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Hobbes's avatar

Does anyone have advice on busing tables?

Asked by Hobbes (7371points) June 17th, 2010

I just got a working interview for tomorrow as a busser at a local restaurant. I’ve only ever worked customer-service type jobs before, and have minimal experience in the food industry. I really need this job, and would greatly appreciate any advice on how to present myself well and on how to do the job quickly and efficiently. Thanks!

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11 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

Here is information from the waiters and waitresses from Cracker Barrel Restaurants. introduce yoursel, your first name. always wear a smile. make any food suggestions the restaurant asks you to. always bring the drinks to the table first. bring the food and ask if their is anything else you can do for them. come back 2 or 3 times for refills and to ask for dessert, anyone? a smile of your face and good service will always net a good tip. this is straight from the mouths of the winning servers at Craker Barrel and it works.

john65pennington's avatar

Please disregard my answer in its entirety. i misread it and wish it would go away. applied to the wrong question.

Pandora's avatar

When wipping down the tables take a tray an a wet rag. Wipe up all the stuff to the end of the table and push it onto a tray. This way things don’t end up on the chairs and floor. Turn your rag inside out and rewipe any smears you see. Also check the seats for food spilled on it. Wipe with a damp cloth and make sure you don’t leave it wet.

Merriment's avatar

Wear comfortable shoes with a good tread. You will be traveling some greasy and wet surfaces.

Carry as much as you can at one time, but don’t go overboard. You’ll be faster in the long run if you take more trips to the kitchen rather than awkwardly carrying too much.

Keep the glassware separate from the dishware and silverware. Glassware is more fragile and mixing these fragile pieces with the heavier plates and silverware is just asking for breakage.

Follow Pandora’s method for completely wiping down a table.

Make yourself visibly “on the job”. If you are walking through the dining room and you see a table trying to wave down a waiter who is busy, assist them. Even if it is only to let their server know they are needed.

Go above and beyond, and the wait staff and the management will appreciate your dedication.

And appreciation is how bussers get promotions and bigger tips.

Pandora's avatar

@Merriment Good one on the Make yourself visibly “on the job”. So many times I go to a resturant and the bus boys seem to disappear. And please do smile. Hate it when they come over looking like they work in a sweat shop. Kills the enjoyment for the customers in the room which comes out in tips. I have actually left compliments and a seperate tip for bus boys I felt were very friendly and helpful dispite being very busy.

Nullo's avatar

Try to be working as much as possible. Don’t lean on anything, and for the love of Fluther don’t sit down unless you’re on break.
A history of customer service suggests that you’re good at people. Crank up the charm and leave it there for the duration of your shift. I’ve found that keeping your eyebrows partially raised is a low-effort way to appear friendlier.

Go in with a good attitude. Even if you have to strap it to your face and call it persona, a good attitude is paramount.

Demonstrate a willingness to help. Stay late when they ask, come in early when they ask, cover shifts when they ask. Do things that you can do before you are asked to do them.

Don’t complain about anything, not the people, not the boss, not the pay, not the hours, not the co-workers, not even the lousy washing machine.

If you mess up, ‘fess up. If the situation calls for it, of course. You can probably handle a mop as well as the next guy, so spills are probably out.
Incidentally, it helps to know how to mop a floor.

jazmina88's avatar

Look neat. dont drop anything. dont call in.

MarthaStewart's avatar

Don’t worry too much about the details of the job, it’s just picking up dishes, you know. But be sober, bright eyed, attentive, listen to the questions that are asked, and answer appropriately. Smile, and make it clear from your body language that you would like to work at this restaurant and that you’re a good person, and you’ll do fine.

Haleth's avatar

For the interview, you should emphasize that you’re dependable, efficient, and a team player (if you are), because these are important to a restaurant job. The pace of the work is a lot faster than in a customer service job. If you can give examples where you handled a high volume of work in your customer service jobs, that would show that you can work in a restaurant. Another important quality for a restaurant job is being able to work without much supervision, and having a strong work ethic. The manager in your restaurant will probably be very busy, and won’t have much time to give you directions.

When I worked as a waitress, the work that the bussers did was very important to things running smoothly in the restaurant. When a restaurant is busy, if any one person falls behind, it can make everything go crazy. Sometimes I would be so overwhelmed with all the stuff I had to do for all my tables, and the busser I worked with would notice and just swoop in and take care of something, and it made my whole day. I really appreciated his great work ethic and observational skills.

MissAnthrope's avatar

For the interview, present yourself as hard-working, self-motivated, and as having a positive attitude. These three things make an excellent busser. Other than that, bussers are really in demand and it’s pretty much a thankless job, so most places will hire you if you have a pulse and seem hard-working and self-motivated.

(From my 10+ years of serving experience)

If you are a great busser, you’ll also gain the huge appreciation of the servers, as well as (hopefully) better tips. The positive attitude will help wonders in this regard.. I know I had certain bussers I would prefer to deal with rather than others, due to the differing attitudes. Also, the ones with the better attitudes got way more in tip-outs than the ones that acted like they were doing me a favor, that they hated life, grumbled constantly, etc.

laslascc123's avatar

You could always search it online. I know how you are feeling.

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