What is a Busser in a Restaurant Business? 

Along with hosts and servers, a restaurant will likely also include a busser in their front-of-house staff.

A busser’s role in a restaurant is to remove dirty dishes from a vacated table and set the table prepared for the next guest.

Performing such duties swiftly and efficiently helps to keep a tidy and generally enjoyable atmosphere for hungry customers. 

Bussers are not typically tasked with interacting one-on-one with customers. But they should work with the other front-of-house staff to ensure the best dining experience for guests.

This may include bringing extra condiments when asked by customers or cleaning up any spills and accidents as they happen.

With a busser on hand to help out, a server and the other front-of-house team can focus on getting customer orders right and helping with more complex customer issues.

Together, a busser and server can provide customers with a smooth, effective dining experience. 

Is Busser Same As Waitress?

Bussers and waitresses both help to keep a restaurant running smoothly but they are not the same. They have different responsibilities within the restaurant.

The key role of a waitress (also known as a server) is to interact directly with the customers face-to-face.

This includes taking orders, delivering the food correctly, and dealing with any basic issues/ problems that may arise with any customer. 

Bussers do not need to interact with customers to the same extent as waitresses. Instead, they focus on cleaning and organizing the restaurant by clearing away dishes once customers leave and setting the table for the next customer. 

Busser in a Restaurant 1

What is a Busser in a Restaurant? 

Like any front-of-house staff, a busser is a vital member of the restaurant team alongside servers, hosts, and bar staff.

They play a big part in ensuring a welcoming and organized dining experience for customers. Let’s take a look at the key responsibilities a great busser must fulfill: 

Role and Key ResponsibilitiesDescription
RoleBussers are front-of-house staff members in a restaurant who play a crucial role in maintaining a clean and organized dining area.
Table ClearingAs soon as a customer has finished their meal and left, a busser is responsible for swiftly
cleaning a table and taking used cutlery, glasses, and plates into the kitchen to be washed. 
Table SettingAs soon as a customer has finished their meal and left, a busser is responsible for swiftly
cleaning a table and taking used cutlery, glasses, and plates into the kitchen to be washed. 
Team CollaborationA good busser works hand in hand with the servers to address the immediate needs of their assigned tables.
This may include refilling glasses or fetching spare utensils and plates when asked. 
Tidy EnvironmentBussers also set up a cleared table ready for the next diners.
This includes setting out utensils in the correct order,
refilling napkins and condiments, and generally adding anything that the table may be missing. 

What is The Most Important Thing As a Busser?

The most crucial part of being a busser is cleaning and resetting tables as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

It is vital to ensure a table is clean, organized, and ready for the next customer, which can have a big impact on the overall experience of that customer.

Taking too long to clear a table can interrupt the flow of services, especially during dinner time. Likewise, a busser needs to set a table properly, providing everything a diner may need to enjoy their meal.

This can make a difference in creating a welcoming, comforting restaurant experience for customers. 

Where Do Bussers Make The Most Money?

How exactly bussers make money varies from restaurant to restaurant. There is the standard base pay for a busser but they also often have a share in any tips customers choose to leave. 

Overall income for a busser is dependent on both the city the busser is located in and the living cost of the area.

The best cities for bussers in the United States are New York City, Settle, Boston, and Washington DC.

In these cities, the demand for skilled restaurant staff is higher, offering those with more to spend a more luxurious dining experience, resulting in better tips and base pay. 

Do Bussers Become Servers? 

While most bussers do eventually move on to become servers, some may prefer to move to managerial positions or may move to the kitchen for a culinary career.

However, the transition from a busser to a server is the easiest. This is because of the vital role a busser plays in helping servers and the number of responsibilities they have that overlap.

For example, cleaning up after customers and dealing with customer issues. The main thing a busser will have to learn when moving on to becoming a server is how to best interact with customers face to face.

What is The Qualification of Busser?

Typically, you do not need many qualifications to become a busser as it is an entry-level role in the hospitality business.

A high school diploma is usually preferred. But every busser will provide on-the-job training to learn the specific responsibilities of that restaurant.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is The Duties of a Busser?

A busser’s key responsibilities are to clear, reset and prepare tables for the next set of diners to enjoy. 

Do Bussers Get Good Tips?

Most restaurants share their tips amongst the various staff on shift at that point. But how good those tips are varies depending on the city and restaurant. 

Is a Busser Job Easy? 

A busser is considered to be physically but not mentally difficult. A busser will have to be quick on their feet but won’t have to talk to customers as much. 

Do Bussers Wash Dishes?

A busser will clear dishes from the tables but they’re not necessarily responsible for washing every dish. There is usually a staff member for that. 

Do Bussers Have To Deal With Customers?

The number of customer interactions that a busser has to deal with is very limited and is not a busser’s key role. 

Do Bussers Refill Water? 

Often, as part of helping the other front-of-house staff, a busser will jump into service and help by refilling water glasses for customers in their assigned session

Final Thoughts

Bussers do not get a lot of recognition for their work in the restaurant business. But that does not limit their contribution to the diner’s experience.

Helping to maintain a clean, welcoming restaurant environment plays massively into the experience of the customer.

They are a highly valued member of the team and are vital in ensuring the best experience for guests. 

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