The phrase “floor staff” typically refers to employees who work in the food services industry, usually as dining room attendants or hosts. Floor staff members handle an array of duties, most of which are related to cleaning and setting tables. Sometimes, they are also called “bus persons.” They work in settings that range from small cafés to fine-dining establishments to cafeterias to chain restaurants.
Floor staff members usually push a cart or carry a plastic bin, in which they place dirty dishes and silverware that need to be removed from tables. Once the items are taken back to the kitchen to be cleaned, floor staff members bring out fresh tableware for incoming patrons. Depending on the restaurant, floor staff members might also help seat customers or operate the cash register when it’s time to pay the check. Sometimes, they will assist the server by bringing customers fresh coffee or carrying entrees.
Floor staff members often have to work quickly, removing dirty dishes and silverware from tables and setting new ones so that customers don’t have to wait long to be seated. They should possess decent communication skills, since they often must interact with those who wash dishes and serve the food, as well as customers. Floor staff members also must possess the stamina needed in spending most their workday on their feet, sometimes carrying many dishes and glasses at once.
Most establishments have no set criteria when they hire floor staff members. Some floor staffers are high school or college students who work on a part-time basis. Others are full-time, but very rarely are floor staffers expected to possess anything more than a high school diploma. In almost all instances, more important than a formal education are a positive approach to the job, a strong work ethic and the ability to follow the instructions of a supervisor.
Opportunities for food service workers overall are expected to increase by 10 percent through 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, jobs for floor staff members may not be as prevalent, as more restaurants are having servers and hosts handle many of the floor staffer duties.
Floor staff members typically earn most of their wages via tips left by patrons after paying their bills. Even then, floor staffers normally receive only a percentage of those tips, with the rest going to servers. According to PayScale.com, bus persons earned anywhere from $15,000 to nearly $22,000 per year in May 2010.