April 14, 2023
Alipio Umiten IV

Restaurant Busser: 10 Proven Tips to Excel In Your Role

Picture this: You're sitting at a bustling restaurant, enjoying a delicious meal with your loved ones. As you look around, you notice that the dining area is impeccably clean, tables are cleared and reset with lightning speed, and the entire dining experience is nothing short of seamless. But who's responsible for this impressive level of service? Meet the unsung hero of the restaurant world - the restaurant busser. 

This blog post delves into the crucial role of a restaurant busser, discussing their daily tasks, and providing valuable insights into the steps required to excel in this position. So, let's dive in and discover what it takes to excel in this vital position within the hospitality industry.

Revolution Ordering Demo

What Is a Busser In a Restaurant?

A busser is a vital restaurant personnel whose primary responsibility is to maintain the cleanliness and orderliness of the dining area. As part of their duties, bussers often tend to tables, clean dishes, refill drinks and condiments, help restock supplies, reset tables for new guests, deliver food to customers' tables, and maintain a pleasant, inviting atmosphere. Additionally, bussers may assist other restaurant staff when needed and help with any other tasks that will make the restaurant run more smoothly. 

Bussers are typically responsible for ensuring that the dining area is in good condition so guests can enjoy their meals without interruption or distraction. As such, they often work with the restaurant hostess and wait staff to ensure a smooth dining experience for patrons and facilitate efficient table turnover.

What Does a Busser Do At a Restaurant?

In a bustling dining environment, the busser ensures guests enjoy a comfortable and pleasant experience. As a vital restaurant team member, a busser performs various tasks that contribute to a seamless dining experience.

First and foremost, a busser prepares tables for incoming guests by swiftly clearing away used dishes, utensils, and glassware. They also wipe down and sanitize table surfaces, ensuring a clean and inviting atmosphere for the next patrons. This quick turnaround of tables allows the restaurant to accommodate more guests, ultimately boosting overall revenue.

In addition to table maintenance, bussers restock essential items such as napkins, condiments, and silverware at each table. They also assist in replenishing buffet stations, ensuring the food is consistently available and visually appealing to guests. This attention to detail helps maintain a consistent and high-quality dining experience.

Another key responsibility of a busser is to assist servers by promptly delivering food and beverages to guests. This support allows servers to focus on taking orders and providing exceptional customer service. Bussers may also be asked to respond to guest requests, such as providing extra napkins or refilling water glasses, ensuring that patrons' needs are met in a timely manner.

Behind the scenes, bussers play an essential role in maintaining the cleanliness of the restaurant. They sweep and mop the dining area floors, empty trash receptacles, and keep service stations organized. By maintaining a clean and orderly environment, bussers contribute to a positive impression on guests, encouraging them to return for future visits.

How to Be a Busser At a Restaurant

To become a busser at a restaurant, follow these ten steps:

  1. Research the Role

Familiarize yourself with the duties and responsibilities of a busser, which include clearing tables, resetting them for new guests, and assisting servers with various tasks.

  1. Acquire Necessary Skills

Improve your abilities in time management, teamwork, communication, and multitasking. Additionally, work on building your physical stamina, as the role often requires standing for long periods and lifting heavy items.

  1. Prepare a Resume

Craft a resume highlighting your relevant skills, experiences, and any previous restaurant customer service or restaurant roles you've held.

  1. Apply for Open Positions

Search online job boards and local newspapers for busser positions. You can also directly approach restaurants to inquire about job openings.

  1. Prepare for Interviews

Practice common interview questions and be ready to discuss your skills, experiences, and reasons for wanting to become a busser.

  1. Demonstrate Professionalism

Show up for interviews on time, dress neatly, and maintain a positive attitude throughout the process.

  1. Learn the Restaurant's Standard Operating Procedures

Once you secure a busser position, familiarize yourself with the restaurant's specific procedures, such as table setup, order of service, and any cleaning protocols.

  1. Build Relationships With Your Team

Establish rapport with your coworkers, including servers, hosts, and kitchen staff. Good teamwork and communication are essential for success in this role.

  1. Continue Developing Your Skills

Seek opportunities to learn and grow, such as cross-training in other restaurant roles, attending training sessions, or seeking feedback from supervisors and coworkers.

  1. Maintain a Strong Work Ethic

Show up for shifts on time, stay organized, and always be ready to assist with any tasks necessary to ensure a smooth dining experience for guests.

Having learned about the necessary steps to become a busser, let's now explore the crucial characteristics and optimal methods that can enable you to thrive as an excellent restaurant busser.


How to Be a Good Busser At a Restaurant

Being a good busser at a restaurant is crucial to ensuring a smooth dining experience for patrons and a well-functioning team dynamic among staff. To excel in this role, follow these tips and best practices:

Develop Strong Communication Skills

Effective communication is key to success in any restaurant job. As a busser, you'll need to interact with servers, hosts, and kitchen staff. Listen attentively, ask questions if necessary, and relay information clearly and concisely.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

A friendly and professional demeanor is essential for creating a welcoming atmosphere. Approach each task with a can-do attitude and be willing to help others when needed.

Prioritize Cleanliness and Hygiene

Bussers are responsible for maintaining a clean dining environment. Always wash your hands frequently, sanitize surfaces, and follow food safety guidelines. Promptly remove used dishes, utensils, and glassware from tables, ensuring that guests have a neat and pleasant dining experience.

Master the Art of Multitasking

As a busser, you'll often need to juggle multiple responsibilities. Learn to prioritize tasks, allocate time efficiently, and remain organized under pressure. Keep an eye on tables to anticipate when guests need service and stay one step ahead.

Be Observant and Proactive

Pay close attention to the needs of guests and staff. Recognize when tables need to be cleared, when to refill water glasses, and when to assist servers with food delivery. Taking the initiative will make you an invaluable team member.

Learn the Menu and Restaurant Layout

Familiarize yourself with the menu and the layout of the restaurant. This knowledge will enable you to answer guest questions, direct them to restrooms or other areas, and help servers with their tasks.

Hone Your Teamwork Skills

A well-functioning restaurant team relies on collaboration and support. Work closely with your colleagues, share responsibilities, and step in to help when needed. Being a reliable team player will earn you the respect of your coworkers and contribute to a positive work environment.

Develop Your Speed and Efficiency

To excel as a busser, one must be able to maintain a fast and efficient work pace to keep up with the dynamic restaurant environment. Practice moving briskly without sacrificing quality or safety, and you'll be a vital asset to your team.

Be Adaptable and Flexible

Each day at a restaurant brings new challenges. Be prepared to adapt to changing circumstances and accommodate the needs of your team and guests. Flexibility will make you a more effective busser and help you excel in your role.

Seek Feedback and Constantly Improve

To be a successful busser, always strive for improvement. Regularly ask for feedback from your colleagues and supervisors, and use that information to refine your skills and grow in your role. Your dedication to continuous learning will make you an exemplary busser at any restaurant.

Revolution Ordering Demo

Frequently Asked Questions About Restaurant Busser

Are you still curious about the role of a restaurant busser and what they do daily? Discover more by exploring these frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers!

What Do You Call a Busser?

In America, a busser is commonly referred to as a bus boy, bus girl, bus staff, or bus person, while in British English, the terms used include commis waiter, commis de rang, commis boy, or waiter's assistant.

Do Bussers Get Tips?

Bussers do not traditionally receive direct tips. However, they may receive a share of tips from servers or bartenders as part of a tip pool system established by the restaurant.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Busser?

To excel as a busser, you need to master various skills that contribute to a smooth and efficient dining experience for customers. Key skills required to be a successful busser include:

  • Strong communication abilities: Bussers must effectively communicate with waitstaff, kitchen staff, and management to ensure a well-coordinated dining experience. Active listening and the ability to convey information clearly are essential.
  • Exceptional time management: Bussers need to balance their responsibilities efficiently, such as clearing tables, refilling water glasses, and resetting tables. This skill allows them to prioritize tasks and maintain a steady workflow.
  • High levels of physical stamina: A busser's job involves constant movement, including bending, lifting, and carrying heavy items. Good physical stamina helps bussers perform their duties quickly and efficiently.
  • Keen attention to detail: Bussers must maintain a clean and organized dining area. This includes properly arranging table settings, ensuring the cleanliness of surfaces, and promptly addressing any spills or messes.
  • Excellent customer service skills: While bussers may not interact with customers as frequently as waitstaff, they still play a vital role in the overall dining experience. Bussers should be friendly, approachable, and responsive to customer needs.
  • Adaptability and flexibility: Bussers often work in fast-paced environments where circumstances can change rapidly. Being able to adapt to new situations and adjust to changing priorities is crucial.
  • Teamwork and collaboration: Bussers must work closely with other staff members, supporting each other in their respective roles. A strong sense of teamwork and a collaborative mindset contribute to a harmonious work environment and a better customer dining experience.

By developing and honing these skills, bussers can ensure they are well-equipped to provide top-notch service in the dynamic restaurant industry.

What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of Bus Boy?

The day-to-day tasks of a restaurant busser can vary but generally include the following:

1. Clearing tables: Busboys swiftly remove used dishes, glassware, and utensils from tables once customers have finished their meals. They ensure that tables are clean and ready for the next guests.

2. Sanitizing tables and seating: Busboys are responsible for wiping down tables, chairs, and booths with sanitizing solutions to maintain a clean and hygienic dining environment.

3. Assisting with table setup: They help set tables with clean tablecloths, napkins, silverware, and glassware in preparation for new customers.

4. Restocking supplies: Busboys replenish essential dining items, such as condiments, napkins, and straws, ensuring that servers and customers have everything they need.

5. Supporting servers: They provide valuable assistance to servers by carrying trays, refilling water glasses, and bringing additional items requested by customers, enabling servers to focus on attending to the needs of the guests.

6. Communicating with kitchen staff: Busboys communicate with cooks and other kitchen staff to ensure the timely delivery of orders and relay any special customer requests.

7. Emptying trash and recycling: They are responsible for removing trash and recycling from the dining area, as well as ensuring that waste is properly sorted and disposed of.

8. Sweeping and mopping floors: Busboys maintain clean floors by sweeping and mopping regularly, paying special attention to high-traffic areas and potential hazards, such as spills.

9. Adhering to safety and sanitation guidelines: They follow all relevant health and safety regulations to ensure customers a safe and clean dining experience.

10. Assisting with closing duties: At the end of the shift, bussers help with tasks such as cleaning and storing restaurant equipment, ensuring that the establishment is ready for the next day's operation.

How Do You Describe a Busser On a Resume?

To describe a Busser on a resume, it is recommended to use strong action verbs and highlight the specific duties and responsibilities performed in the role. For example, you can start by stating the job title - Busser, followed by a brief summary of the main responsibilities, such as clearing tables, replacing linens and utensils, and restocking supplies. 

It is also advisable to mention any relevant skills and experience that showcase your ability to effectively execute the duties of a Busser, such as the ability to work in a fast-paced environment, attention to detail, customer service skills, and teamwork. Additionally, including any achievements, awards, or recognition received during your time as a Busser can help enhance your resume and make you stand out to potential employers.