Plates are piling up on restaurant tables across America as full-service eateries seek to save cash by axing busboys, reports the Wall Street Journal. Servers take food orders, then scramble to clear tables, fill bread baskets, scrape plates and perform all the other tasks once done by bussers. The change has mostly gone smoothly, although diners note waiters seem a lot more frazzled, say restaurant managers.
Some industry analysts say bussers—who must be paid minimum wage, unlike waiters—are luxuries that cash-strapped restaurants can't afford. Others, pointing to all those piles of plates, say the positions can't be eliminated by restaurants hoping to maintain good service. To ensure good service, bussing "would absolutely be the last place I'd cut," said a Denny's executive.