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Average Busser Salary in Major U.S. Cities

Earning his busser salary, a busser in a suite-and-tie uniform is lighting a candle at a restaurant table after setting it.

Job prospects for bussers or food runners are expected to grow 9% in the next ten years, which is higher than average.

In this article, we will explore the busser salary range in major United States (U.S.) cities such as NYC, LA, Miami, and Chicago, providing you with a detailed understanding of their earnings. Additionally, we’ll share valuable insights on career growth prospects and practical advice for negotiating fair compensation as a busser.

How Much Do Bussers Make in the US?

The average busser salary in the U.S. amounts to around $25,980 per year. This number varies depending on the location and type of business, as well as the busser’s background and experience.

Here is the overview of busser salary ranges for the cities of New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles.

What Is the Average Busser Salary in New York City?

The average busser salary in New York City is around $26,300, with a salary range typically spanning from $23,600 to $29,600. It’s important to note that the minimum wage in NYC is $15, while the minimum wage in the state of New York is $14.20. Every worker in New York is guaranteed the right to receive a minimum wage rate per hour as mandated by law.

What Is the Average Busser Salary in Miami?

In Miami, FL, the mean salary for a busser is approximately $21,700, with the salary range typically falling between $19,500 and $24,400.

What Is the Average Busser Salary in Chicago?

The average busser salary in Chicago, IL, currently stands at approximately $23,500, with a typical salary range of $21,000 to $26,500.

What Is the Average Busser Salary in Los Angeles?

For busser positions in Los Angeles, CA, the average salary is $24,700, with a salary range usually falling between $22,100 and $27,800.

What Factors Impact a Busser’s Salary?

Having a clear understanding of the factors that impact a busser salary is crucial for making informed decisions and engaging in effective salary negotiations. The key factors include:

  1. Location: The geographical location can significantly influence the salary range for bussers. Wages tend to vary based on the cost of living, demand for labor, and local market conditions. Major cities or areas with a higher cost of living may offer higher salaries compared to rural or less affluent areas.
  2. Establishment type: The type of establishment where a busser works can impact their salary. Bussers employed in upscale restaurants or fine-dining establishments may receive higher wages compared to those working in casual dining or fast-food establishments.
  3. Experience and skills: A busser’s level of experience and skill set can affect their earning potential. Bussers with more years of experience or specialized skills, such as exceptional customer service or knowledge of multiple languages, may command higher salaries.
  4. Performance and seniority: Outstanding performance and seniority within an establishment can lead to salary increases for bussers. They may also be eligible for pay raises or promotions as they gain more experience and demonstrate value.
  5. Tips and service charge distribution: In some establishments, bussers may receive a portion of the tips or service charges collected, which can supplement their base salary and significantly impact their overall earnings.
  6. Negotiation skills: A busser’s ability to negotiate their starting salary or salary increase can also influence their earnings.

It’s important to note that these factors can vary and are influenced by regional practices, specific employers, and market conditions. It’s advisable to research salary ranges and consider these factors when evaluating or negotiating busser salaries.

Busser salary: A restaurant table is set with clean, tall glasses and cutlery on a clean, white cloth napkin.
Bussers employed in upscale restaurants may receive higher wages compared to those working in casual-dining establishments

How to Negotiate a Higher Busser Salary

While busser positions are typically considered entry-level and may not have high starting salaries, it is still possible to negotiate for a higher salary based on your qualifications and experience.

Here are a few tips for negotiating a higher busser salary in the U.S.:

  • Investigate local salary ranges: This information will help you determine a reasonable salary to negotiate for.
  • Highlight relevant experience: If you have prior experience as a busser or in a similar role, emphasize it during the negotiation process. This can demonstrate your value and potentially justify a higher starting salary.
  • Showcase additional skills: If you possess skills that are relevant to the role, such as food safety training or exceptional customer service abilities, emphasize them to show why you deserve a higher salary.
  • Emphasize your dedication: Express your commitment and enthusiasm for the position, highlighting your willingness to go the extra mile and contribute positively to the team. This can help justify a higher salary.
  • Be flexible and open to compromise: While aiming for a higher salary, be open to negotiation and consider other benefits or perks that can enhance the overall compensation package, such as flexible scheduling or opportunities for growth and advancement.
  • Follow up: To increase your chances of getting the job and stay at the forefront of the employer’s mind, consider making a follow-up call after the job interview. This proactive step demonstrates your continued interest and can help solidify your position as a strong candidate.

Remember, negotiation success depends on various factors, including the specific employer, market conditions, and your individual qualifications. If you’re considering exploring other positions within the hospitality industry, such as a barback, waiter/waitress, server or sommelier, be sure to check out our other articles.

10 Top-Paying Companies for a Busser in the US

The table below showcases employers from various industries that offer competitive hourly pay averages for busser positions.

  1. True Food Kitchen $21.38
  2. Haidilao Hot Pot $19.63
  3. Wang Cho Korean BBQ $17.93
  4. Columbia Hospitality $17.18
  5. Knott’s Berry Farm $17.00
  6. Kiwanda Hospitality Group $16.68
  7. Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille $16.66
  8. Tucanos Brazillian Grill $16.28
  9. LGC Associates, LLC $16.23
  10. Tender Greens $16.04

The wide range of industries that employ bussers provide potential applicants with a multitude of options and ample opportunities to pursue employment in a field that aligns with their interests and skills.

Find the Best Busser Salary Opportunities With Oyster Link

With Oyster Link, you can easily browse and apply for job listings from top hospitality companies in the United States. You can also find ways to connect with other professionals and potential employers in the industry.

Oyster Link also offers valuable resources, such as industry insights and news, salary guides and career advice, to help you make the best decisions for your career.


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