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For other uses, see Busboy (disambiguation).
"Busser" redirects here. For the French composer, see Henri Büsser.

In North America, a busboy, busgirl, busser or bus person is a person who works in the restaurant and catering industry clearing tables, taking dirty dishes to the dishwasher, setting tables, and otherwise assisting the waiting staff.[1][2][3][4][5][6] The term for a busser in the classic brigade de cuisine system is commis de débarrasseur, or simply débarrasseur.[7][8] Bussers are typically placed beneath the waiting staff in organization charts, and are sometimes an apprentice or trainee to waiting staff positions.[7]

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the occupation typically did not require related work experience or a high school diploma, that on-the-job training was short term, and that the median income in 2012 for the position was $18,500.[9]

The duties of bussers fall under the heading of busing or bussing, an Americanism of unknown origin.[8]

Job description[edit]

Primary functions of the busser are to clean and reset tables, carry dishes and other tableware to the kitchen, serve items such as water, coffee and bread, replenish supplies of linens, tableware and trays, and assist servers with clearing plates and other areas of table service.[6][7] Other tasks include cleaning and polishing fixtures, walls, furniture and equipment, cleaning tableware, cleaning food service areas, mopping and vacuuming floors, cleaning up spills, removing empty bottles and trash, and scraping and stacking dirty dishes.[6]

Notable former bussers[edit]

In popular culture[edit]


  1. ^ (2004.) "Busboy". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, via Dictionary.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-19.
  2. ^ "Busgirl". Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1), Random House, Inc., via Dictionary.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-19.
  3. ^ a b c d e Schmich, Mary (2007-08-24). "Uh, no offense, but do you still say 'busboy'?". ChicagoTribune.com (Chicago Tribune). Retrieved 2014-05-20. 
  4. ^ "Busser: Definition of busser in Oxford Dictionary (American English) (US)". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2014-06-10. "A person who clears tables in a restaurant or cafeteria." 
  5. ^ "Busser - definition. American English definition of busser by Macmillan Dictionary". Macmillan Dictionary. Macmillan Publishers Limited. Retrieved 2014-06-10. 
  6. ^ a b c "Keyword Relevance for: bus cleaner". O*Net OnLine. O*Net. 
  7. ^ a b c The Culinary Institute of America (2009). Remarkable Service: A Guide to Winning and Keeping Customers for Servers, Managers, and Restaurant Owners. John Wiley & Sons. p. 53-54. ISBN 978-0-470-19740-0. 
  8. ^ a b Wilson, Kenneth G. (1993). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. Columbia University Press. p. 80. ISBN 978-0-231-06989-2. ""...some speakers are beginning to use bus person." 
  9. ^ "Employment Projections". United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Retrieved 2014-06-12.  Occupation data is listed under "Dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers" (job titles are hidden by default).
  10. ^ Robert Downey Jr. Playboy Interview: December 1997
  11. ^ Greenstein, George (1998). Portraits of discovery: profiles in scientific genius. John Wiley. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-471-19138-4. "While a kid during a summer job as a busboy, he tried to invent a better way of carrying dishes on trays (everything ended up on the floor)." 
  12. ^ Heenan, David A. (1 September 2002). Double lives: crafting your life of work and passion for untold success. Davies-Black Publishing. p. x. ISBN 978-0-89106-167-0. "Working summers as a busboy, he discovered new methods for stacking as many dishes as possible." 
  13. ^ "Bree Olson News, Pictures, and Videos". TMZ. Retrieved 2014-06-05. 
  14. ^ "About Me". BreeOlson.com. Archived from the original on 2013-07-02. 
  15. ^ "Biography: Al Pacino Lifetime". The Biography Channel (UK). AETN UK. Retrieved 2014-06-11.