Tables per server numbers indicate how many tables are assigned to each server or server station in a foodservice operation. For example, if a restaurant has 50 tables, it may assign four or five tables to each server. Typically, fine dining restaurants assign fewer tables per server than casual dining restaurants and as a result offer a higher level of service. Some foodservice managers prefer assigning a certain number of seats to each server rather than assigning a certain number of tables. In this case, all servers might have a mix of 2 tops, 4 tops, and 6 tops, but would be serving approximately the same number of guests.
As Sanders, Paz and Wilkinson (2002), one of the major factors involved in determining the appropriate number of tables per server (or servers per table in rare situations) is the use of bussers. Bussers may be employed to simply clear and reset tables; such use increases somewhat the amount of time available for the server to spend with guests. Another approach is to use bussers for most other functions besides taking the guests’ orders and delivering the food. In such situations, bussers must be more fully trained since their interaction with the guest is considerable.
Sanders, E., Paz, P., & Wilkinson, R. (2002). Service at its Best. Upper Saddle River, (NJ): Prentice Hall.