Busser or Bus Boy
How to Become a

Busser or Bus Boy

The complete career guide to be a Busser or Bus Boy: salary, job growth, employers, best schools, and education you may need to get started.

Why We Love It

  • $23,060
    Potential Avg. Salary
  • 7.6%
    Job Growth Rate
  • Growing Demand
    Job Outlook
  • Don't Take Work Home
    Career Attribute

The role of a busser or bus boy is to assist waiters and servers to perform tasks they are overburdened with during restaurant or catering rush hours. Your main job is to facilitate the food service and maintaining a clean environment.

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What is a Busser or Bus Boy?


The duties of a busser or bus boy include the following:

  • Undertake work responsibilities as stated by your supervisor and the assigned schedule – replacing and cleaning soiled table linens, setting tables with appropriate utensils and glassware, polishing kitchen equipment, etc.
  • Interact with guests in a friendly manner as needed, by putting their orders through with kitchen staff, acknowledging any special requests and resetting the tables.
  • Maintain an approachable and professional demeanor with guests and patrons to keep them happy and promote a positive image for the establishment.
  • Take part in weekly or daily departmental meetings and update supervisor as well as the assigned team on any cleaning and maintenance problems.
  • Keep track of the organisation’s internal procedures, safety and hygiene policies, etc.

Day In The Life

A bus boy or busser is constantly on the move, working alongside the server to keep assigned areas clean and presentable. It is up to them to stock work stations with glassware and ice, before the restaurant or catering hours. If it is a buffet setup, you must be detail-oriented and carefully arrange food trays, salad platters, utensils and napkins on the counters from the backroom.

You may end up doing tasks not accounted for as well. If at a hotel, this includes serving guests who requested room service and removing the utensils and tray when their meal is done. Helping the customer is always your focus! Even if you are not the main waiter or server, having a thorough understanding of the menu offerings and other services is important to be able to answer any queries from guests or clients.

Other work includes carefully cleaning tables after guests have left the table, replacing the napkins, silverware and glassware, providing support to all servers and kitchen staff on an ad-hoc basis, restocking any kitchen and storeroom supplies and ensuring the hygiene standards of the establishment are maintained.

Work Schedule

As a busser or bus boy, most jobs allow flexible scheduling, such as working full time or part time in shifts. Some positions require you to work odd hours like 10 pm to 6 pm, on weekends and on holidays. Working within a team, you are responsible for ensuring that guests have a welcoming environment by keeping the dining area clean and free from debris, clearing the tables and placing cutlery. The job requires a lot of physical strength, with prolonged periods of walking and standing, bending and stooping, etc. to ensure that all areas are spotless and garbage is cleared.

Growth Of The Job

The role of a busser or bus boy is a great stepping stone into a culinary career. You can gain enough experience and apply for entry-level work at restaurants or catering services. If you possess a high school diploma or its equivalent, then you can progress quickly to a server or waiter at restaurants and hotels.

Typical Employers

Typical employers of bussers and bus boys are hotel brands, bars, resorts, restaurants and catering gigs, to balance the workload of full-time wait staff. Some examples of employers currently looking for bussers include The Cheesecake Factory, Outback Steakhouse, Tex-Mex Institute, Pinehurst Resort & Country Club, TGI Friday’s Inc. and MGM Resorts International.

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How To Become a Busser or Bus Boy

To begin with, you need to check whether you qualify to be a busser or bus boy. Some states for instance, require you to be at least 18 years of age before handling alcoholic beverages. If required, you should also obtain a food handler’s permit. The minimum educational background is a high school diploma or its equivalent. Superior language skills and mastery of additional languages are always a plus in the food service industry.

The aspiring candidate must be outgoing and approachable, as much of your interactions will be with teammates and customers who require assistance. Being detail oriented is also essential, because your team will rely on you to spot the smallest inconsistencies – e.g. refilling the bread or beverages for guests, cleaning up restrooms or resting tables between seating. In most cases, bussers and bus boys are trained in the needful by the restaurant or catering company on the job.

Busser or Bus Boy Salary Data

We’ve provided you the following to learn more about this career. The salary and growth data on this page comes from recently published Bureau of Labor Statistics data while the recommendations and editorial content are based on our research.

National Anual Salary

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High Range


National Hourly Wage

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High Range


How do Busser or Bus Boy salaries stack up to other jobs across the country? Based on the latest jobs data nationwide, Busser or Bus Boy's can make an average annual salary of $23,060, or $11 per hour. This makes it an Above Average Salary. On the lower end, they can make $18,440 or $9 per hour, perhaps when just starting out or based on the state you live in.

Salary Rankings And Facts

  • #789 Nationally for All Careers

Highest Education Among Busser or Bus Boys

  • 0.3%   Doctorate
  • 0.4%   Masters
  • 6.4%   Bachelors
  • 4.2%   Associates
  • 17.5%   College
  • 42.4%   High School
  • 28.8%   Less than High School

Job Growth Projections and Forecast

2014 Total Jobs


2024 Est. Jobs


Job Growth Rate


Est. New Jobs


How does Busser or Bus Boy job growth stack up to other jobs across the country? By 2024, there will be a change of 3,500 jobs for a total of 49,600 people employed in the career nationwide. This is a 7.6% change in growth over the next ten years, giving the career a growth rate nationwide of Below Average.

Growth Rankings And Facts

  • #295 Nationally for All Careers

What Companies Employ The Most Busser or Bus Boys

Industry Current Jobs New Jobs Needed % Increase
Full-service restaurants 10,500 600 1%
Special food services 3,800 100 0%
General medical and surgical hospitals; private 2,100 100 0%

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