What is a Busser? How to Write a Busser Job Description for Your Restaurant (Template Included)

What is a Busser? How to Write a Busser Job Description for Your Restaurant (Template Included)

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What is a Busser?

A busser’s primary role is maintaining the cleanliness and organization of the dining area. This includes clearing and resetting tables, refilling beverages, and sometimes assisting with service tasks to ensure that customers have a pleasant meal experience. 

Bussers play a crucial role in the restaurant's operations by helping to manage the flow of dishes and cleanliness, which contributes to the overall customer satisfaction and readiness of the dining environment.

busser wiping down table

Busser Job Description

A busser's role is integral to the smooth operation of a restaurant. They act as a backbone of the dining area, ensuring that tables are clean and ready for new guests, which helps to streamline the service process and enhance the overall dining experience. Bussers work closely with servers and kitchen staff, responding quickly to needs that arise during service.

What Does a Busser Do in a Restaurant?

A busser in a restaurant primarily focuses on maintaining the cleanliness and readiness of the dining area, ensuring a pleasant environment for guests. Their duties typically include clearing away dirty dishes and tableware, resetting tables for new guests, and assisting with cleaning tasks such as sweeping or wiping down surfaces. Bussers often help with restocking necessary items like napkins and utensils, and they may assist servers by bringing food to tables or refilling water. Their role is essential in managing the flow of service and enhancing the efficiency of the restaurant operation.

Busser Job Responsibilities

The primary role of a busser is to maintain an organized and efficient dining environment, which directly contributes to the overall customer experience. Responsibilities require a proactive approach and keen attention to detail. Below are the specific tasks that a busser is typically responsible for:

  • Clearing Tables: Promptly remove dirty dishes, glassware, and silverware after guests have finished their meals.
  • Resetting Tables: Prepare tables for new guests by cleaning surfaces and setting up necessary items like linens, silverware, and glassware.
  • Maintaining Cleanliness: Keep the dining area, including floors and surfaces, free from debris and spills during service hours.
  • Supporting Servers: Assist servers in delivering food and drinks to tables, and help with any guest requests to ensure a seamless dining experience.
  • Stocking Supplies: Ensure that all necessary supplies such as napkins, utensils, condiments, and cleaning materials are adequately stocked and organized.
  • Sanitation: Adhere to all sanitation and safety regulations set by the restaurant and health authorities.
  • Guest Interaction: Provide polite and efficient interaction with guests when necessary, addressing any immediate needs or directing requests to servers.

Busser Job Required Skills

Bussers must possess a set of skills that support their daily responsibilities and enhance the dining experience for guests. These skills not only support them in their tasks but also contribute to the smooth operation of the restaurant. Here are the essential skills needed for a busser:

  • Attention to Detail: Ability to notice and act on every aspect of table setting and dining area organization.
  • Communication Skills: Effective verbal communication to interact with staff and occasionally with guests, ensuring clear understanding and service efficiency.
  • Teamwork: Ability to collaborate closely with other staff members to ensure a smooth workflow and timely service.
  • Physical Stamina and Mobility: Must be able to stand and move around for extended periods, reach, bend, and lift up to 30 pounds when necessary.
  • Punctuality and Reliability: Must be consistently on time and reliable for scheduled shifts, demonstrating a strong work ethic.
  • Adaptability: Flexibility to work in a fast-paced and changing environment, adjusting quickly to the dynamic needs of a busy restaurant.
  • Customer Service Orientation: Friendly and efficient service manner, showing readiness to help improve guests' dining experience.
close up of folded napkin on table

Below you’ll find a template for a busser job description to get you started.

Busser Job Description Template

Job Title: Busser

Reports To: Restaurant Manager / Head Server

Job Overview: As a busser at [Restaurant Name], you will be instrumental in ensuring our dining area is clean, well-maintained, and welcoming at all times. You will work alongside our servers and kitchen staff to provide a stellar dining experience for our guests by maintaining an organized and efficient flow in the restaurant.

Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Clear and reset tables promptly after guests leave, including wiping down surfaces and reorganizing seating.
  • Assist in setting tables with linens, silverware, and glassware in preparation for new guests.
  • Ensure that stations for servers and kitchen staff are stocked with necessary equipment and materials (e.g., napkins, silverware, and condiments).
  • Assist with washing dishes and glassware as needed and organize them for easy access.
  • Sweep and mop floors, and keep the dining area free of debris and spills.
  • Support servers in delivering food and beverages to tables, as needed.
  • Help to uphold the restaurant’s sanitation and safety standards in the dining and kitchen areas.
  • Engage with guests as needed, providing polite and efficient service.
  • Perform additional cleaning duties to maintain a tidy and professional dining environment.


  • No prior experience necessary; however, previous experience in a restaurant or customer service role is a plus.
  • Ability to work efficiently in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail.
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work as part of a team.
  • Physical stamina and mobility including the ability to reach, kneel, and bend, as well as the ability to lift up to 30 pounds occasionally.


  • [specify schedule]
  • Availability on evenings, weekends, and holidays is often necessary.


  • Salary: $/hour [specify range if applicable]
  • Tip Income: [if applicable]
  • Benefits: [if applicable, include things like health insurance, employee discounts, etc.]

Busser Salaries

How Much Do Bussers Make?

The average busser salary in the United States is approximately $24,111 per year, with a typical range between $17,000 and $33,000 annually. Bussers generally earn about $11.59 per hour although there is much variation, depending on location, education, and experience.

Does a Busser Get Tips?

Yes, bussers often receive tips in addition to their hourly wage. Tip amounts can vary greatly depending on the restaurant's tipping policy, the volume of business, and the generosity of customers. In many restaurants, bussers are part of a tipping pool where tips are shared among front-of-house staff, which typically enhances their overall earnings.

busser arranging flowers at restaurant table

Busser FAQs

Is a Busser and a Waiter the Same?

No, a busser and a waiter are not the same. A busser is primarily responsible for clearing and setting tables and maintaining the cleanliness of the dining area. In contrast, a waiter takes orders, serves food and drinks, and directly interacts with customers to manage their dining experience.

Why is it Called a Busser?

The term "busser" is derived from the word "busboy," which originated in the 1910s. The term likely comes from the word "bus," a short form of "busboy," which refers to someone who "buses" or clears tables in a restaurant, much like a bus that picks up and drops off passengers.

Does a Busser Take Orders?

No, bussers do not take orders. Their role is focused on table maintenance, including clearing and resetting tables, and assisting with the cleanliness of the dining area. Taking orders is typically the responsibility of waiters or servers.

What Does a Busser Need to Know?

A busser needs to know the basics of table setting, the layout of the restaurant, and the standards for cleanliness and organization. They should also be familiar with the restaurant's service protocols and any specific customer service guidelines to support their team effectively.

Do Bussers Deal with Customers?

Yes, bussers do deal with customers, but their interaction is generally limited compared to that of servers. Bussers might engage with guests when clearing tables, refilling beverages, or assisting in seating arrangements, but they do not handle order taking or detailed customer service inquiries.

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