SOP – Restaurant – How To Carry Service Tray / Tray Handling?

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How to Handle Service Tray in Restaurant | Coffeeshop?

1. Selecting the Service Tray:

  1. All trays must be clean and tidy, free from chips.
  2.  Required items for preparing the tray are 1) a Service tray and 2) A clean tray cloth.
  3.  Check that the tray is clean and dry.
  4.  Check that the tray is well polished.
  5.  Check that the tray cloth is clean and free of stains, tears, or holes.

2. Holding the Service Tray:

  1. A small service tray should be carried in one hand.
  2.  The big tray must be carried with two hands.
  3.  Place the left hand under the centre of the tray with fingers spending out comfortably.
  4.  Heavy, high, and hot items must be closed to your body.
  5.  Pick up the tray in your left hand, ensuring your palm is in the centre to keep the tray well balanced.
  6.  Your left arm needs to be at a 90-degree angle to your body. The elbow is to be kept close to the side.

3. Positioning glasses on the tray:

  1. The glasses need to be evenly balanced.
  2. The tallest glasses are positioned closest to your body for safety.
  3. Make sure the glasses cover no more than 80% of the tray.
  4. Make sure the glasses are not touching each other on the tray.
  5. Make sure there are no glasses to lay on the rim of the tray cloth.

4. Moving with the Service Tray:

  1. Walk confidently and carefully.
  2.  Eyes always looking forward.
  3.  Demonstrate good posture.
  4.  The tray is kept on the level at all times.
  5.  Always keep balance and do not overload when carrying a tray.
  6.  Don’t walk too fast or rush into the restaurant.
  7.  Heavy, high items and hot items must be close to the body of service staff.
  8.  Empty trays must be carried flat, in the service position.
  9.  Place the left hand under the centre of the tray with fingers spreading out comfortably.
  10.  The palm and underarm should be right below the heaviest part of the tray after the dishes drinks or service items are put on.
  11.  Carefully use both hands when carrying a rectangular bussing tray (If applicable).
  12.  Heavy items must be moved closer to the body to avoid falling over and to provide extra stability.
  13.  A tray mat or tray liner, if required, must be designed to fit the tray, clean, free of holes, and non-slip.
  14.  Tray and mat/liner should be washed and sanitized after shift and stored properly.
  15.  Never leave a service tray on the guest table while providing service.
  16.  Avoid un-balanced stacking on the service tray to ensure the safety of the glasses or plates.

5. Other Points to note while handling trays:

  1. Don’t use the tray cloth for any cleaning to avoid additional washing.
  2.  Give colleagues coming from the right priority.
  3.  Never overload or stack up too high equipment.
  4.  Don’t walk too fast.
  5.  Use a tray mat or liner if required.
  6.  Avoid unbalanced stacking on the service tray.
  7.  Never overload or stack up equipment too high
  8.  Large or heavy trays must be carried with two hands
  9.  Small service trays can be carried with one hand in the centre of the base, freeing one hand for service.
  10.  Originally fold the tray cloth.
  11.  Once you have served, pick up empty glasses from other tables and /or take new orders.
  12.  Take a cleaning cloth/ clean ashtray with you.

Training Summary questions:

Q1. What is the purpose of this SOP?

Q2. How to prepare and select the Service Tray?

Q3. What are the points to note while moving with the service tray?

Q4. How to position glasses on the service tray?

Q5. Points to note while handling the service tray?

SOP Number: Food and Beverage Service SOP - 48 
Department: Food and Beverage Service – Restaurant
Date Issued: 08-07-2018
Time to Train: 30 Min
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