What Does A Busser Do In A Restaurant?

Bussers cleaning up restaurant tables
Bussers cleaning up restaurant tables - Annastills/Getty Images

If you've ever had an extremely positive experience dining out, you may have attributed this epic meal to the chef de cuisine, the waiter, or even the friendly host who greeted you upon arrival. However, if you've ever worked in the hospitality industry, you likely understand that servicing customers requires teamwork and that everyone's role contributes to the restaurant's success. While other front-of-house staff or the chef may receive more outward recognition, the busser is a particularly important team member whose role is vital to a restaurant.

So, what exactly do they do? Bussers manage the restaurant's flow, set up service, and ensure a speedy, clean, and efficient turnover between customers. This ability to multitask while moving quickly is essential, especially for restaurants with multiple reservations in one seating.

An efficient busser is often so adept at navigating through a restaurant that they go largely unnoticed by the patrons dining there. However, they are always busy executing on tasks before, during, and after table service. Often, you'll find them toggling between clearing dirty dishes, wiping tables, and resetting dining areas for the next customers. During service, bussers must also remain vigilant about refilling empty water glasses, supporting the waitstaff with food delivery, fielding customer requests, and helping with other miscellaneous tasks.

Read more: Waiters Reveal What Restaurants Get The Best Tips

Why Are Bussers The Unsung Heroes In A Restaurant?

Restaurant service prep
Restaurant service prep - Annastills/Getty Images

Working in a restaurant is truly a team sport, with the bussers serving as integral players who must switch between offense and defense at any given moment. It's equally important that they can proactively assess the dining room and anticipate diners' needs as well as relay information or issues to the back-of-house staff, which includes chefs, sous chefs, dishwashers, and others.

Even after the last diner has left the restaurant, the bussers are still cleaning, clearing, and closing down that day of service while simultaneously preparing for the next. In many ways, without reliable bussers, a restaurant's cleanliness, consistency, and overall reputation may suffer. And while it may always seem like working in the restaurant industry is akin to begging strangers for money, it's often even more precarious for bussers whose role is not as customer-facing and who rely on a percentage of tips from the waitstaff.

The next time you eat out, you may be more aware of the busser whisking away your dirty plates, folding your napkin, and generally improving the quality of your dining experience — and you may be inclined to tip 20% (or even the new norm of 25%). Understanding the bussers' role can enhance your appreciation for the work that goes into creating a positive dining experience for you. To further ensure an enjoyable time dining out, we recommend checking out these restaurant hacks you need to know.

Read the original article on Mashed