a hard time or went above and beyond to make sure a customer had a great experience.
Example: “I recently had a customer who was in a rush and needed to be seated quickly. I noticed that the hostess was busy, so I stepped in and took over her duties. I greeted the customer warmly and showed them to their table. Once they were seated, I made sure to bring out extra napkins and silverware for their party. I also offered to get them drinks right away so they could start their meal as soon as possible. My quick thinking and willingness to help ensured that the customer was satisfied with their experience.”
Employers ask this question to make sure you understand the importance of following food safety procedures. They want to know that you will speak up if you see a co-worker not washing their hands or using the proper utensils when handling food. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to correct the situation and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Example: “If I saw a co-worker not following proper food handling procedures, my first step would be to politely remind them of the correct procedure. If they continue to make mistakes, I would then bring it to the attention of the manager or supervisor on duty. It is important to ensure that all employees are following the necessary safety protocols in order to provide customers with safe and healthy meals.
I understand the importance of following food safety guidelines and have experience doing so in previous busser positions. As a busser, I am also aware of the need for teamwork and collaboration between staff members. I believe that by working together we can create an environment where everyone follows the same standards and provides the best possible service to our customers.”
An interviewer may ask this question to assess your customer service skills. They want to know how you would handle a challenging situation and make the customer happy. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to resolve the issue and ensure the customer has a positive experience.
Example: “If I noticed a customer was unhappy with their meal, my first priority would be to ensure that the customer is taken care of. I would approach them in a friendly and professional manner and ask if there is anything I can do to make their experience better. Depending on the situation, I may offer to replace the dish or provide a complimentary dessert. My goal would be to resolve the issue quickly and efficiently while ensuring the customer feels heard and respected.
I have extensive experience as a busser and understand the importance of providing excellent customer service. I am confident that I could handle any situation professionally and courteously.”
Employers ask this question to make sure you can follow their directions and procedures. They want to know that you are a team player who is willing to learn from them. In your answer, explain how much you value the opinions of others. Explain that you will take direction seriously and do everything you can to ensure you’re doing what they expect.
Example: “I am an excellent follower of directions. I understand the importance of following instructions precisely and accurately, especially in a restaurant setting where there are many moving parts. I have worked as a busser for several years and have developed a strong sense of attention to detail when it comes to following directions.
In my previous positions, I was always praised for my ability to follow instructions quickly and efficiently. I take pride in being able to anticipate what needs to be done before being asked, which has helped me become even better at following directions. I also make sure to ask questions if something is unclear so that I can ensure accuracy and avoid any mistakes.”
The interviewer may ask this question to see if you have experience with the specific POS system they use. If you do, share your previous experience and how it helped you in your current or past job. If you don’t have any experience working with a particular POS system, explain that you’re willing to learn.
Example: “Yes, I do have experience working with POS systems. During my previous job as a Busser at a restaurant, I was responsible for entering orders into the system and ensuring that all transactions were accurate. I also had to troubleshoot any issues that arose while using the system. My familiarity with the system allowed me to quickly learn new features and updates, which helped improve efficiency in the restaurant. I am confident that my skills and knowledge of POS systems will be an asset to your team.”
This question can help interviewers understand how you prioritize tasks and manage your time. Your answer should include a step-by-step process for preparing tables, including the order in which you complete each task.
Example: “When preparing tables for guests, I make sure that everything is in its proper place by following a few steps. First, I ensure that all the necessary items are on the table such as napkins, silverware, and condiments. Then, I double check to make sure that the tablecloth is clean and wrinkle-free. Finally, I arrange the chairs around the table so that they are comfortable and inviting for the guests.
I understand the importance of making sure that each table looks perfect before the guests arrive. This helps create an enjoyable atmosphere and ensures that the guests have a pleasant dining experience. I take pride in my work and strive to provide excellent customer service.”
This question can help an interviewer determine how you would interact with customers and ensure they have a positive experience. Use your answer to highlight your customer service skills, communication abilities and empathy for others.
Example: “I understand that providing a positive dining experience is essential to ensure guests have an enjoyable time. As a busser, I would make sure a table was satisfied with their meal by paying attention to detail and ensuring the table had everything they needed.
Firstly, I would check in with the table throughout the meal to see if they need anything else. This could be refilling drinks or bringing extra condiments. Secondly, I would clear away plates promptly after each course so that the next dish can arrive quickly. Finally, I would ask for feedback at the end of the meal to make sure the guests were happy with their experience. If there are any issues, I would take action immediately to rectify them.”
Employers ask this question to see if you have any experience working with kitchen staff. They want to know that you can work well with others and communicate effectively. When answering, think of a time when you worked with kitchen staff on a project or task. Explain what the goal was and how you helped them achieve it.
Example: “I have extensive experience working with kitchen staff in a variety of settings. I have worked as a busser in both casual and fine dining restaurants, so I understand the importance of being able to work quickly and efficiently while still providing excellent customer service. In my current position, I am responsible for clearing tables, stocking supplies, and helping out wherever needed in the kitchen. I always make sure to be respectful of the chefs and other kitchen staff, and I’m willing to take on any task that is asked of me. I also have great communication skills which helps me stay organized and ensures that all tasks are completed in a timely manner.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you can contribute to their team. When answering, it’s important to highlight a skill or two that makes you unique from other applicants. You could also share an anecdote of a time when you used one of these skills to help the restaurant succeed.
Example: “I believe my experience and qualifications make me stand out from other bussers applying for this position. I have over five years of experience in the restaurant industry, with two of those years specifically as a busser. During that time, I have gained extensive knowledge about the role, which includes everything from setting tables to cleaning up after guests.
In addition to my experience, I am also highly organized and detail-oriented. I understand the importance of having an orderly dining room and take pride in ensuring all areas are kept clean and tidy. My customer service skills are top notch; I always strive to provide friendly, efficient service to every guest. Finally, I’m a team player who is willing to go above and beyond to help out wherever needed.”
Employers ask this question to see if you have any interest in trying new things. They want employees who are open to learning and growing their skills. When answering, think about which services you’ve heard of but haven’t worked in yet. Explain why you’re interested in them and what you hope to learn from the experience.
Example: “I have worked in a variety of restaurant services, but there are still some that I haven’t had the chance to try. One type of service I would like to experience is fine dining. I think it would be interesting to learn how to provide a more formal and elevated level of service. I’m also curious about working in a buffet-style setting. It would be exciting to learn the best practices for keeping food stocked and organized while ensuring guests have an enjoyable experience. Finally, I’d love to work in a fast-casual restaurant. This style of service requires speed and efficiency, which I believe I could excel at.”
Employers ask this question to see if you have the skills they are looking for in a busser. They want someone who is friendly, organized and able to multitask. When answering this question, think about what skills you possess that would be beneficial to the job.
Example: “I believe the most important skill for a busser to have is an excellent attention to detail. As a busser, it’s essential that you are able to quickly and accurately identify which items need to be cleared from each table. This requires being able to spot even the smallest of details in order to ensure that all dishes and utensils are removed promptly and efficiently.
In addition to this, I think having strong communication skills is also key. A busser must be able to communicate effectively with both customers and staff members in order to provide the best possible service. Being able to politely answer questions and handle any complaints or requests will help create a positive dining experience for everyone involved.”
Employers ask this question to see if you are a clean and organized person. They want someone who can keep their work station tidy at all times. When answering, make sure to mention that you will clean your workstation every day or before the end of your shift. This shows that you have good time management skills and respect for your employer’s property.
Example: “I clean my work station after every shift. I make sure to wipe down all surfaces, sweep the floors, and empty any trash cans or bins that need to be emptied. I take pride in keeping a neat and tidy workspace so that it is always ready for the next shift. I also check with my supervisor at the end of each shift to ensure that everything has been properly cleaned and organized. This helps me stay on top of any messes that may have been left behind by other staff members.”
Employers ask this question to see how you handle a challenging situation. They want to know that you can stay calm and focused in the moment, as well as communicate clearly with your coworkers. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to clean up the spill and ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Example: “If there is a spill on the floor, my process for handling it would be to first assess the situation. I would determine if the spill is hazardous or not and take appropriate action accordingly. If the spill is non-hazardous, I would use a mop and bucket to clean up the mess. I would also make sure that any broken glass or other debris is removed from the area. After cleaning the area, I would then place caution signs around the area to alert customers of the potential hazard. Finally, I would notify management so they can take additional steps to ensure customer safety.”
Employers ask this question to make sure you’re comfortable working with a variety of people. They want to know that you can work well with customers from all backgrounds and ages. Use your answer to show the employer that you have experience interacting with different types of people. Explain how you’ve worked with diverse groups in the past and what skills helped you succeed.
Example: “Absolutely! I am comfortable working with a diverse range of customers. In my previous positions, I have had the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life and different backgrounds. This has allowed me to develop strong interpersonal skills and an understanding of how to best serve each customer’s needs. I understand that every customer is unique and deserves to be treated with respect and kindness. I take pride in providing excellent service to everyone who comes through the door. As a busser, I am also aware of how important it is to ensure that all guests are served quickly and efficiently. My goal is always to make sure that their dining experience is as positive and enjoyable as possible.”
Employers ask this question to learn more about your experience in a customer service role. They want to know if you have any previous experience working with customers and how well you performed in that role. When answering, make sure to include details about what you did in the role and how it helped you develop your skills.
Example: “I have extensive experience in customer service, having worked as a Busser for the past five years. During that time I developed excellent communication and interpersonal skills which enabled me to provide outstanding customer service. My ability to anticipate customers’ needs and respond quickly and efficiently helped create an enjoyable dining experience.
I also understand the importance of maintaining a clean and organized work environment. As a Busser, I was responsible for ensuring tables were cleared promptly and reset correctly. I took pride in my attention to detail when it came to cleaning and organizing the restaurant. This ensured our customers had a pleasant experience while dining with us.”
Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to handle challenging situations with grace and confidence. They want to know that you can stay calm under pressure, communicate effectively and solve problems quickly. In your answer, share a specific time when you faced a challenge while bussing tables and how you handled it.
Example: “I understand that challenging situations can arise while bussing tables. I have experience in dealing with these types of situations and am confident in my ability to handle them. My approach is to remain calm and professional, no matter what the situation may be. I always strive to provide excellent customer service by being attentive to customers’ needs and responding quickly to any requests they may have. If a problem arises, I take the initiative to find a solution. I also communicate effectively with other staff members so that we can work together to resolve any issues. Finally, I make sure to follow all safety protocols and procedures when handling difficult situations.”
Employers ask this question to see if you have the organizational skills necessary for the job. They want someone who can keep track of their tasks and responsibilities, so they know that you’ll be able to complete your work on time. In your answer, explain how you stay organized and give an example of a time when you used those skills to help you get through a task or project.
Example: “I have developed a few techniques to help me stay organized and on task. First, I make sure to create a daily checklist of tasks that need to be completed. This helps me prioritize my work and ensures that nothing gets overlooked. Secondly, I like to break down larger tasks into smaller chunks so they are easier to manage. Finally, I use technology to keep track of my progress. For example, I often set reminders for myself on my phone or computer to ensure that I don’t miss any important deadlines.”
Employers ask this question to make sure you have the ability to respond to complaints in a positive way. They want to know that you can take responsibility for your actions and learn from them. In your answer, try to explain what you did to resolve the situation and how it helped you improve your work.
Example: “I have had a few complaints from guests in the past, but I always take them seriously and strive to make sure that they are addressed. When I receive a complaint, I first listen carefully to what the guest has to say and then try to understand their perspective. I also ask questions to get more information about the situation so that I can address it properly. After that, I apologize for any inconvenience caused and explain how I plan to resolve the issue. Finally, I follow up with the guest to ensure that the problem is resolved and that they are satisfied with my response. This approach has helped me build strong relationships with customers and maintain a positive reputation as a busser.”
Upselling is a common practice in the restaurant industry. It’s when servers or bussers encourage customers to purchase more expensive items on their menu, such as upgrading from a burger to a steak. Upselling can be an effective way to increase revenue and customer satisfaction. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide specific examples of how you’ve successfully upsold before.
Example: “When it comes to upselling items to guests, I believe in providing a personalized experience. My approach is to get to know the guest and understand their needs. I take the time to explain the menu options and suggest dishes that would best suit their tastes. I also make sure to highlight any specials or promotions available so they can get the most out of their dining experience.
I always strive to create a positive atmosphere for my guests by being friendly and attentive. If I notice that a guest is hesitant about ordering something, I will provide additional information on why it might be a good choice. By doing this, I am able to build trust with the guest and increase the chances of them making an order.”
Employers ask this question to see if you have any ideas for improving their restaurant’s busser services. They want employees who are proactive and willing to help the company improve its processes. When answering this question, think of ways that you could make your current or previous job easier. Think about what would be helpful to you as a server and what would benefit customers.
Example: “Yes, I have some ideas for improving busser services at your restaurant. First of all, I believe that communication between the waitstaff and the bussers is key to providing excellent service. If there is a clear line of communication between the two teams, it will help ensure that orders are taken correctly, tables are cleared quickly, and customers are served efficiently.
I also think that having a system in place for tracking customer requests can be beneficial. This could include keeping track of special requests or dietary restrictions so that they can be communicated to the kitchen staff quickly and accurately. Finally, I believe that training bussers on proper table etiquette and presentation can go a long way towards creating an enjoyable dining experience for guests. By teaching them how to properly set up a table, serve food, and clear dishes, you can ensure that every guest receives the best possible service.”
Employers ask this question to see if you have anything else to add that they might not have thought of. This is your chance to show them how much you know about the job and why you’re a good fit for it. Think about what you’ve learned from the interview so far, and use that information to answer this question.
Example: “Yes, absolutely. I believe that my experience and skills make me the perfect fit for this Busser position. I have been a busser in the restaurant industry for over five years now and have gained extensive knowledge of the role. My attention to detail and ability to multitask are two qualities that will be beneficial to your team.
I am also very organized and efficient when it comes to cleaning tables and resetting them quickly. I understand the importance of providing excellent customer service and strive to ensure that all guests feel welcomed and taken care of during their visit. Finally, I am always willing to go above and beyond to help out wherever needed and take pride in being an integral part of the team.”