server with glass and tray with caption 'Working in the service industry Part 4:' (l) customer with caption 'Working in the service industry Part 4:' (c) server with glass and tray with caption 'Working in the service industry Part 4:' (r)

@kevinminihane/TikTok Remix by Caterina Cox

‘Only time I’ve ever raised my voice w/ a guest was when they reached for my tray’: Server shares why you should never simply grab drinks off their tray



Eric Webb


Posted on Jun 27, 2023

A server has a message for restaurant customers: do not, under any circumstances, grab for your waiter’s tray while they’re serving you food and drinks— EVER.

Creator Kevin Minihane’s (@kevinminihane) video about working in the service industry has garnered at least 1.3 million views and more than 200,000 likes. In his video, he shows how even if customers mean well, their actions can sometimes easily cause mishaps for servers.

@kevinminihane TAKE. YOUR. HANDS. OFF. THE. TRAY. #fyp #server #serverlife #waiter ♬ original sound – Kevin Minihane

In the video, Minihane acts out a scenario where he brings a tray of imaginary drinks to a table and a customer reaches for a drink straight off the tray, making Minihane struggle and leading to him dropping the tray and drinks on the ground.

“TAKE. YOUR. HANDS. OFF. THE. TRAY,” Minihane captioned the video.

Commenters seemed to relate to being in a position where a customer interferes with your job, causing you to slip up.

“The worst part is that 9/10 times they don’t even [realize] it was their fault,” one commenter commiserated. 

“I had a table do this with 12 drinks on my tray & I didn’t even try to stop it I just watched them make the 11 other drinks topple over,” one person wrote.

“Even if you haven’t had that job you know about gravity and stuff, right … it’s like a seesaw,” a commenter said.

Minihane told the Daily Dot said sometimes accidents can give added humor to his job as a server.

“I feel like anyone that works, or has worked, in the service industry knows the frustration that comes along with it,” Kevin told the Daily Dot in an interview over Instagram direct message. “The job is grueling at times but I feel like the common source of that frustration is also the biggest source [of] the humor in the job! Just keeping the professionalism in moments like this can be the hardest part I suppose.”

There’s a lot of technique that goes into carrying a tray. An oldie-but-goodie post on Reddit’s Tales From Your Server subreddit has some tips: Put taller drinks like beer bottles in the middle of the tray and balance other drinks around them; don’t look at the tray; look where you’re going; ue your fingers to hoist the tray, not your whole palm; and hold the tray level when you’re passing out the drinks.

Servers on TikTok aren’t shy about sharing their pet peeves. One creator recently advised not to order while your server is passing out drinks, and another called out folks who order things not on the menu.

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*First Published: Jun 27, 2023, 6:04 pm CDT