Busser: What Is It? and How to Become One? | Ziprecruiter

What Is a Busser and How to Become One

What Do Bussers Do?

Bussers are people who work in the restaurant and catering industry. During the food service, they are in charge of clearing dishes when the patrons have finished a course and bringing the dirty dishes to the dishwasher. They may also assist the wait staff as needed by bringing appetizers or other plates to the tables. At the end of meal, bussers replace the linens and settings on the tables. Depending on the venue and services provided, they may be responsible for ensuring clean linens and tableware are well-stocked, and also cleaning, mopping, and trash duties. They are an essential part of the hospitality team and a vital part of providing a great guest experience.

How to Become a Busser

The primary qualifications for a Busser job are being able to work well in teams, strong customer service skills, and working efficiently with stamina. Some organizations might also prefer prior work experience in a restaurant or hospitality setting and a high school diploma or equivalent. Typically, job openings for Bussers are in local and chain restaurants, though bars, event planning companies, and catering companies are other options. The duties and responsibilities for a career as a Busser include clearing and cleaning tables, setting tables, cleaning up spills, communicating with servers if guests need tending to, refilling condiments on tables, and serving food and refilling glasses if servers are busy.

What Makes a Good Busser?

A good busser plays an essential role in the smooth operation of a restaurant or catering service. They know their table numbers and locations, and monitor the patrons to clear dishes as soon as they are done eating. The wait staff often relies on their bussers to help bring plates to tables when the plates are backed up from the kitchen. Great bussers jump in and help the chefs and servers any way that they can without hesitation and act as a reliable part of the food service team. They do their fair share of side work and always have the best guest experience as their goal.

What Is a Busser’s Job Description?

A busser’s primary role is to clean and reset tables in a timely fashion, bring dirty dishes and tableware to the dishwasher, and in some cases, serve complimentary items such as water and bread for guests. Bussers must keep stock replenished, such as linens, tableware and trays and also help servers by clearing plates as needed. The busser’s side work may include cleaning and polishing fixtures and walls, polishing tableware, cleaning food service areas, mopping, vacuuming, and emptying trash.

Do Bussers Get Tips?

Typically, bussers do not get tips, though they are allowed to accept them when offered. Some restaurants and caterers require servers to pool a percentage of their tips for the rest of the staff, such as the bussers and hosts. Many restaurants and catering companies require servers to distribute a percentage of their total tips among the support staff, which includes hosts and bussers. Efficient bussers who clear dishes in a timely manner add to enjoyment of the patrons while they are enjoying a a meal. The more satisfied a customer feels about their experience, the more likely they are to leave a substantial tip.

Busser Job Description Sample

With this Busser job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Busser role.

Job Summary

A busser is someone who is attentive to customers and coworkers so that the guests dining in the restaurant have the best service possible. Cleaning tables, booths, and chairs, quickly removing dirty dishes, and serving drinks are all part of a busser’s day. The busser will help the wait staff and bartenders by setting tables, filling beverage glasses, and providing silverware. They will occasionally serve food and beverages to patrons at tables. The ideal busser candidate will be professional, friendly, and will strive to meet the highest standards of quality customer service.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Preparing for guests by cleaning and setting tables
  • Setting up any seasonal decorations, candles, or table cloths
  • Greeting patrons, and if needed, escorting guests to tables
  • Assisting guests by providing menus; keeping menus clean and presentable
  • Serving water to guests and refilling beverage glasses as needed
  • Placing and replacing silverware as needed
  • Delivering beverages from the bartender
  • Stocking wait staff serving stations with napkins, utensils, trays, condiments, and salt and pepper containers
  • Removing guests’ dirty dishes and utensils
  • Delivering used dishes and utensils to the kitchen for cleaning
  • Assisting dishwashers to scrape, stack, or load dishes into dishwasher as needed
  • Vacuuming, sweeping or mopping dining room
  • Removing trash and recycling; replacing trash bags
  • Cleaning up guest spills as needed
  • Directing guests to restrooms or exits as needed
  • Clearing table as guests complete their meals and preparing tables for next guests
  • Following and maintaining all sanitation and safety procedures
  • Performing closing activities such as cleaning chairs and tables, stacking chairs, preparing stations for the morning shift
  • Additional duties may include assisting kitchen staff with preparing ingredients and cleaning kitchen surfaces

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Able to move and clean quickly in a fast-paced environment
  • Friendly “people-person”; polite and courteous to all patrons
  • Works well as part of a team and on individual tasks
  • Excellent at verbal communication
  • Works well and efficiently under pressure
  • High school degree or equivalent preferred
  • Willing to work nights and weekends
  • Physically able to wipe down table tops, chairs, and booths; able to pick up debris from the floor; able to carry 25 or more pounds; able to push vacuum or mop
  • Physically able to stand and move during the length of shift; able to bend and kneel through shift
  • Must pass a background check
  • Able to speak English
  • Eager to learn and grow with restaurant