Bussing Tables

By Eric Hammer

Bussing tables for a living is hardly a glamour job, however it is often a stepping stone to better paid jobs in the hospitality industry. You should be aware however that getting a job where you only have to bus tables is extremely difficult, if not impossible to do because most times, bussing is done by the waiters and when it is not done by them, the person responsible for bussing is required to do pretty much every menial job in the entire restaurant and not just bussing.

The only other job which is considered to be on the same level as a busboy or busgirl is a dish washer. Bussing is a low paid job which requires no special skills and as such is typically given to teenagers as a first job, often after school.

The good news is that if you prove yourself as a bus person in the restaurant, you may eventually get promoted and offered the chance to become a member of the wait staff. While this is still not a particularly well paid position, it is one that pays more and which can potentially pay significantly more if you were to get a job at a top restaurant where the tips are good.

How Much Can You Make?

Typically, you should not expect to earn much more than minimum wage for this job. The range of the salary according to reports is around $7.25 per hour up to $8.00 per hour as of 2011, with only a few areas topping $10 per hour.

Ways to Make More | Related Opportunities | Tips

Working overtime bussing tables may provide you with additional income if your restaurant offers you the extra hours (Note that there are labor laws requiring they pay overtime, though some restaurant owners may try to skirt the law). You should also look for a restaurant that allows you to share the tips with the wait staff. While you will not get much of the money (the lion’s share goes to the wait staff), you will get at least a little bit more money.

Keeping a positive attitude and being friendly is still important, even when you are working as a bus person. Remember that you are still working in the hospitality industry and you will last longer when you offer service with a smile. Remember also not to take out the tubs for clearing the tables when customers are still at the table. Clear tables by hand until the customers leave.

As previously noted, you can think of this job as a stepping stone to becoming a member of the wait staff. Another job you may consider in the restaurant industry is dish washer, however be aware that unlike the position of bus person, this is unlikely to lead to promotions.

Qualifications / Requirements

You will not need any qualifications to do this kind of job.

First Steps

Put on something presentable (Your T-shirt and torn jeans are probably not a good choice – you want to look like someone responsible who belongs in the restaurant) and drop by several restaurants to ask if they are hiring for wait staff.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/h2g2/A28303959 - All about being a busboy.

http://www.ehow.com/busboys - Article on how to be a busboy.

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