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Hiring a Busser: Job Description Template

By Ammar Ahmed


If you’re in the restaurant industry, you know how vital a Busser is to keeping things running smoothly. So how do you find the right person for the job? In this guide, we’ll break down the key elements of a Busser job description and walk you through the hiring process step-by-step.

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Responsibilities & Role of a Busser

A busser, often seen as the backbone of a restaurant’s dining area, plays a critical role in ensuring a smooth and efficient dining experience for customers. Their primary responsibility is to assist servers and staff in maintaining a clean and organized environment.

Though their tasks may vary depending on the establishment, key roles often include:

  • Table Clearing: Quickly and efficiently clear tables once guests have left, making room for new patrons.
  • Resetting Tables: Reset tables with clean tableware, ensuring that each setting meets the restaurant’s standards.
  • Sanitization: Disinfect tables and chairs, particularly in busy or fast-paced establishments where quick turnover is crucial.
  • Assisting Servers: Provide backup support to servers, which can include refilling water glasses, bringing out additional utensils, or delivering food when necessary.
  • Stocking Supplies: Ensure napkins, utensils, and other dining essentials are fully stocked and readily available.
  • Customer Service: While not their primary role, bussers often interact with customers and should maintain a friendly demeanor to enhance the overall dining experience.
  • Floor Maintenance: Keep the floor clean, making sure to promptly clean up any spills to prevent accidents.
  • Miscellaneous Tasks: Depending on the establishment, bussers might also be responsible for tasks such as taking out the trash, sweeping, and mopping.

In a nutshell, a busser plays a multifaceted role that goes beyond simply clearing tables. They are vital to the overall flow and customer satisfaction within the dining establishment, contributing to a well-orchestrated dining experience.

How To Hire a Busser

Hiring the right busser is crucial for making sure your restaurant runs smoothly and your customers leave happy. A busser’s role is often behind the scenes but is vital for creating a pleasant dining environment.

Here are some detailed guidelines on how to pick the right person for this important role:

1. Understanding Your Busser Needs and Goals

Before posting that job ad or interviewing candidates, take a moment to clearly understand what you need in a busser. 

Ask yourself a few questions to determine your needs. Is your restaurant high-end, where attention to detail in table settings is a must? Or are you running a busy, family-friendly diner where speed and efficiency are more important? 

If you offer buffet-style meals, you’ll need a busser who can keep the buffet area clean and well-stocked, on top of their regular duties. For smaller venues like cafes or bistros, your busser might also act as a host, seating guests, or even helping behind the bar during busy times. Knowing what you specifically need will guide you in finding a busser who can meet, or even exceed, those requirements.

By identifying your needs and goals up front, you’ll make the hiring process easier and more effective, ensuring you get a busser who really fits what your restaurant is all about.

2. Search for Top Talent

Once you know exactly what you’re looking for in a busser, it’s time to start your search for the ideal candidate.

Here are some specialized channels where you can find top talent:

  • Profession-Specific Job Boards and Websites: Platforms like Hcareers or are tailored for jobs in the restaurant and hospitality industry. While general job boards like Indeed can also be useful, using these specialized sites can help you target your search more effectively.
  • Local Community Boards: Don’t underestimate the power of local community boards or even nearby culinary schools. These can be excellent places to find candidates who may live close to your establishment, reducing issues related to tardiness and long commutes.
  • Social Media: Platforms like LinkedIn or even Instagram can be useful, especially if you’re already connected with other restaurant owners or hospitality professionals. A simple post sharing that you’re hiring could yield valuable recommendations.
  • Employee Referrals: Often your current employees can be an excellent source for new hires. They understand the work culture and requirements, and they’re likely to recommend people who would be a good fit for your restaurant.

Utilizing a mix of these profession-specific channels can significantly improve the quality of your applicant pool, making it easier to find a busser who fits perfectly into your restaurant’s culture and operational flow.

3. Look for Professional Qualifications

When you’re sifting through potential candidates for a busser role, you might wonder what qualifications are really necessary.

While this role may not require formal education or certifications, there are certain professional qualifications that can help you identify a standout candidate:

  • Physical Stamina: A busser is often on their feet for long periods and might be required to carry heavy trays or tableware. Make sure to inquire about their ability to handle the physical aspects of the job.
  • Attention to Detail: In a busy restaurant, even small mistakes can cause big disruptions. An eye for detail—like noticing a missing fork in a table setting—can set a great busser apart from an average one.
  • Teamwork Skills: Bussers need to work closely with servers, hosts, and kitchen staff. Teamwork skills are essential for ensuring smooth restaurant operations.
  • Customer Service Skills: While their primary role may not involve interacting with customers, bussers often do engage with guests indirectly. A pleasant demeanor and good customer service skills can go a long way.
  • Adaptability: Restaurants are fast-paced environments where unexpected situations can arise. Adaptability and problem-solving skills are key qualifications to look out for.

4. Analyze Their Work Experience

Evaluating the work experience of your potential busser candidates can offer invaluable insights into their suitability for the role in your establishment.

Here’s how to go about it:

  • Type of Restaurants: Has the candidate worked in an environment similar to yours? Experience in a high-end restaurant might not necessarily translate well to a fast-paced diner and vice versa. Matching the restaurant type can ease the transition and make for a quicker adjustment period.
  • Duration of Service: Longevity in previous roles may indicate reliability and commitment, which are valuable traits. However, don’t dismiss candidates with shorter stints, especially younger ones, as they may bring a fresh perspective and enthusiasm.
  • Roles and Responsibilities: Were they purely bussing tables, or did their previous role also include other duties like hosting or assisting the bar staff? Understanding the range of their experience can help you determine how versatile they are and how they could fit into your existing team.
  • Skills Acquired: Look for mentions of any special skills they’ve picked up that might be useful. This could include things like familiarity with a point-of-sale system, basic food safety training, or experience handling large parties or events.

Taking the time to carefully analyze a candidate’s work experience can provide a comprehensive understanding of their skills and potential fit for your restaurant. This step should not be overlooked, as it often reveals much more than a simple resume scan can offer.

5. Conduct a Comprehensive Interview Process

Conducting a comprehensive interview is essential for assessing a busser candidate’s suitability. Start with scenario-based questions to gauge how they handle real-life, high-stress restaurant situations. For example, ask how they’d manage clearing and resetting multiple tables during peak hours. 

Evaluate their teamwork and communication skills by asking about instances where they’ve had to collaborate with other staff to solve problems. It’s also important to discuss the physical demands of the job, like long periods of standing and carrying heavy trays. 

Lastly, don’t overlook cultural fit; questions about handling stress and what they enjoy about restaurant work can reveal how well they’ll mesh with your establishment. If possible, include a brief on-the-spot task, like table setting, to assess their practical skills.

6. Cross-Verify Their References

Checking references is a critical step that can often be overlooked in the rush to fill a position. This step provides an external view of the candidate’s performance, work ethic, and suitability for your restaurant’s culture. Former employers or colleagues can offer you a more complete picture of the candidate, which can either confirm your impressions or raise red flags you hadn’t considered.

Three Important Questions to Ask:

  • Can you describe the candidate’s reliability, especially during busy shifts or high-stress situations?
  • How well did the candidate work in a team setting, particularly with servers and kitchen staff?
  • Would you rehire this person for a busser role in your establishment? Why or why not?

Tips for Avoiding Red Flags During the Hiring Process of a Busser

  • Lack of Physical Stamina: Given the physical demands of the role, be wary of candidates who hesitate or dodge questions related to the physical aspects of bussing, such as lifting trays or standing for extended periods.
  • Poor Teamwork Indicators: Pay attention to how the candidate speaks about past team experiences. Negative attitudes or blame-shifting might indicate poor teamwork skills, which are crucial in a busy restaurant setting.
  • Unwillingness for Peak Hour Shifts: If a candidate seems reluctant to work during peak restaurant hours, weekends, or holidays, this could be a red flag. A busser needs to be available during the restaurant’s busiest times.
  • Ignoring Soft Skills: Don’t underestimate the importance of customer service skills and a pleasant demeanor. While these might not be as measurable as other qualifications, they’re essential for creating a good dining experience for your customers.

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Busser Job Description

In the fast-paced and demanding restaurant industry, hiring the right busser is crucial for maintaining smooth operations and providing an excellent customer experience. A detailed job description sets clear expectations and requirements for the role, enabling you to attract candidates who are well-suited to your restaurant’s environment and work culture.

Here’s a comprehensive busser job description template:

Download Template

Position: Busser

Location: [Insert Location]

Employer: [Insert Restaurant Name]

Type: Full-Time/Part-Time

Reports To: [Insert Designation Name]

Salary: [Salary / Competitive / DOE]

About Us:

We are a family-owned, award-winning restaurant nestled in the heart of the city, celebrated for our fusion of local and international cuisine. Our team is passionate about delivering a memorable culinary experience and outstanding customer service. We pride ourselves on our warm, inviting atmosphere and commitment to quality in everything we do.

The Opportunity: 

We’re currently on the hunt for a detail-oriented and highly organized Busser to play a key role in our dining operations. This is an entry-level position that offers immense opportunity for growth. As a Busser, you’ll be the backbone of our restaurant, ensuring that our dining room is always clean, organized, and ready for guests.

What You’ll Do:

  • Swiftly clear tables once guests leave, sorting flatware, glassware, and dishes correctly to streamline the dishwashing process.
  • Reset tables to restaurant standards, ensuring each set is perfectly arranged with clean tableware, utensils, and condiments.
  • Collaborate closely with servers to pre-emptively address guest needs, such as water refills and delivering specific menu items.
  • Conduct routine cleaning activities including sweeping, mopping, and sanitizing tables and chairs to maintain a clean and welcoming environment.
  • Restock service stations to ensure servers have all essential items, including linens, silverware, and water pitchers, readily available during service hours.

What You’ll Bring:

  • Physical stamina to stand for long periods and carry heavy trays.
  • Excellent attention to detail and cleanliness.
  • Strong communication skills to coordinate with servers, hosts, and kitchen staff.
  • A positive attitude and the ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

Our Ideal Candidate is Someone Who Has:

  • Previous experience as a busser or in a similar role in the restaurant industry.
  • The flexibility to work different shifts, including weekends and holidays.
  • A customer-centric approach, taking pride in contributing to an excellent dining experience.
  • A willingness to learn and adapt to new responsibilities.

Benefits and Perks:

  • Competitive hourly wages plus tips.
  • Meal discounts during shifts.
  • Opportunities for advancement within the restaurant.
  • Flexible scheduling to accommodate other commitments.
  • Health and dental benefits for full-time employees after a probationary period.
  • A supportive and fun work culture that values teamwork and employee satisfaction.

How to Join Us:

Interested candidates are invited to submit their resumes either in person at our restaurant or via email. Please include references and specify your availability. Qualified applicants will be contacted to schedule an in-person interview, which may include a brief, on-the-job assessment to evaluate your skills.

Note: This comprehensive job description aims to make the expectations and responsibilities of the role clear, attracting candidates who are a strong fit for your restaurant’s needs. Make sure to tailor it according to your needs.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Busser?

Hiring a busser for your restaurant involves several cost factors that go beyond the hourly wage or salary. The total expenditure encompasses recruitment, onboarding, training, and sometimes benefits, making it essential to budget adequately for each aspect. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the potential cost involved with hiring a busser.

Recruitment Cost

When it comes to recruitment, many restaurants opt for specialized job boards focused on the hospitality industry, such as and Hcareers, to find suitable candidates. Posting a job on these platforms can cost between $250 to $375 per listing, depending on the exposure level you choose.

While these sites can target a specialized pool of applicants, mainstream platforms like LinkedIn may provide a broader range of candidates. A LinkedIn job post can cost you around $50 per day on a pay-per-click model. 

Salary and Benefits

Paying a competitive salary is critical for attracting and retaining high-quality bussers, especially in a job market that often experiences high turnover rates. The average hourly wage for a busser in the United States ranges between $9 and $20, not including tips, which can substantially boost earnings. In some establishments where tipping is shared among the service staff, bussers could make an additional $50 to $100 per shift in tips alone.

As for benefits, while it’s less common for part-time bussers to receive comprehensive packages, some restaurants do offer benefits for full-time employees. These can include health insurance, dental coverage, and even retirement plans like a 401(k). 

On the lower end, providing basic health insurance could cost around $300 to $500 per employee per month, depending on the plan and coverage. Some restaurants also offer non-traditional perks like meal discounts, which have a less direct but still noteworthy cost implication.

All in all, it’s crucial to budget not only for the basic salary but also for any additional benefits and potential earnings from tips when calculating the total cost of hiring a busser.

Ammar Ahmed

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