Career Development

What Does a Busser Do?

Find out what a busser does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a busser.

Bussers are the behind-the-scenes workers of the restaurant industry. They’re responsible for setting up tables, clearing away dirty dishes, and ensuring that everything is in its proper place before guests arrive. Bussers may also be called upon to take food orders or deliver drinks to customers at their table.

Busser Job Duties

Bussers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Cleaning tables and other surfaces, removing used dishes and replacing them with clean ones
  • Setting up or breaking down tables and chairs, as needed, to accommodate different events
  • Setting up or breaking down decorations and other setup items as directed by the event coordinator
  • Collecting payment from customers at the end of the event, reconciling cash sales with receipts to ensure accuracy in accounting
  • Collecting dirty plates or glasses from guests and returning with clean ones
  • Making sure that guests have been seated at their tables and that they are attended to throughout their stay
  • Cleaning up spills and removing trash from the floor or other areas where it may have accumulated
  • Carrying food items to the kitchen for storage or plating.
  • Cleaning up after large events such as weddings or conferences by putting away decorations and equipment and disposing of garbage

Busser Salary & Outlook

Bussers are typically paid an hourly wage, which can vary depending on the restaurant or bar they work in, their level of experience, and the city or state in which they work. Some bussers may also receive tips from customers, which can contribute to their overall income.

  • Median Annual Salary: $25,000 ($12.02/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $49,500 ($23.8/hour)

The employment of bussers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

The number of restaurants and bars is expected to increase over the next decade, leading to more jobs for bussers. As restaurants and bars expand their business to include more locations, they will need more bussers to help transport food and drinks between locations.

Busser Job Requirements

A busser typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Bussers are typically required to have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some employers may prefer an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in hospitality or a related field.

Training & Experience: Bussers often receive on-the-job training from their supervisors or other kitchen staff. This training may include how to clean specific areas of the kitchen, how to properly dispose of waste and how to use certain cleaning equipment.

Certifications & Licenses: Bussers don’t require any certifications to earn their position. However, some states require servers to have a license to serve alcohol. If a restaurant requires servers to be certified, a busser may complete a serving certification program.

Busser Skills

Bussers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Customer service: Customer service is the ability to interact with customers in a friendly and helpful manner. Bussers should have excellent customer service skills to ensure they provide a positive experience for customers dining in the restaurant. This includes greeting customers, answering any questions they may have and resolving any issues they may have with their meal.

Attention to detail: Bussers are responsible for cleaning tables and removing trash, so it’s important that they pay attention to detail when performing their duties. This ensures that they clean the tables thoroughly and remove all trash from the restaurant. Bussers should also pay attention to detail when taking orders to ensure they get the correct food and drink combination.

Time management: Bussers often have to manage their time efficiently to ensure they complete all of their duties in a timely manner. This includes knowing when to clean tables, when to refill condiment stations and when to take orders. It’s important to be aware of the restaurant’s schedule so you can plan your work accordingly.

Communication: Communication is another skill that bussers should have. They should be able to communicate with their coworkers, customers and managers. Bussers should be able to answer questions about the menu, the restaurant’s policies and the location of certain items. They should also be able to communicate with customers to ensure they have a pleasant experience.

Multitasking: Bussers often have to multitask, as they may be responsible for cleaning tables, taking orders, bringing food to tables and more. Being able to handle multiple tasks at once can help you be more efficient and complete your tasks in a timely manner.

Busser Work Environment

Bussers typically work in restaurants, though some may work in other food service establishments, such as cafeterias, catering services, or hotels. They typically work evening and weekend hours when these establishments are busiest. Bussers may work part time or full time, and their schedules may vary from week to week. Some bussers may work only a few hours a week, while others may work up to 40 hours a week. Overtime hours are often available, and bussers may be asked to work additional shifts on short notice. The work can be physically demanding, as bussers are constantly on their feet and moving about the restaurant. They must be able to lift and carry heavy trays of dishes and glassware. The work environment is usually fast-paced and noisy, and bussers must be able to work quickly and efficiently under pressure.

Busser Trends

Here are three trends influencing how bussers work. Bussers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

More Focus on Customer Experience

As customer service becomes more important, businesses are placing a greater emphasis on providing a positive customer experience. This means that bussers will need to be prepared to provide excellent service and to help customers feel welcome in the restaurant.

Bussers can utilize this trend by becoming familiar with the menu and the restaurant’s layout. They should also be ready to answer questions about the restaurant and its services. In addition, they should be prepared to handle any problems that may arise during the dining experience.

More Automation of Tasks

As automation continues to become more prevalent in the workforce, bussers will need to learn new skills in order to stay competitive.

One area where automation is already having an impact is in the tasks that bussers are responsible for. As machines become more sophisticated, they will be able to do tasks such as cleaning tables and dishes, which will leave bussers with more time to focus on other things.

In order to stay ahead of the curve, bussers will need to learn how to work with these machines and understand how they work. This will allow them to take advantage of the benefits that automation offers while still maintaining the human touch that is so important in the hospitality industry.

Greater Use of Technology

The use of technology in the workplace is increasing every year, and the restaurant industry is no exception. Bussers who are able to utilize technology effectively will be better equipped to handle the demands of the job.

Technology can be used to improve efficiency in many areas, such as inventory management, communication, and training. By learning how to use technology effectively, bussers can make their jobs easier and more efficient.

How to Become a Busser

A busser’s career path can be a great way to get started in the food service industry. As a busser, you’ll learn how restaurants operate and gain experience working with customers. You may also have opportunities to move up the ladder and become a server or bartender.

No matter what stage of your career you’re at, it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in food and drink. Read food blogs and magazines, watch cooking shows, and try new recipes at home. This will help you keep your skills sharp and impress customers when you’re serving them.

Related: How to Write a Busser Resume

Advancement Prospects

Bussers who show promise may be promoted to server assistant, a position that carries more responsibility and often pays more. With experience, a server assistant may become a server. The most successful bussers may eventually move into management positions.

Busser Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we provide our guests with an exceptional dining experience, and that starts with prompt and professional service. As a busser, you will play an important role in maintaining our high standards of cleanliness and organization in the dining room. You will be responsible for clearing and resetting tables, as well as assisting the waitstaff with any other needs they may have. A successful busser will be able to work quickly and efficiently while maintaining a positive attitude.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Arrive to each shift on time, in uniform, and with a positive attitude
  • Greet guests in a friendly and professional manner
  • Be attentive to guest needs and requests, and take initiative to resolve any issues that may arise
  • Work as a team player with fellow bussers, servers, and kitchen staff to ensure a smooth dining experience for all
  • Maintain a clean and organized work area at all times
  • Adhere to all safety and sanitation guidelines set forth by the restaurant
  • Bus tables quickly and efficiently, removing all dishes, glassware, utensils, and napkins
  • Wipe down all surfaces of the table after guests have left
  • Reset the table for the next party, including placing out fresh silverware, glassware, and napkins
  • Bring dirty dishes from the dining room to the dishwashing area
  • Sweep and mop the floor around your station regularly throughout the shift
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the manager

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent preferred
  • Ability to lift and carry up to 50 pounds
  • Ability to stand for long periods of time
  • Flexible availability, including evenings, weekends, and holidays
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Team player with positive attitude

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Previous experience as a busser or in a similar role
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to multitask and stay organized
  • Knowledge of basic sanitation and safety procedures

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