Title:
Food or drink tray
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A food and drink tray for carrying several items of food and drinks over a large serving area allowing dispensing of food and drinks with minimum danger of spilling same which would cause a mess or accident. A tray that can be supported on edge of shoulder or on abdomen of server in order to rest the arm. A tray that has a shaped handle that allows the server to ascertain rotation of tray. A tray with a handle that folds up and out the way to facilitate placing tray down on the edge of a countertop.



Inventors:
Mcewin, Ben L. (Tempe, AZ, US)
Mcewin, Mike W. (Tempe, AZ, US)
Application Number:
11/901924
Publication Date:
01/10/2008
Filing Date:
09/20/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G23/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CHIN, PAUL T
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Mike McEwin (Tempe, AZ, US)
Claims:
1. A new and useful food and drink carrier tray that has a bottom lock away hinge and handle. A balanced carrier that can be balanced on the shoulder using one hand or pulled in and rested on waist. A handle on the bottom which can be pulled back to facilitate setting carrier on the edge of a table. A spring loaded hinged handle with two stable positions.

2. A carrier as in claim 1 whereas tray has a novel crescent shape.

3. A carrier as in claim 1 whereas tray has a long handle on bottom side.

4. A carrier as in claim 1 whereas tray has a raised lip along the perimeter.

5. A carrier as in claim 3 whereas handle is on a hinge.

6. A carrier as in claim 5 whereas the hinge locks up under tray.

7. A carrier as in claim 3 whereas handle has an oblong cross-sectional shape.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a CIP of Ser. No. 11/219,056, filed by the present inventor.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH

Not applicable

SEQUENCE LISTING OR PROGRAM

Not applicable

FIELD OF INVENTION

This invention relates generally to trays and more specifically to an oblong restaurant tray with a handle.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Servers at social gatherings and in restaurants transport ordered food and beverages from a kitchen or bar to patrons. The server often uses a conventional circle tray and will place and balance several drinks and/or dishes of food on the tray. The tray is then transported to a table, for example, using a single hand to carry the tray. As is often done, servers balance the tray on one hand. This leaves the other hand free to handle check or money and to move beverages and/or dishes of food from the tray.

Conventional trays are typically circular with a large diameter in order to accommodate many drinks and/or several dishes of food. Because of the size and the amount of dishes of food and beverages on the tray, it is difficult to balance, and particularly difficult to adjust for the weight shifting that occurs as food dishes and beverages are removed from the tray. Often, dishes or beverages fall to the floor and result in the breaking of the dishes or glasses and creating a mess that needs to be cleaned by a restaurant employee. Furthermore, the food or drinks have to be reordered, thereby creating a further delay in service to the patron. This is costly, time consuming, and embarrassing to the server.

Accordingly, what is needed is a restaurant tray that provides greater and easier ability to balance, support, and transport the food and beverages and minimize the possibility of spilling any dish or beverage while still providing the advantages of enabling the transport of large quantities of food or drink as with conventional trays.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The objects of this invention are: to provide a food or drink tray that allows for the safe transport of food or drinks while allowing the user to manage the tray in various positions that will help alleviate fatigue.

Other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent from a consideration of the ensuing description and drawings.

The drawings constitute a part of the specification and include preferred embodiments of the present invention, while illustrating various objects and features thereof. In some of figures, relative material thickness may be shown exaggerated to facilitate an understanding of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a food or drink tray according to the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a side view of the food or drink tray shown in FIG. 1.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed here are not to be interpreted as limiting, but rather as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

Referring to FIG. 1, the reference number 10 generally designates a food or drink tray according to the present invention. The tray 10 has an attached handle 16 with a hinge 18. The hinge 18 has a hinge joint 20 that allows for the handle 16 to be moved into either of two stable configurations. The handle 16 may have an oblique cross-section that allows the user feedback regarding the orientation of the handle and attached tray and also helps reduce wrist fatigue.

Referring to FIG. 2, the tray base 12 has a raised edge 14 to limit sliding of articles placed upon the top surface. The handle 16 may be terminated with a knob 22 to aid the user in securely gripping the handle.

While the above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but as exemplifications of the presently preferred embodiments thereof. Many other ramifications and variations are possible within the teachings of the invention.

Thus the scope of the invention should be determined by the appended claims and their legal equivalents, and not by the examples given.