for large catering events, or sometimes for banquets in restaurants, chefs like to pre-plate up food so that the servers can bring as many plates out at once as possible. There are professional tools and equipment that help with that!
This contraption is called a ‘jack stack’. It holds up to 100 plates. The one in the photo is partially filled with plates with some of a beet salad on them. When we have large parties or banquets, we prepare as much as possible in advance. My co-worker and I plated up beets, the beet puree smear, and the goat cheese and the sanded hazelnuts. The arugula salad is missing, because it would wilt if I didn’t make it fresh.
So when the order comes in, I take a huge bowl and put several bags of arugula in it. I dress the salad, and then put a handful on each plate.
This is what it is looks it when finished.
The jack stack is generally used by the pastry shop to plate up desserts for weddings and other events. But when the restaurant is busy, we make use of it as well!