Hurry Waiter! from Ideal (1969)

Company: Ideal | Release date: 1969 | Ages: 8+ | # of players: 3-6 | Where to purchase: eBay

“May I have your orders, please.”

Released in 1969 by Ideal, Hurry Waiter! tested memory, nerves, and patience as players took on the role of waiters racing to complete the orders of anxious guests.


Tip money in the form of cardboard coins marked 25-cents was distributed evenly amongst the players. The wind-up tray, food items, and guest checks were given to the first player to serve as the waiter. The waiter shuffled the guest checks, each illustrated with a food item. Two guest checks were placed facedown in front of each player.

When the waiter prompted, “May I have your orders, please!”, the other players turned over their guest checks simultaneously. The waiter quickly memorized the food items indicated on each card.

The race to assemble the perfect order began when the waiter stated, “Thank you for your orders.”

The guest checks were placed face down once again. The waiter wound up the spinning tray. As it unwound, the waiter worked to place each food item ordered on the tray and deliver these to the correct guests. The tray spun ever more quickly as the orders were assembled and delivered. Players were allowed to confuse the waiter by randomly shouting out food items that were not on their guest check.

When the tray finished spinning, the waiter stopped their work. Players turned their guest checks over to reveal their orders. The waiter was awarded a 25-cent tip for each food item correctly delivered.

The winner of the game was the one with the most money after each player had taken their turn as waiter.


A complete game included a wind-up serving tray, guest checks, cardboard coins, and plastic food items that included milk, salt, drumstick, pear, banana, salami, potato, pickle, corn cob, and ketchup. Instructions were printed inside the box top.


Hurry Waiter! included cardboard and plastic components that deteriorated over time. The mechanism used in the wind-up tray could break with overzealous winding and years of use. The game is easy enough to find through online marketplaces such as eBay, making it fairly painless to acquire additional parts for replacement purposes or upgrading.

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