Carrying dinner plates requires a considerable amount of practice to execute properly. The more plates you carry, the more likely you are to drop one. Carrying also becomes a challenge when the plates are hot. Fortunately, there are techniques that can be used to more efficiently deliver the plates to the table.
The safest and easiest way to carry a dinner plate is with two hands. This technique is often used if the food is making the plate extremely hot. By carrying the plate with one hand grabbing the sides of the plate, you can switch hands if the plate is causing one hand to burn. You may want to use a towel or tray to carry the plate if it is extremely hot. The two-handed approach also works well when you are carrying a plate containing food that could slip. For example, spaghetti can slip from the plate and fall, splattering sauce all over the place. Two hands assures rigidity.
This category can be broken down into three segments: first, you can carry the plate with your palm under it, providing a stable surface for the plate to rest on. This works well with salads and other food that isn't hot. Second, you can support the plate with your fingertips for food that is slightly too warm for the palm of your hand. Third, you can grab the plate with your fingers from the plate's side. This technique works especially well if the plate is light or you have strong fingers.
Either you can carry one plate in each hand, which will give you the most stability, or (and this is a common technique used in restaurants) you can carry one plate from its side with one hand while the other plate rests on your forearm. This technique takes a bit of practice, but you will eventually be able to balance the plate on your arm without risk of having it fall. Carrying both plates with one arm frees up the other arm to perform other tasks. When arriving at the table, your free arm can place the plate on your forearm before you can place the final plate.
While some people prefer to use a tray than carry three plates at once, this technique is not only stylish, but also efficient. By using the one-arm carrying technique described in Step 3, you can use your free arm to carry the third plate. When you arrive at the table, put the plate that is being carried by your single-plated arm onto the table. This frees up your hand to pick up the plate on your forearm and finally you can place the last plate.