Watch a waiter carry 16 plates with one hand (and arm!) across a restaurant

Originally published at: Watch a waiter carry 16 plates with one hand (and arm!) across a restaurant | Boing Boing


It occurred to me that I automatically assume more plates equals higher risk of an accident. Maybe not, because the more plates he stacks onto others, the more it behaves like a solid stable object. Where’s Mythbusters when you need 'em??


He’s great at plate-stacking but could use some pointers on mask-wearing.


I’m just going to assume the underneaths of those plates were as carefully washed as the tops.


Sixteen! Indian! Dosas!


The plates were taken from a stack where either the tops & underneaths were already touching or someone will be along shortly to explain that I’m wrong & I’ll learn something interesting about plate design today.


You are correct, of course. I guess I should have realised the point was relevant whether or not the waiter stacked them on the food. Even if not waiter-stacked, a dirty bottom (ooer, missus!) would infect a clean top below it.
If machine washed, fine, but if hand washed, there’s always a risk that underneaths get less attention than tops. But then, I guess if they get stacked when collected from tables after use, both sides need equal cleaning.

I set aside my previous assumption as unnecessary. :wink:


“Unskilled labor”


Yeah, I was never a great waiter or anything, but I could easily carry 5-6 dishes like this. The dosas made it a little easier for him to stack them directly on top of one another, which I couldn’t do with a Southwestern Chicken salad and a cheeseburger, but I could usually get an entire table’s order out in one shot. Pints of beer were my specialty, though. I could do five American pints in my left hand and still have my right hand free to carry two martinis (the secret is to put your middle finger between the rims of the martini glasses to stabilize them).

I love watching this kind of stuff with kids. Such a simple joke we’ve all seen a million times, but with a kid, it becomes a freaking riot! Thanks for posting.


Agreed, he may as well have just stacked them up vertically rather than halfway offset from the plate beneath it.

Back in the day when I waited tables I could carry 16 plates too, but it was 8 in each hand, and in each hand was a big ol’ oval tray about 3 feet wide which could carry the 8 plates next to one another. I would first bring out a tray stand, then arrive at the banquet table and set the first tray down, then unload the first 8 plates to the patrons, paying careful attention to maintainging the balance. Repeat with the second tray of 8 plates.


I like how he specifically oriented each plate he got from the chef so that the dosa was on the forward half of the plate, which kept the stacking even and stable up his arm. Like wedges all oriented the same way to stay level on an inclined plane.

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Was hoping he’d go the extra mile and spin them on tall poles before Frisbee-ing them onto the tables.

In another lifetime I used to do room service for a fancy hotel.

My record was dinner for 6 business men plus desert and drinks and the tray jack on the elevator.

Of course they could be stacked because of plate covers. The balancing was easy once I got up on my shoulder. They new guys would have to use a cart.

Easily make a few hundred in tips each night but just as easily blow it at the bar after work. Ah to be a teenager again.

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