Every member of the restaurant team plays a critical role in exceeding guests’ expectations and ensuring guests leave with a positive impression of the restaurant. Team members in the service assistant, or busser, position are no exception. Part of your job as a manager is to ensure you are training bussers, and the rest of the staff, on the critical role every team member plays in the Cycle of Service.

The Bussing Tables piece in the Cycle of Service covers the many ways bussers and service assistants contribute to the guest experience. Service assistants are sometimes thought of as the team members who are seen but not heard. That’s simply not true. Bussers and service assistants have contact with guests throughout the entire dining experience. By training bussers to turn those contact points into positive interactions, you’re giving them the power to turn an average guest experience into an exceptional one.

Key Elements of Training Bussers

Your program for training bussers should include these key elements:

Guest service. Bussers should smile and maintain a positive attitude whenever they are interacting with guests. Many of the opportunities to improve the guest experience during this portion of the Cycle of Service comes in ensuring service assistants are prepared to answer guest’s questions. Create a list of questions bussers could be asked, and role play answers that have a flair for exceptional service.

Bussing and cleaning tables. Of course, the fundamentals of a service assistant’s position are the tasks of bussing and cleaning tables. To maintain a high level of service, train and re-train your staff members on when and how to perform these responsibilities. Recognize staff members who show their commitment to performing their duties in an exceptional way.

Controlling costs. With the number of dishes service assistants handle in any given shift, it should be no surprise that their performance is critical to cost control, too. You probably already know that, but do they? Let them know how important they are to the restaurant’s overall profitability, and reward staff members who reach your no-breakage goals.

Service That Sells Cycle of ServiceOur Cycle of Service series continues next week, covering the next piece of the Cycle of Service: Generating Sales. Train your entire front-of-house staff on Cycle of Service with Service That Sells! online training. Check it out!