What Skills Are Needed to Be a Server at a High-End Restaurant?

High-end or upscale restaurant servers work in the most prestigious restaurants in San Ramon or in their respective cities. Their income can vary widely depending on their experience and geographic area. Based on research, some high-end restaurant servers can earn up to $35,000 in a year, which is a lot higher compared to the earnings of servers in fast food chains and other restaurants. One of the reason is that the customers who eat in high-end restaurants tend to give a larger amount of tip to servers. There are also some high-end restaurants who pay their servers high salaries.

There are many people today who want to become a server in a high-end restaurant because they will be able to earn more from working there. But what are the skills needed to become a high-end restaurant server? To be able to be a high-end restaurant server, there are definitive skills and talents, as well as qualifications needed. If you’re wondering what these skills and qualifications are, here are some of the common ones to give you an idea.


Most high-end restaurants hire servers who are good-looking and conventionally attractive. Though this may sound unfair for some, the management of high-end restaurants has to be realistic because people who dine in prestigious restaurants are there to enjoy and be surrounded by the best, including the best décor, flatware, service, food, and of course, best-looking people.

More than the good looks, servers in high-end restaurants should always look clean. Well, this applies to all kinds of servers as well. They should have well-manicured nails and neat hair.

Clean Record

Servers working at high-end restaurants are surrounded with a lot of valuable things such as liquor, crystal glassware, expensive food products and more. They are also able to hear much sensitive information because most people who eat there are business people, lawyers, and sometimes celebrities. They also handle credit cards with a big amount of money. These things can be misused when access to them is given to the wrong person.

This is the reason why when you apply at a high-end restaurant, they will require you to undergo a criminal record check. It is for the protection and comfort of both the restaurant and the guests. So, having a clean record is a key qualification to become a server at a high-end restaurant.


There is no specific educational requirement to become a server, however, it is a must for those who want to work in high-end restaurants. It is because they will be facing guests that are mostly educated, therefore, they will become more comfortable talking with people who have certain mannerisms, way of speaking, and knowledge about some subjects.

It is kind of difficult to find jobs in the present time, that’s why there are many graduates today who are serving restaurants to make a living making it increasingly common for servers to have an education.

Knowledge of Food and Wine

This skill is important if you want to work in high-end restaurants. Most people who eat in this type of restaurant ask details about the food being served. Since they are no ordinary people, servers can’t just answer them something like, “that tastes good”. They have to be able to speak intelligently about the food because that is part of giving customers great dining experience. The knowledge about food will also help servers prevent food-related problems like allergies to certain ingredients.

The knowledge about wine is also an important skill because servers in high-end restaurants are responsible for making wine recommendations. Wine is one of the most expensive things customers can pay for, therefore, having knowledge about it will help servers upsell the most expensive ones.


High-end restaurants hire servers who have great experiences in the field. This is an important factor to be hired because they will know based on your experiences how familiar and comfortable you are with the flow of service in restaurants. If you’re a highly-experienced restaurant server, you should know the standard motions of service such as collecting menus, pouring wine, refilling water, replacing dirty plates, and others. You should also be familiar with the common language or terminologies used by servers.

Servers should master all these things because part of the experience in a high-end restaurant is getting high-end service. To be able to prove them your experience, you will need to provide the references. These are the past restaurant employers who can speak positively about your work habits and skills. If you do not have any references to prove your skills, you might have a difficult time getting hired at a high-end restaurant.

Being a highly-skilled server does not happen overnight. Most of the servers who work in high-end restaurants started out as bussers and food runners before they became servers, and it took them years before they became high-end restaurant servers.

These are just some of the most common skills and qualifications needed to be a server at a high-end restaurant. There sure are a lot to learn, but they are all worth it because when you become successful at it, you’ll be able to earn more, not just money but great experiences as well.