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Busser Overview

A Busser is responsible for clearing and cleaning tables, resetting them for the next guests and assisting Servers with delivering customers’ orders.

This overview provides valuable insights into a Busser’s role, covering responsibilities, salary, career progression and frequently asked questions.

What Is a Busser?

A Busser ensures smooth restaurant operations and a positive dining experience by assisting the front-of-house staff with various tasks.

Their job also involves general cleaning tasks such as sweeping, mopping and taking out the trash.

What Does a Busser Do?

A Busser’s day-to-day responsibilities include:

  • Clearing and cleaning tables
  • Resetting tables for new guests
  • Refilling water glasses and other beverages for diners
  • Assisting Servers with guest requests
  • Bringing additional items to tables as needed such as condiments, extra napkins and utensils
  • Maintaining cleanliness in the dining area
  • Monitoring the dining area for spills or other potential safety hazards and promptly addressing them
  • Assisting with general restaurant tasks as assigned

What Is the Workplace of a Busser Like?

A Busser’s workplace encompasses various zones within the restaurant, including the main dining area, kitchen and service stations. They move between these places to clear tables promptly, reset them for new guests and assist with maintaining cleanliness and organization.

Bussers frequently interact with other restaurant staff members to coordinate tasks and relay important information to waitstaff, such as a customer’s dietary restrictions.

The work schedule of a Busser typically revolves around the operational hours and peak times of the restaurant where they are employed.

Bussers are exposed to food and beverage spills, hot surfaces in the kitchen and potentially slippery floors. As such, they must adhere to safety protocols to ensure a safe environment for themselves, fellow staff members and guests.

Busser Salary in the US

The average base salary for a Busser in the United States is $30,040 per year, according to the most recent data averaged from Glassdoor, Indeed and Salary.com.

Salaries for Bussers can vary based on factors such as location, experience and the type of establishment.

Tips can also significantly increase a Busser’s salary. In some restaurants, Bussers may receive a portion of the tips earned by Servers or may participate in a tip pool.

Here’s an overview of Busser salaries across four major U.S. cities: Miami, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Miami

Annual mean wage

$25,223

New York City

Annual mean wage

$33,498

Chicago

Annual mean wage

$32,819

Los Angeles

Annual mean wage

$28,230

[Calculated using Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Salary.com, Talent.com and Indeed data]

 

Busser Career Progression

As Bussers gain experience, they cultivate essential skills such as time management, communication and attention to detail. These skills enhance their effectiveness in their current role and create opportunities for advancement to positions with greater responsibilities, including managerial roles.

Furthermore, by pursuing continuing education — such as enrolling in hospitality management courses, attending workshops or obtaining certifications — Bussers can diversify their skill set and expand their career options as seen below.

Busser
Server
Avg Salary $ 35,457
Food Service Supervisor
Avg Salary $ 41,020
Assistant Restaurant Manager
Avg Salary $ 50,775
Restaurant General Manager
Avg Salary $ 61,310
Barback
Avg Salary $ 31,688
Bartender
Avg Salary $ 34,490
Food Service Supervisor
Avg Salary $ 41,020
Sommelier
Avg Salary $ 65,581

Busser FAQs

Important skills for Bussers include time management, attention to detail, effective communication, teamwork and the ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment. Being customer-focused and having a positive attitude are also valuable traits.

Previous experience is not always required to work as a Busser, as many employers provide on-the-job training. However, having some experience in the hospitality industry or related roles can be beneficial.

Bussers typically wear uniforms provided by the restaurant, which may include a collared shirt, apron and closed-toe shoes. Some restaurants may also require Bussers to wear specific attire such as black pants or skirts.

The difficulty of working as a Busser varies based on factors such as the type of establishment, customer volume and one’s personal preferences. While the role involves physical tasks and navigating a fast-paced environment, many find it rewarding. Despite its demands, working as a Busser can provide valuable opportunities for personal growth and satisfaction.