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What is a busser?

Learn all about what a busser does, how much they're paid, and much more!

What is a busser

What is a busser?

A busser’s role is to set and clear tables at a restaurant to ensure that each guest has a clean and consistent experience. They remove used dishes from tables, re-set tables between parties, and sometimes fill water glasses.

Bussers are the quiet backbone of many serving staffs. They perform their roles efficiently and ensure that each customer’s experience is smooth and seamless.

What are a busser’s duties and responsibilities?

A busser’s duties and responsibilities include:

  • Setting tables for dining service

  • Keeping guests’ water filled

  • Work with service staff and restaurant managers

  • Maintaining a clean and organized dining room

  • Refilling salt and pepper, sugar packets, and other condiments

  • Clearing used plates, glasses, and cutlery from the table during and after service

  • Running food if servers are busy

How much are bussers paid?

Restaurant bussers are hourly employees. On average, they make between $10 and $12 an hour. Depending on the restaurant, bussers may or may not earn tips in addition to their wage.

What are the qualities that make a good busser?

Good bussers are fast and efficient when navigating the dining area. They step in wherever the server needs assistance to keep a dining experience running smoothly. Bussers understand how each table should be set and when to reset glasses, silverware, and plates between courses.

Bussers should be team players. They support servers, food runners, and other service staff throughout the shift. Good bussers are able to anticipate the needs of servers and guests.

How to become a busser

Restaurants are almost always willing to train bussers with the skills they need for the job. Browse local job ads online or search for restaurants with “now hiring” signs in the window. Applying to online job ads is a good idea, but restaurant management staff is often impressed with applicants that visit the restaurant in-person to introduce themselves and express interest in the job.

How to hire a busser

Start by making a list of the kind of qualities you want your bussers to have. Then, post job ads online or put a “now hiring” sign outside your restaurant. When interviewing candidates, ask about the key roles and duties of the job. Hire candidates that have experience in customer service and understand how to work as part of a team. Being open to training workers with little to no service is a good way to expand your pool of candidates.

Bussers support a restaurant’s service staff, and they are essential members of a smooth-running service team. Bussing tables in a restaurant is a good starting place to begin to learn the ins and outs of the restaurant industry and the basics of food service.

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