A job at a restaurant can be a great way to enter the workforce.
The position of a busser is one of the entry-level jobs of this kind.
With the duties and skills required on the job, you can gain valuable experience for future work in the restaurant industry and other occupations as well.
Article Table of Contents
What Does a Busser Do
A part of a busser’s job is contributing to a clean restaurant.
Besides, they must improve the experience of diners, protect the health of customers and the public.
They should also keep an eye on customers to prevent them from driving intoxicated and endangering pedestrians and other drivers.
- Clean the dining areas in the restaurant after the parties leave.
- Remove various dishes and dinnerware.
- Clean the floors under the table after the guests leave.
- Set new and clean dinnerware, linens, napkins, and other items on the tables.
- Bring food to the guests upon request of servers or supervisors.
- Stock dinnerware, food, ingredients, and other supplies.
- Find or remove the items on the customers’ request.
- Assist bartenders with bringing drinks and assess the condition of a customer preventing them from getting intoxicated.
While cleaning and preparing tables, bussers need to remove all trash from the seats, tables, and the floor.
Surfaces and areas should be cleaned from all crumbs and have to be sanitized.
In some restaurants, bussers may need to set up specific appetizers, silverware, and condiments.
Bussers interact with customers or are visible to them.
Good customer service includes cleaning areas promptly and politely as well as answering customers’ questions and concerns.
Throughout the day, bussers have to bend, carry, lift, reach, stand, and walk a lot.
They also have to push and pull carts and vacuum devices.
They spend a vast part of their shifts on their feet, staying physically active.
How to Become a Busser
Typically, one can get the position of a busser with little to zero experience.
However, establishment owners and state and local regulations concern for health, quality, and safety.
Therefore, bussers need some training and certification, even though the position is entry-level.
Training and Qualifications
Typically, bussers don’t need a formal education.
As O*NET reports, about 46% of bussers don’t hold a high-school diploma.
However, in some jurisdictions, bussers need to hold food handling or another similar certification.
The training and certifications for food handling, alcohol service, and food safety management can be obtained through the National Restaurant Association, “ServSafe”.
By taking this or similar training, bussers can learn about the regulations related to the proper food handling, cleaning kitchenware, as well as when they should stop serving alcohol to guests.
Even in the areas where such certifications aren’t required, bussers may have to receive training in food handling, sanitation, cleaning, and workplace safety.
Usually, no experience is needed to obtain the position of a busser.
However, some restaurants may require or prefer experience in a restaurant setting.
Candidates with experience as bartenders who have worked in a bar or another establishment serving alcohol have a significant advantage.
Often, bussers have to work in the evenings, on weekends, and on holidays.
At many places, they may have to work additional hours during the peak seasons that happen on Mother’s Day, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and other holidays.
Some busser positions open seasonally.
For instance, in the summer additional positions may open in the amusement parks, while in the winter, more jobs are available at ski resorts.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a significant part of the workforce in the foodservice area consists of part-time employees.
The employment rate growth for the busser positions should be equal to the national average of other occupations.
According to O*NET, the employment in the “Dining Room and Cafeteria Attendants and Bartender Helpers” sector should increase by 5-8% through 2024.
This sector includes bussers.
The BLS reports, though, that the employment rate will grow by 6%.
As new restaurants open, and the existing ones continue their operation, bussers are in demand.
Besides, more fast-food restaurants and dining areas appear at grocery and department stores.
Also, there is a high turnover rate, so the restaurants and diners hire bussers regularly.
Apart from chain restaurants, there are also many small businesses.
According to the National Business Association, 90% of restaurants hire fewer than 50 employees.
Seven of ten restaurants have only one establishment instead of a chain.
From the position of a busser, being an entry-level position, one can move up to another position in the restaurant, such as a waiter or a waitress.
They can even move up to managerial or other higher-level positions.
According to the National Restaurant Association, almost 80% of restaurants open entry-level positions.
At the same time, 90% of restaurant managers worked in entry-level positions in a restaurant.
Bussers provide valuable services to customers and the public.
Their salary is just above the minimum wage.
The job of a busser includes customer service, quality dining, and ensuring a safe and sanitary environment.
For the most part of their shifts, bussers work on their feet and perform physical tasks.
They should also be detail-oriented to ensure clean and safe eating spaces.