Fine-Dining Restaurant Servers Increasingly Likely to Have Pricey College Degrees

Crimson forever.
Crimson forever. Photo: iStockphoto

For servers, the tasting menu at Eleven Madison Park requires more than just tray-balancing skills, card tricks aside: Your fine-dining server is increasingly likely to be a culinary school or Ivy League graduate, The Wall Street Journal suggests, as more and more hopefuls who might have once slummed it as a line cook (longer hours, less than half the salary) now vie for plum front-of-house jobs, where they can gross $150,000 per year and strive to constantly improve their standing: “It’s hard for us to keep our staff from coming in three or four hours early,” Will Guidara of EMP says. And it turns out that the acceptance rate for wait-staff positions at places like Per Se and Le Bernardin is as low as 10 percent, a figure that lands between admissions at Yale and Cornell. [WSJ, Related]