Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS2037815 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 21, 1936
Filing dateMay 22, 1933
Priority dateMay 22, 1933
Publication numberUS 2037815 A, US 2037815A, US-A-2037815, US2037815 A, US2037815A
InventorsOra Charles L
Original AssigneeOra Charles L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Serving counter
US 2037815 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

April 21,1936. c A I 2,037,815

SERVING COUNTER Filed May 22, 1933 3 Sheeds-Sheet 1 .Hmuml W 11L INVENTOR, Zar/es Z. Ora.

ATTORNEYS.

C. L. ORA

SERVING COUNTER April 21, 1936.

Filed May 22, 1955 3 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR, 6775/76? .Z. Ora

ATTORNEYS.

C. L. ORA

SERVING COUNTER April 21, 1936.

Filed May 22, 19

3 Sheets-Sheet 5 L W: ,,,,/IIIII 1111111111111!!! II I'll INVENTOR, Mir/Teri 02a ATTGRNEYS.

Patented Apr. 21, 1936 UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE SERVING COUNTER Charles L. Ora, Kansas City, Kans. Application May 22, 1933, Serial No. 672,162

4 Claims.

This invention relates to restaurant equipment and has particular reference to a serving structure for cafes or eating houses which not only presents a novel and unique apparatus for serving the customer, but also provides means whereby a large number of patrons might be served without the employment of the number of attendants that are now required in serving in such establishments as they are now conl0 structed.

The primary object of this invention is the provision of serving structure for restaurants which permits a customer to send his order to and receive the same from the kitchen or other point of supply without an attendant giving individual service to that particular customer.

One of the salient objects of this invention, whereby the above broad ideas may be carried into practice, is the contemplation of a serving structure which includes a counter having an endless movable, and an endless stationary portion, the later circumscribing the former and disposed in substantially the same horizontal plane.

Another important aim of this invention is to provide especially formed and positioned counter portions and uniquely arranged parts in comblnation therewith, all of which present a serving structure of the character contemplated which operates in a manner hereinafter set down.

The exact operation and use of the serving structure made to embody the features of this invention will be made clear from the following specification, referring to the accompanying drawings, wherein:

Figure 1 is a top plan view of a serving structure embodying this invention.

Fig. 2 is a side elevation ofthe same.

Fig. 3 is a contracted, longitudinal, vertical, central section through the structure as illustrated in Fig. 1.

Fig. 4 is an enlarged, fragmentary, top plan view of a portion of the movable counter.

Fig. 5 is a fragmentary, vertical section through said movable counter takenalong line V-V of Fig. 4.

Fig. 6 is a vertical cross section through the movable portion of the counter taken on line VIVI of Fig. 4.

Fig. 7 is a. horizontal, fragmentary section through 'a portion of the movable counter at the curved elliptical portion thereof.

Figs. 8 and 9 are fragmentary, top plan and 55 edge elevation views respectively of a modified form of movable counter portion embodying the same principles as those illustrated in the previous figures.

Fig. l0is a fragmentary, sectional plan view showing a modified form of the movable portion 5 of the counter.

Fig. 11 is an enlarged, fragmentary, sectional view taken on line XIX[ of Fig. 10.

Fig. 12 is an enlarged plan view of the movable plates shown in Fig. 10, and,

' Fig. 13 is a fragmentary view showing the endless conveyor belt, driven by a separate motor independently of the movable counter.

In describing the serving structure embodying this invention, but a single unit will be made 15 clear, it being understood that any number of 1 units of any size might be used in a single restaurant so long as the same perform the function and embody the basic concepts and structural features contemplated.

The building or other closure housing the serving structure should be divided by a partition l2, through which is formed an aperture l4 that may allow passage from room A to adjoining room B.- In the instance shown, room A is the 25 serving room or place where customers are received, while room B is the kitchen where the food is prepared and where orders are received from room A.

A series of stools l6 are arranged in succession, 30 such as illustrated in Fig. 1, and the same may be mounted upon platform I8, if desired. These stools l6 are of the ordinary revolving type and permit the customer to eat comfortably from counter 20, which is an attenuated, stationary, 35 endless table positioned in an elliptical path and extending from room A to room B'through aperture l4 formed in partition l2. While the endless table is shown in an elliptical form, that is, it

is elongated with rounded ends, however, it is 4 apparent that it might be made to almost any circuitous form without necessitating any material change in the salient parts. Any suitable support such as wall 22 may be used as a foundation to carry stationary counter 20 and a. display shelf 24 is provided for the purpose of not only displaying food, but to carry a number plate 26 that has a numeral imprinted thereon to indicate the stool number which a particular customer is occupying. 5 This number plate should be, rigid to shelf 24 I while a complementary number plate 28, bearing a similar number, is placed upon counter 20 to receive a customers order. Number plate 28 sits upon a pedestal 30 and carries pin 32 which receives the written ,order made out by the customer in the stool in front of number plate 28, which corresponds to the number marked upon plates 26 and 28 respectively. In practice, when a customer enters a restaurant equipped with the structure contemplated by this invention, the single attendant in charge behind the counter 20 presents him with an order which is filled out in any suitable fashion and secured to number plate 28 by forcing the order over pin 32. This order, together with number plate 28, is then positioned upon the hereinafter described movable portion of the counter, which carries the order into room B where the same is filled, placed upon a tray and the order with its supporting number plate put back upon the-movable portion of the counter so that the tray of ordered food, the order itself and number plate 28 may be carried past a checker and thence through aperture i4 back to room A where, when the tray reaches the customer who presented the order, the same may be removed and placed upon counter 20 for use.

All that is necessary is that the customer or customers seated on stools [6 watch the number upon plates 28 that are being conveyed past his station. When the numberplate 28 having a numeral thereon which corresponds to the number on plate 26 which is before him arrives, he is aware of the fact that the tray hearing such number is his order of food. He thereupon simply removes the tray to the counter 20 immediately in front of him.

In certain instances it might be desirable to simply place servings of food on the moving portion of the counter and permit the customers to remove the servings at will. In such cases it would facilitate rapid service, to several customers, to place servings of like food at spaced apart intervals.

Display shelf 24 may be supported by uprights 34 that extend upwardly from stationary counter 20 and a rub rail 38 which is likewise elliptical and is spaced inwardly from counter 20 is provided, as shown in Figs. 3 and 6. It is between -stationary counter 20 and rub rail 38 that the unique endless movable counter is disposed.

One of the preferred forms of this movable counter 38 is clearly illustrated in Figs. 3 to 6 inclusive. In this instance, movable counter 38 comprises a series of overlapping, rigid plates 48 that are pivotally interconnected as at 42 adjacent one end thereof so that when the plates 40 are carried around the elliptical endless path of travel the degree of overlap may be varied as the radius of the path is increased or decreased.

Such relation between adjoining plates 48 is.

clearly shown in Fig. 4. These plates are so thin that their overlapping edges do not present an objectionable offset from their major horizontal plane and trays may be carried thereby without interference from such offsets.

Movable portion 38 of the counter is circumscribed by stationary counter 28 and the two lie wholly within the same horizontal plane. That is to say, the upper faces of plates 40 and the upper surface of counter 20 are all in substantially the same horizontal plane.

A construction such as has been just set down, or one similar thereto permits the use of a movable counter portion that will fulfill the primary object of this invention of conveying articles from room A to room B. It is obvious that each plate 48 will pass each stool l6 and in the event some modification of'the movable counter portion 40 is desired, this invention permits a wide variation in structural arrangement. Movable portion 38 of the counter which includes plates 48, is driven or moved through its elliptical endless path by suitable drive means, which in this instance is shown to be an electric motor 44, transmitting its power to drive sprocket 48 through the medium of vertical shaft 48, bevel gears 50, horizontal shaft 52, sprocket chain 54 and speed reducer 5 8. A suitable bracket 58 carried by wall 22 positions the aforementioned driving parts in their proper relation and in addition to driving movable portion 38 of the counter the drive means also operates an endless conveyor belt 60, which is positioned beneath the counter to extend from adjacent one end thereof to a point near the opposite end for the purpose of carrying articles from room A to room B which the attendant might want to dispose. of.

This endless conveyor belt is of the conventional type and may or may not be included in the serving structure.

To completely carry out the feature of smoothly driving movable counter portion 38,'the invention requires that some form of roller 62 be mounted beneath each plate 40 for travel over a coacting track 64 which is carried by floor 66 extending between rub rail 36 and 9. depending portion 68 of stationary counter 28.

These tracks 64 are coextensive with the elliptical counters and rollers 62 are flanged at their outer ends to preclude their jumping from track 64 as the assembly is moved. A drive chain 10 extends beneath movable portion 38 of the counter and is secured to the units or plates 48 thereof through the same medium as is used to pivotally interconnect plates 40. This medium is shown here to be a pivot pin 42 which has previously been described. Pin 42 extends vertically through the overlapping portion of adjoining plates 40 and thence into engagement with drive chain '18. This chain is below the outer portion of movable counter 38 and a number of idler sprockets 12 may be used to take up slack or wardly by a spring or analogous means 16, as

shown in Fig. 7. It may be necessary to provide keepers 18 for the end of floating bar I4 and it is preferred to locate this takeup apparatus just described at one end of the ellipse forming the path of travel of movable counter portion 38 and all its associated parts.

In the modified form of the movable counter portion illustrated in Figs. 8 and 9, the units I00 making up the carrying surface of the movable portion do not overlap, but have their converging edges in abutting relation when passing around the ends of the elliptical path.

This construction requires the use of an overlying sheet of fabric or other yieldable material I02 which falls between the adjoining edges of units I00 when the same approach each other at the points of turn. Pivotal points 104 may be merely complementary beads and grooves if desired, or any other suitable interconnecting elements might be utilized so long as horizontal displacement of units I00 is precluded thereby and free action toward and from each other is permitted when such action is necessary.

In the instance shown, the checker is stationed in cutaway portion 80 formed in counter 20, but it is understood such special arrangement need not be built into this structure unless desired.

The modified form of the movable portion of the counter as shown in Figs. 10, 11 and 12 provides for a simple form wherein the movable, overlapping, rigid plates II 0 are pivotally mounted on a drive chain I I4 by means of a removable screw or pin II2. Screw II2 passes through openings I I6 formed through the overlapped portions of adjacent plates I I0 and is secured into an ear H8 formed on the chain. It will be noted that one of the holes in each of the plates is elongated to allow for relative movement of the plates in the direction of travel, thereby permitting free movement of the parts about the curved portion of the counter. This adjustability facilitates easy movement of the movable portion of the counter around the curved portions. Chain Ill is positioned to circumscribe a guide member I20 which is stationary with counter 20. This guide member serves to maintain the chain in a fixed path of travel as it is driven to propel the movable counter plates IIO. Chain II4 rests on a base support I22 which in turn is carried by the counter support. The inner ends of plates IIO ride on track I24 which is positioned in parallel relation with guide I20.

The endless conveyor 60 as shown in Fig. 13 is provided with an individual driving means I28 which may .consist of a motor I30 and chain belt I 32. By this means of drive it is evident that the endless belt is operable independently of the movable counter.

Through the use of a serving counter such as has been described, a restaurant might be operated with a minimum number of employees. The broad concepts of the invention have been clearly illustrated and described and while a specific form of the invention has been disclosed, it is desired to be limited in the practice thereof only by the scope of the appended claims.

Having thus described the invention, what is claimed as new and desired to be secured by Letters Patent is:

1. A serving counter comprising an endless stationary portion having a continuous trough formed thereby intermediate the sides thereof; and an endless, movable belt positioned within said trough and comprising a series of overlapped articulated plates in substantially the same horizontal plane as the top of said counter, and means for moving said belt, said plates having means pivotally interconnecting the same extending through the overlapping portions thereof adjacent the outer side of the endless belt.

2. A serving counter comprising an endless stationary portion having a continuous trough formed thereby intermediate the sides thereof and an endless, movable belt positioned within said trough and comprising a series of overlapped articulated plates in substantially the same horizontal plane as the top of said counter, and means for moving said belt, said counter having inwardly directed portions along the side of said trough and overhanging the said endless belt, said plates having means pivotally interconnecting the same extending through the overlapping portions thereof adjacent the outer side of the endless belt, one of the overlapping plates having a loose fit with the pivotal means for the purpose specified.

3. A serving counter comprising an endless stationary portion having a continuous trough formed thereby intermediate the sides thereof; and an endless, movable belt positioned within said trough, comprising a series of overlapped articulated plates in substantially the same horizontal plane as the top of said counter, an endless chain underlying all of said plates within the trough along the outer edges thereof, sprockets in engagement with said chain to drive the same and a roller carried by each plate respectively on each side respectively of said sprocket chain and tracks formed along the bottom of said trough to support said rollers and associated plates, said plates having registering openings formed in the overlapping portions thereof adjacent the outer side of the belt and means for pivotally interconnecting the plates extending through said openings, one of said openings in each set of overlapping plates being elongated for the purpose specifled.

4. A serving counter comprising an endless stationary portion having a continuous trough formed thereby intermediate the sides thereof; and an endless, movable belt positioned within sa d trough, comprising a series of overlapped articulated plates in substantially the same horizontal plane as the top of said counter, an endless chain underlying all of said plates within the trough along the outer wall thereof, sprockets in engagement with said chain to drive the same and a roller carried by each plate respectively on each side respectively of said sprocket chain and tracks formed along the bottom of said trough to support said rollers and associated plates, said stationary portion of the counter having overhanging flanges extending above the plates, said rollers serving to maintain the plates in close relation to the bottom of said overhanging flanges, said plates having registering openings formed in the overlapping portions thereof above said chain and means pivotally interconnecting the said overlapped plates and said chain, the connection between the plates and pivotal means being a loose fit to allow relative movement of the overlapped plates in their direction of travel.

I CHARLES L. ORA.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2644567 *Aug 24, 1948Jul 7, 1953Springer Winton LFood service conveyer
US2666519 *Jun 7, 1950Jan 19, 1954Cafa Roll IncFood serving conveyer
US2745542 *Sep 29, 1952May 15, 1956Cafa Roll IncFood handling structure for restaurants
US2824639 *Mar 1, 1955Feb 25, 1958Oak Mfg CoEndless conveyor
US2968363 *Jan 29, 1958Jan 17, 1961Kinkaid Walter ADispensing merchandise by individual self service
US3115684 *Jun 8, 1962Dec 31, 1963Joy Ardo WMultiple mobile auction arena
US3895691 *Jan 14, 1974Jul 22, 1975Shiraishi YoshiakiCirculative catering table
US3901355 *Jan 14, 1974Aug 26, 1975Shiraishi YoshiakiCirculative catering table
US4216845 *Aug 17, 1978Aug 12, 1980Onori Vito MCircular food service conveyor
US4560032 *Feb 25, 1985Dec 24, 1985Shoichi ImanakaRestaurant food display and serving system
US6375256 *Jul 30, 1998Apr 23, 2002Paolo RaisTable with seats that move en masse around its perimeter
US7775346Aug 7, 2007Aug 17, 2010Taylor Shirley DFood buffet table system
US8616628 *Jun 17, 2011Dec 31, 2013Francis BeauchampMultiple configuration tables and bars
US20110309659 *Jun 17, 2011Dec 22, 2011Beauchamp M FrancisMultiple configuration tables and bars
Classifications
U.S. Classification186/49
International ClassificationA47F10/06, A47F10/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47F10/06
European ClassificationA47F10/06