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Tray Stands Buying Guide

Tray Stands Buying Guide

Restaurant tray stands make it easier for servers to manage multiple orders of food for a table. Simply set them up beside the table, then top with a serving tray full of your signature culinary or confectionery creations.

What is a Tray Stand?

Trays stands help your servers deliver food to tables in a quick, efficient fashion, without the threat of dropping plates in the process. At the same time, they enable bussers to set heavy bus boxes down when bussing tables, minimizing worker fatigue. These products can be carried out to act as a temporary surface for serving trays, or they can be set up as portable surfaces for appetizer stations.

Tray Stand Covers

During elegant events, formal receptions, and corporate functions, there's often a need for tray stands to remain at set locations to collect soiled dishes prior to taking to the dishroom. At such events, tray stand covers can add an upscale look to your tray stands. These covers either drape over the tray stand table or hug it from all angles, giving it the look of a table while ensuring it maintains its lightweight, convenient, foldable function.

Restaurant Equipment

Spandex Tray Stand Covers

  • Stretch in any direction.
  • Easily expand over most standard tray stands.
  • Fit snugly to prevent the cover from slipping off the stand.

Restaurant Equipment

Polyester Tray Stand Covers

  • Smooth, sophisticated design.
  • Ensure the highest level of wrinkle, stain, shrink, and pill resistance.
  • Won’t absorb liquids if spills occur.

Tray Stand Materials

From economical plastic to traditional turned wood, food tray stands come in a variety of materials and styles to match your unique needs. Additionally, they come in several colors and finishes to ensure a cohesive look in your dining room.

Restaurant Equipment

Plastic Tray Stands

Plastic tray stands feature a lightweight, non-porous material, great for use outdoors and indoors alike. They will not rust, pit, or scratch, and ensure a safe, sanitary surface for trays to rest upon. These tray stands are perfect for restaurants, bars, cafes, and catered events, as they give an authentic look without all the maintenance.

Restaurant Equipment

Metal Tray Stands

Metal tray stands give you the durability you need in a commercial foodservice establishment while ensuring a cool, contemporary look in black, chrome, steel, or brown finishes. They are lightweight, just like plastic tray stands, and easy to clean as well. Rubber feet offer traction and added floor protection. At the same time, rubber grips help to keep the tray in place.

Restaurant Equipment

Wood Tray Stands

Wood tray stands offer a traditional look, great for any establishment. They come in plain wood styles for a versatile appearance or turned wood styles for an elegant upgrade. Bottom braces offer added strength and durability. Choose from a variety of wood finishes for a natural look and feel. Wood tray stands can be wiped clean like plastic or metal stands, but should be conditioned with a wood conditioner to keep them looking their best. These tray stands can be heavier than plastic or metal tray stands, but for the look, the tradeoff is definitely one to consider.

Tray Stand Heights

Tray stands are typically available in dining height, counter height, or bar height sizes. It's best to pick a serving tray stand in a height similar to the tables with which you're serving. Measure the height of your tables first, then match them up with a tray stand of a comparable height! It's that easy to ensure your tray stands fall at a comfortable height for your servers.

Restaurant Equipment

Dining Height Tray Stands

  • Stands between 29" and 31" tall.
  • Designed for use with dining height tables.

Restaurant Equipment

Counter Height Tray Stands

  • Stands between 32" and 35" tall
  • Designed for use with counter height tables.

Restaurant Equipment

Bar Height Tray Stands

  • Stands between 36" and 38" tall.
  • Designed for use with bar height tables.

Anatomy of a Tray Stand

Tray stands are traditionally designed with four legs, nylon straps, and a folding design for space-saving storage.
Restaurant Equipment


Four legs offer stability to the tray stand. High-quality hinges ensure that it can handle even the heaviest trays of food or pieces of luggage.

Restaurant Equipment


Strong nylon belts span the top of the stand to minimize the likelihood of spilled trays or tubs. These belts also make it easy to stack luggage or duffel bags on top of the stand.

Restaurant Equipment

Folding Design

The stand's folding hinges make it easy for servers to carry it under their arm while delivering food to a table. It also easily flips open with one hand.

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