What is a Busser? (Professional Career Guide)

What is a busser? Setting tables, putting and changing silverware, keeping beverage glasses filled, following sanitation and safety rules, and emptying and cleaning tables, chairs, and the surroundings are all tasks performed by a busser.

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What is a busser?

In the restaurant and dining industry, a busser, sometimes known as dining room attendants or bartender assistants, is an entry-level profession. Before visitors arrive, the bussers assist in setting up the dining areas and adorning tables with candles, napkins, linens, flowers, or other ornaments, especially if the day has a specific theme, such as a national festival or holiday. They also help with table cleaning, clearing plates, used utensils, drinkware, and other dishes to the kitchen to be washed, refilling customers' glasses with water, and setting the tables for the next round of service.

Bussers are sometimes referred to as dining room attendants.

What does a busser do?

In the restaurant business, a busser (sometimes known as a "busboy" or "busgirl") is an entry-level profession. Bussers collaborate with the kitchen and waitstaff to keep the tables clean and ready for the next round of patrons.

Busser responsibilities include:

  • Tables should be cleared of dishes, glasses, napkins, and used cutlery.
  • Getting ready for the next round of customers.
  • If salt and pepper shakers and condiment bottles are missing or empty, refilling them is a good idea.
  • Notifying waiters when a table's glasses are empty and need to be replenished.
  • If the servers are busy, glasses will be refilled.
  • Spills must be cleaned up.
  • If the restaurant is busy, serving meals.
  • Showing a high degree of customer service skills at all times.
  • Cleans and dresses dining room tables for guests, as well as placing decorations, condiments, candles, napkins, service plates, and utensils.
  • Removes dirty dishes and reset tables.

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Average salary of a busser

The majority of Restaurant Busser earnings now vary between $7.21 (25th percentile) and $12.02 (75th percentile) across the United States, with average hourly wages as high as $29.09 and as low as $5.29. The typical salary for a Restaurant Busser ranges widely (up to $4.81), implying that there can be several chances for development and greater income dependent on skill level, location, and years of experience.

  • In the United States, the average hourly wage is $10.61.
  • Some hourly wages range from $7.25 to $19.35.

Bussers generally earn closer to minimum wage in their respective states.

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Per hour

The national average is $10 per hour.

Per week

The national average is $415 per week.

Per month

The national average is $1,800 per month.

Information provided by the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (source/source).

Busser requirements

While there are some talents and personal characteristics that might assist you in becoming a competent busser, no qualifications or particular schooling is necessary. More information on the busser requirements can be found here:

Education

In most cases, no formal schooling is required to work as a busser. A restaurant can require a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate that is equal to a diploma in some instances.

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Certification

Bussers do not need to be certified in order to perform their duties. If you want to advance in the food business, you should seek the ServSafe program's food safety certification. The National Restaurant Association offers this certificate to demonstrate your understanding of food preparation, serving, and storage procedures. This certification can be obtained by completing an online course and passing an exam.

Training

Most newly recruited bussers will be trained on the job by their bosses or other kitchen staff. This training might cover protocols for safety and hygiene, as well as some customer service fundamentals.

Busser skills

While no official credentials are required to work as a busser, some abilities will come in handy.

Stamina

Bussers must be able to stand or move swiftly for the whole of their shift. Physical stamina is a crucial attribute for a busser to have because you will spend little, if any, time sitting down.

Attentiveness

An alert busser will note whether a diner's glass is getting low or if a youngster need a booster chair or crayons. A busser can either attend to such requirements or notify the server with whom they are collaborating. This ability will also aid a busser in navigating a crowded area without colliding with others or spilling food or beverages.

Strength

Bussers will frequently be required to carry numerous plates and platters at once. They can also take full garbage bags to the dumpster or rearrange tables to accommodate more people.

Teamwork

A busser is part of a team of workers that includes the host/hostess, waiters, bartenders, sommeliers, and other front-of-house staff. During a busy lunchtime, a busser must be able to follow orders, anticipate requests, and know when to step in for one of the other team members.

Customer service

A busser will engage with diners for the majority of their shift. When interacting with guests, they must have a nice, polite, and professional approach.

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Busser work environment

Bussers work at a variety of restaurants, ranging in size, price, and location. Large chains, tiny family-owned restaurants, elegant bistros, and informal eateries all employ them. Bussers are more likely to be found at larger businesses, especially if it is a popular spot that is crowded on weekends and evenings. As a busser, you'll also be working in the kitchen, where you'll be surrounded by chefs, cooks, and culinary equipment.

How to become a busser

To become a busser, you must first discover a market need and then position yourself to meet it. Here are some stages to becoming a busser:

  • Create a busser resume: Make a resume for yourself. Make sure to include your previous work experience, education, and abilities, as well as tailor your resume to the position you're looking for. For example, if you only have room to list four of the seven positions you've done, start with those in foodservice and then any employment that required customer service.
  • Find open positions: Determine which roles are available. You can discover a list of restaurants that are recruiting for this position on Indeed.com.
  • Read the job description: Pay attention to the directions. Read the job posting to find out how to apply, whether it's by emailing a resume, contacting a phone number provided, or filling out an online application.
  • Get ready for an interview: Make yourself ready for an interview. Prepare responses to some typical interview questions ahead of time by dressing professionally, bringing a few printed copies of your resume/CV, and dressing professionally. Send an email thanking your interviewer for their time after the interview.
  • On-the-job training: Most commonly, on training is provided by the restaurant or bar.

Busser job description

Job description for job seekers:

Bussers are needed for our popular family restaurant on weekends and occasional weeknights. The busser will assist servers in delivering bread and water to tables, as well as bringing booster seats for youngsters and cleaning up spills. Clearing up and resetting tables with clean dishes and flatware is also part of the job description. We need someone who can operate in a fast-paced atmosphere and collaborate with others because we are a popular restaurant for Saturday meals and Sunday brunches. Prior experience in a restaurant is desired, but not needed.

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Responsibilities

  • Prepare the dining spaces before the guests arrive by placing candles, napkins, tablecloths, and flowers on the tables.
  • Tables should be set with plates and condiments, as well as water and welcome nibbles such as breadsticks.
  • Take orders and refill drinks.
  • Provide special cutlery sets to families with small children by removing soiled utensils and replenishing them as required.
  • After guests have left, clean and reset the tables.
  • In all kitchen and eating areas, follow all health and safety standards.
  • Prepare tables, clearing tables, and resetting table settings.
  • Be responsible for cleaning tables, vacuuming floors, refilling beverages, and setting tables.
  • Collaborate with other wait staff and bartender helpers.

Requirements

  • Any work in the restaurant industry/hospitality industry is preferred.
  • Working as a busser, food runner, or other entry-level position in a restaurant is advantageous.
  • Working in shifts, including weekends, nights, and holidays, is possible.
  • Rules of cleanliness and food safety are well-understood.
  • Physical stamina and ability to lift heavy trays and stand for extended periods of time
  • In a fast-paced workplace, the ability to multitask while being cool and professional is a plus. A degree in hospitality or restaurant management is a bonus.

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author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), NCDA Certified Career Counselor (CCC), and general career expert. Patrick has completed the NACE Coaching Certification Program (CCP). And has been published as a career expert on Forbes, Glassdoor, American Express, Reader's Digest, LiveCareer, Zety, Yahoo, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, SHRM.org, Process.st, FairyGodBoss, HRCI.org, St. Edwards University, NC State University, IBTimes.com, Thrive Global, TMCnet.com, Work It Daily, Workology, Career Guide, MyPerfectResume, College Career Life, The HR Digest, WorkWise, Career Cast, Elite Staffing, Women in HR, All About Careers, Upstart HR, The Street, Monster, The Ladders, Introvert Whisperer, and many more. Find him on LinkedIn.

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