Career Development

What Does a Fine Dining Server Do?

Find out what a fine dining server does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a fine dining server.

Fine dining servers are responsible for providing guests with an exceptional dining experience. They work closely with chefs and other kitchen staff to ensure that each course is prepared properly and delivered in a timely fashion.

Fine dining servers must be able to multitask effectively, as they are often juggling multiple tasks at once. This includes taking orders from several tables at once, serving individual courses, clearing plates between courses, refilling drinks, etc.

Fine Dining Server Job Duties

Fine dining servers typically have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Communicating with other staff members to ensure that orders are delivered to guests in a timely manner
  • Presenting food items and drink selections to customers, answering any questions they may have about the menu items, and helping them make decisions on ordering
  • Suggesting additional items that can be paired with entrees based on ingredients or flavor profiles to increase sales
  • Explaining the menu and specials to customers and answering any questions they may have about them
  • Providing outstanding customer service to each guest by answering questions about the menu, making recommendations, and suggesting food and beverage pairings based on individual preferences and tastes
  • Taking orders and serving alcoholic beverages to guests who are of legal age to drink in accordance with state liquor laws
  • Greeting guests when they arrive and confirming that they have been seated or directed to the proper location for their event
  • Assisting with planning events such as weddings or corporate dinners by coordinating with the event planner or catering staff throughout the process, including during setup and cleanup
  • Preparing wine bottles for service by removing labels, polishing necks, and decanting bottles to allow sediment to settle

Fine Dining Server Salary & Outlook

Fine dining servers’ salaries vary depending on their level of experience, the type of restaurant they work in, and the city or region where they live.

  • Median Annual Salary: $52,500 ($25.24/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $106,000 ($50.96/hour)

The employment of fine dining servers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

As restaurants continue to offer upscale food and drink, they will need servers who can explain the food and drinks and describe their preparation and presentation. In addition, as more people eat out, demand for fine dining servers will increase.

Related: Fine Dining Server Interview Questions and Answers

Fine Dining Server Job Requirements

There are a few requirements that servers in fine dining establishments must meet, which may include:

Education: Most fine dining servers have at least a high school diploma or equivalent. Some servers choose to pursue a culinary arts program to gain valuable skills and knowledge.

Training & Experience: Fine dining servers often receive on-the-job training from their managers or other servers. This training helps servers learn the restaurant’s menu, the restaurant’s style of service and the restaurant’s standards for service. Training may also include learning how to use the restaurant’s computer systems, such as the point-of-sale system.

Fine dining servers may also receive training in the form of an apprenticeship. During an apprenticeship, a server works closely with a server or server manager to learn the restaurant’s standards for service and the restaurant’s style of service. An apprenticeship can last from a few months to a year.

Certifications & Licenses: Fine dining servers typically don’t need any certifications, but there are certifications available for servers who work in a casual dining environment or a specific type of establishment, such as a restaurant, bar or cafe.

Fine Dining Server Skills

Fine dining servers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication skills: Communication skills are essential for any server, as they allow you to interact with customers and relay information to the kitchen staff. You can use your communication skills to explain menu options, answer questions about the restaurant and take orders. You can also use your communication skills to check in with customers throughout their meal to ensure they’re satisfied with their service.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is a necessary skill for any server, as it ensures that customers receive the correct order and that the restaurant makes money by charging customers for the correct items. Fine dining servers often have to pay attention to details like the type of cutlery, the temperature of the food and the ingredients in each dish.

Food knowledge: Food knowledge is the ability to understand the ingredients and preparation methods of various dishes. This can help you recommend dishes to customers and answer any questions they may have about the menu. You can also use food knowledge to help you prepare dishes correctly and suggest pairings for customers.

Customer service: Customer service is the ability to provide a positive experience for customers. As a fine dining server, you should be able to provide excellent customer service to your patrons. This includes greeting customers, answering questions, making recommendations and resolving any issues that may arise.

Multitasking: As a fine dining server, you may be responsible for several tables at once. This means you need to be able to multitask, switching between tables and tasks quickly and efficiently. You may also be responsible for managing multiple food orders at once, so it’s important to be able to handle multiple tasks at once.

Fine Dining Server Work Environment

The work environment for a fine dining server is usually a upscale restaurant with a formal atmosphere. The server will be on their feet for long periods of time and may be required to lift heavy trays of food. They will also have to deal with customers who may be demanding or rude. The hours can be long and may include nights, weekends, and holidays. Overtime is often required. The job can be stressful, but also rewarding.

Fine Dining Server Trends

Here are three trends influencing how fine dining servers work. Fine dining servers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Demise of the Traditional Server Role

The role of the server is changing rapidly as restaurants move towards a more fine-dining experience. This shift is leading to a need for servers who can provide more than just table service, such as wine and food pairings, menu recommendations, and dessert suggestions.

As restaurants continue to move towards a more fine-dining experience, servers will need to be prepared to provide more than just table service. They will need to be knowledgeable about the menu, the wine list, and the desserts that are available. In addition, they will need to be able to communicate with customers in a way that makes them feel comfortable and welcome.

More Focus on Customer Experience

As customer expectations continue to rise, businesses are placing increasing emphasis on providing an exceptional customer experience. This means that servers need to be not only efficient and friendly, but also well-informed about the menu and the restaurant’s history.

Fine dining servers can utilize this trend by becoming experts in their field. By doing so, they will be able to provide guests with the information they need to make informed decisions about their meal. Additionally, servers can focus on creating a welcoming environment for guests, which can go a long way towards ensuring that they have a positive experience at the restaurant.

Greater Emphasis on Healthier Options

Healthy eating is becoming increasingly popular among diners, and restaurants are beginning to take notice. As a result, servers will need to be familiar with the latest health trends and how to recommend healthier options to customers.

This trend is especially important for fine dining servers, who are often responsible for recommending dishes to customers. By being aware of the latest healthy eating trends, servers can help customers make informed choices and create a menu that appeals to everyone.

How to Become a Fine Dining Server

A fine dining server career can be a great way to start your hospitality career. It offers the opportunity to learn about different cuisines and wines, as well as working with a variety of customers. You’ll also gain experience in customer service, food preparation, and serving.

To become a fine dining server, you’ll need to have excellent customer service skills and be able to work well under pressure. You should also be able to lift heavy objects and be comfortable standing for long periods of time.

Advancement Prospects

The best way to advance your career as a fine dining server is to gain experience and build a strong reputation. The most experienced and well-respected servers are often promoted to management positions, such as head server or dining room manager. Those with a strong interest in the food and beverage industry may also move into positions such as sommelier or food and beverage director. With further education and training, servers may also become chefs or restaurateurs.

Fine Dining Server Job Description Example

[CompanyX] is a high-end restaurant that offers an exceptional dining experience for our guests. We are looking for a professional and experienced server to join our team. The ideal candidate will have at least 2 years of experience working in a fine dining setting and will be able to provide our guests with excellent service. He or she will be knowledgeable about our menu and wine list, and will be able to make recommendations to our guests. The server will also be responsible for taking orders, serving food and drinks, and processing payments.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Greet guests in a warm and welcoming manner
  • Escort guests to their table and provide them with menus
  • Answer any questions guests may have about the menu
  • Take orders from guests and input them into the POS system
  • Serve food and drinks to guests according to their order
  • Check on guests throughout their meal to ensure they are satisfied
  • Clear away dishes and glassware when guests have finished their meal
  • Process payments and close out guest checks
  • Reset tables for the next guests
  • Perform opening and closing side work duties as assigned
  • Maintain a clean and organized dining room
  • Adhere to all safety and sanitation guidelines

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • High school diploma or equivalent
  • Proven experience as a server in a fine dining restaurant
  • Exceptional customer service skills
  • Extensive knowledge of food, wine, and other beverages
  • Ability to upsell menu items
  • Excellent memory and multitasking ability

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in hospitality or related field
  • Fine dining certification
  • Working knowledge of POS systems
  • Fluency in more than one language


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