AskDefine | Define busboy

Dictionary Definition

busboy n : a restaurant attendant who sets tables and assists waiters and clears away dirty dishes [syn: waiter's assistant]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Assistant waiter; one who clears plates from and cleans tables.

Extensive Definition

Busboys or busgirls or S.A. , increasingly referred to as bussers, work in the restaurant and catering industry clearing dirty dishes, taking the dirty dishes to the dishwasher, setting tables, and otherwise assisting the waiting staff.
At an upscale restaurant, they may bring water and introductory foods, for example tortilla chips and salsa in a Mexican restaurant or bread in an Italian restaurant. The busboy may also serve drinks and sweep the floor under the tables. Occasionally, they also perform extra duty for the server by refilling the customers water or getting more bread. The busser is also usually responsible for cleaning up spills occurring in the kitchen or dining room.
In most smaller family diners, the busboy is responsible for washing the cutlery (also known as silverware in the U.S.) and dishes and stocking the kitchen and waiter stations. The most popular method of organization is for the busboy to be assigned a station, or area of tables, which he or she shall serve. At most restaurants, the busser is responsible for taking out the trash also.
Typically, a busboy receives a separate, fixed payment or wage.

Busser Equipment

Bus tubs or bus boxes are tubs used to clear dirty tables. The items cleared from the table are stored in the bus tub and taken into the dish area. The tubs are often used when the busser has a banquet or multiple tables to clear. These tubs save time by lessening the busser's trips to the dishwasher. Large trays are also imperative to have for clearing tables. Restaurants must also have glass racks for the busser to unload the dirty dishes.

Famous persons who worked as busboys

Busboys in history and popular culture


Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Aquarius, Ganymede, Hebe, barkeep, barkeeper, barmaid, barman, bartender, bearer, bheesty, caddie, cargo handler, carhop, carrier, carrier pigeon, carter, common carrier, conveyer, coolie, counterman, cupbearer, drayman, express, expressman, freighter, gun bearer, hauler, headwaiter, homing pigeon, hostess, letter carrier, litter-bearer, porter, redcap, shield-bearer, skycap, sommelier, stevedore, stretcher-bearer, the Water Bearer, transporter, truck driver, trucker, wagoner, waiter, waitress, water boy, water carrier, wine steward
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