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.
Busser Job Description
Every dining establishment needs bussers to provide a clean and enjoyable experience. They go by many names – dining room attendants, runners, waiter assistants – but the people who bus tables are always key players on any team, whether it’s a restaurant, bar, or hotel.
Part of the “back of the house” staff, bussers work directly with waiters and waitresses and can be almost invisible to guests. But they are the ones greasing the wheels behind the scenes to make the restaurant run smoothly.
How does a person do it, and more importantly, how do they do it well? When writing a busser job description, there are certain skill sets to highlight: attention to detail, a thorough approach to cleaning, strong organizational skills, and a desire to work in a fast-paced environment are key.
Good candidates for the job will be able to clear and reset tables accurately and quickly. They’ll make sure the restaurant is well-stocked with all necessary items, including silverware, plates, napkins, and glassware. Drinks must be watched and refilled promptly.
Just like servers, bussers navigate a maze of requests and tables to ensure customers are always happy.
List of Duties for the Job
Prepare dining areas
Being a good busser requires constantly being on your toes. It’s more than just setting a table. Bussers must quickly and thoroughly clean and set up tables between guests. This might entail replenishing candles, napkins, linens, and flowers, in addition to plates, glassware, and all silverware. Table condiments must be checked and refreshed. They may be called upon to move tables to accommodate large groups or reposition heat lamps on patios. A successful busser is highly organized, detail-oriented, and someone who does not cut corners.
Provide customer service
All the details and organization aside, bussers interact with customers throughout the meal and provide friendly and professional customer service. Bussers are the ones ferrying welcome snacks and bread baskets to the tables, refilling water, and sometimes taking orders. They must have an eagle eye for flatware faux pas, for instance, such as missing soup spoons or special silverware for young children. At higher-end restaurants, bussers may notice when guests leave the table and swoop in to refold napkins and sometimes present appetizers or desserts.
Guests see the bussers deftly whisking away dirty plates after a meal is finished, but that’s just the first step of the cleaning-up process. Bussers are responsible for taking plates into the kitchen, placing them in the dishwasher, and often doubling as dishwashers themselves. Depending on the venue, they may be responsible for mopping, cleaning the kitchen, and taking out the trash. They’re on the frontlines of maintaining health and safety regulations in all dining and kitchen areas.
Be a team player
Bussers always work as part of a group with servers and other bussers. Being a team player might be the single most important characteristic of great assistants. They must constantly communicate with the servers, working closely together to ensure everything happens in a timely manner. Bussers often support each other, stocking supplies for colleagues or jumping in to help in other ways. Evening bussers help close the restaurant, stacking chairs and setting up stations for the morning crew.
Hire and Retain Great Restaurant Employees
Toast and Homebase teamed up to share tips on how to effectively hire and retain employees so you can have a happier team and reduce turnover.
Busser Job Description Sample
To make it easier to create a busser job description, here’s a sample you can use.
Job Title: Busser
Salary: $10–$14/hour – commensurate with experience
Tip Income: Maybe
Schedule: Part-time (20 hours per week). Wed-Saturday
Role: You will work in a team-oriented, fast-paced environment providing support to waitstaff and setting up dining areas to the high standards of quality our restaurant is known for. Attention to detail, a thorough approach to cleaning, and strong organizational skills are essential. You will ensure our daily operations run smoothly and our guests have a pleasant dining experience.
Prepare the dining area before guests are seated
Set tables with all tableware, plates, glassware, linens, and decorations, such as candles or flowers
Serve water and welcome snacks
Replenish drinks and respond to requests from customers as needed
Remove dirty utensils and replenish them as needed throughout the meal
Clean all table surfaces in a timely manner to ensure a safe and sanitary environment
Stock serving stations with napkins, utensils, trays, condiments, salt, and pepper containers
Assist dishwashers with scraping, stacking, or loading dishes into the dishwasher as needed
Maintain health and safety regulations in the dining room and kitchen
Perform closing activities such as cleaning chairs and tables, stacking chairs, mopping, and preparing stations for the morning shift
Additional requirements: Must be physically able to wipe down tables, chairs, and booths. Must be physically able to bend, kneel, and pick up debris from the floor, able to stand and move during shift, and able to carry 25 pounds or more and to push a vacuum, broom, or mop.
Tips for Writing Effective Job Descriptions
The opening section is crucial to attracting the interest and attention of candidates. Highlight the coolest parts of the position to differentiate the job at your restaurant from all the rest.
Focus on the core responsibilities of the position and keep the job description concise.
Be clear about the physical demands of the job.
A job posting can be much more than a boring description. With such a vast array of eating and drinking establishments, each employer will require specific skills and duties. Think of this overview as a jumping-off point for your own unique job description.
Related Restaurant Resources
- Restaurant Assistant Manager Job Description
- Prep Cook Job Description
- Chef Job Description
- Sommelier Job Description
- Kitchen Manager Job Description
- Pastry Chef Job Description
- Restaurant General Manager Job Description
- Server Job Description
- Bartender Job Description
- Barista Job Description
- Dishwasher Job Description
- Host Job Description
- Barback Job Description
- Executive Chef Job Description
- Sous Chef Job Description
- Line Cook Job Description
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