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Fine Dining Server Job Description: 2024 Updated Template

A male fine dining server's hand wiping a wine glass with a cloth

Fine dining server responsibilities include setting tables with precision and attention to detail, having extensive knowledge of the menu (and wine list!) and working with the kitchen and other staff to keep guests satisfied.

A male fine dining server's hand wiping a wine glass with a cloth

This standard fine dining server job description is optimized for employers posting on job boards, careers pages, social networking platforms and other job search engines.

Applicants can also use the information as a reference for expectations of a fine dining server position, one of the best-paying jobs in the hospitality industry.

This fine dining server job description template includes day-to-day fine dining server responsibilities, required skills and qualifications, common interview questions, salaries and other important aspects of the hiring process.

This means the demand for skilled fine dining servers is on the rise. Compared to 2020, the hospitality industry is still short of roughly 500,000 employees today, according to The Washington Post.

A stat saying hospitality industry is short of 500,000 employees

In fact, the pressure to hire more workers in the industry has increased wages by up to 23% in the past three years. The demand for fine dining servers has never been higher, so now is definitely a good time to consider pursuing a career as a fine dining server.

Fine Dining Server Job Description

If you thrive in a fast-paced, high-pressure environment, and have a passion for creating unforgettable dining experiences, the role of a fine dining server might be an excellent fit for you.

What distinguishes this job from other waitstaff roles is your unwavering commitment to treating every guest like a VIP from the moment they walk in the door.

Fine Dining Server Responsibilities

Fine dining server responsibilities include:

  • Taking orders: You will be responsible for taking guests’ orders and answering any questions they may have about the menu and the restaurant.
  • Offering menu recommendations: You’ll provide guests with menu recommendations based on their preferences and dietary restrictions, ensuring a personalized dining experience that exceeds their expectations.
  • Upselling and suggestive selling: Besides taking orders, a server may be expected to use suggestive selling techniques to promote specials, add-ons or premium items to enhance the guest experience.
  • Serving food and drinks: You will ensure that every dish and drink is prepared and presented with high quality and consistency, according to the guests’ orders.
  • Clearing and resetting tables: You may be responsible for clearing and resetting tables between courses, ensuring the dining area is clean and tidy for the next guest.
  • Collaborating with the kitchen staff: You may work closely with the kitchen staff to ensure that orders are prepared correctly and delivered to guests promptly.

Your main role is to offer guests the finest dining experience because a bad review can make or break the success of the restaurant you work for. Also, remember that the happier your customers are, the more likely they are to leave a generous tip.

A pie chart showing how 75% of fine dining restaurants report higher tips after the pandemic.
[Source: Nationwide]

Fine Dining Server Job Training & Education

Although there are no formal education requirements to get a fine dining server job, most restaurants hire people with prior serving experience or experience in a related hospitality position, such as a bartender or host. However, you can take related certification programs to gain a  competitive edge.

Once hired, many fine dining restaurants provide on-the-job training to cover topics such as menu descriptions, service techniques, wine and food pairings and proper tableside etiquette.

A statistic that discusses how 9 out of 10 restaurants have mandatory safety training for staff.
[Source: Nationwide]

Essential Skills & Qualifications for a Fine Dining Server Job

Fine dining can sometimes appear intimidating, especially if you consider the many rules and traditions that come with it. Having the following skills and qualifications will help you thrive in a fine dining server role.

  • Customer service: A fine dining server must have exceptional customer service skills, including the ability to greet guests warmly, anticipate their needs and provide personalized attention throughout the meal.
  • Attention to detail: Fine dining requires great attention to detail, including proper table settings, food presentation and tableside preparation.
  • Communication: Clear and effective communication is key to effectively performing your fine dining server responsibilities. This involves taking orders accurately, explaining menu items and providing recommendations.
  • Multitasking: Fine dining service can be fast-paced and requires handling multiple tasks simultaneously, such as serving multiple tables, taking orders and clearing dishes.
  • Teamwork: Fine dining service is a team effort, and servers must be able to work collaboratively with kitchen staff, other servers and management to provide an exceptional dining experience for guests.
  • Knowledge of food and wine: Servers in fine dining restaurants must have a strong understanding of food and wine, including preparation methods, ingredients and flavor profiles, as well as pairing suggestions.

Speaking of knowledge, there are other things applicants should be familiar with to be top-tier in their fine dining server responsibilities.

  • Mise en place: The French term for “everything in its place” refers to preparing and arranging all necessary items and equipment before service begins. This includes preparing dining tables, chairs, tableware, flatware, glassware, linen and other items necessary for a seamless dining experience.
  • Open-hand service: A service method where a fine dining server’s arms are never crossed when serving guests. This technique is used to maintain a professional and polished appearance while interacting with guests.
  • Formal table setting: Specific techniques and terminologies are used to set a traditional dinner table in fine dining establishments. They include the proper placement of flatware, plates, glasses and other tableware.
  • Fine dining etiquette: This encompasses a set of refined behaviors and practices that contribute to the overall elegance and sophistication of the dining experience, including poised and professional demeanor, menu knowledge and assistance, plate presentation, tableside service, etc.

A short but informative video on setting a formal dinner table [Source: College & Career Ready Labs]

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