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Busboy Duties and Responsibilities
Busboys assist the kitchen and front restaurant staff in many capacities that vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some of the common tasks performed by busboys include:
Remove Tableware To keep the table from getting overcrowded and make diners more comfortable, busboys remove used dishes and utensils between meal courses.
Clear Tables After guests leave, it is the busboy’s duty to clear the table of remaining dishes, utensils, and food to prepare for the next diners.
Sort and Stack Used Tableware Busboys assist the dishwashers by taking the used tableware into the dish room and sorting and stacking it, readying it for washing according to kitchen policy.
Assist Food Servers When there are large dining parties or during peak restaurant times, busboys often help the servers deliver food and assist with refills.
Sanitation Maintenance Busboys help maintain the restaurant’s sanitation standards by cleaning spills in the kitchen and dining areas, sanitizing tables, chairs, and booths between guest seatings, and keeping the restrooms clean.
Busboy Skills and QualificationsPositivity and a good attendance track record are important traits for busboys. Other skills that employers seek in this position include:
- Customer service – busboys interact with diners throughout the meal, so it is important that they possess the ability to focus on the customer, providing service that will contribute to a positive dining experience
- Team player – because they assist the kitchen staff and servers, it is necessary for busboys to work well as part of a team
- Dexterity – agility is required as a busboy because the position requires carrying and handling multiple dishes and tableware at the same time
- Attention to detail – a guest’s dining experience can be diminished by small slights such as crumbs left on the table or in a chair, so it is imperative that busboys notice and take care of such things
- Stamina – busboys need endurance as they often stand on their feet for up to nine hours a shift and are frequently required to lift 30 to 50 pounds
Busboy Education and TrainingMinimal education requirements are necessary for busboy positions, with high school diplomas helpful but not required. U.S. citizenship or legal status to work in the states is the only firm requirement. Experience is preferred by many employers; however, most are willing to train applicants.
Busboy Salary and OutlookThe average hourly salary range for a busboy is $6.38 to $10.86, with a median salary of $8.08. Busboys frequently work overtime, which increases their average hourly earnings to $12.00. Tips supplement their pay, averaging $75 to $150 per shift. Medical, dental, and vision insurance is offered to full-time busboys, typically after 60 to 90 days of employment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a growth rate of 14 percent for busboys through 2026. This faster than average rate is due to the large number of workers who leave these positions each year.
Review the resources that we have compiled below if you think a busboy position is one that you might be interested in:
Remarkable Service – the Culinary Institute of America shares advice on everything from dining room setup to effectively handling customer complaints. Whether you’re seeking employment in a casual restaurant, upscale restaurant, or with a catering company, this book provides the tools you need to succeed, including scripts of real-life scenarios that you can use to practice
Real Resumes for Restaurant, Food Service, & Hotel Jobs – Harvard MBA graduate author Anne McKinney has compiled real resumes that were instrumental in getting real people sought-after positions in the industry. In addition to the resumes, you will also find helpful cover letters and insight and advice offered by hundreds of successful job seekers
Restaurant Opportunities Centers United – founded in 2008, ROC United’s members stand together in the organization’s mission to improve the restaurant industry’s wages and working conditions. The organization has also published a best-selling book based on the restaurant industry
Unite Here – this 270,000-strong labor union represents workers from lower-paying job sectors including the food service industry. Unite Here helps to improve the lives of its members by fighting for increased wages and better benefits. Its members earn significantly higher wages than nonunion members performing the same job, and pay lower health insurance premiums than their nonunion counterparts as well
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