Dumbwaiter may be an unusual name, but this little service lift has been providing solutions to moving goods safely and effectively in homes and businesses since the late 1880’s.

Originally invented to move objects between the floors of large houses run by a large number of staff often with kitchens located in the basements and the dining rooms upstairs. The dumbwaiter kept noise and cooking odours away from diners and this food lift had the sole purpose of being neither seen nor heard, thus the term ‘Dumbwaiter’ was coined.

These hard-working little service lifts are designed to carry goods, not people and are now often found in restaurants, commercial kitchens, hotels, nursing homes, schools and increasingly in private houses. They are often used, not only to transport food, but also dirty dishes, laundry, shopping, deliveries, luggage and many other items.

Today, food lifts are still to be found in most modern bars and restaurants, working away silently behind the scenes.

Dumbwaiters are now attractive and sleek in comparison to the wooden structures of old. They are also becoming more popular in private homes as domestic food lifts. A number of finishes can be selected to blend in with the interior design of the rest of the room or even hidden discretely away.


Lightning fast, reliable and responsive, George Johnson offer a wide range of electric service lifts and are also the only manufacturer of hand powered service lifts in the UK. See our Lift Guide for more information on how our hand lifts, powered by turning handle or rope pulley they are becoming an essential part of today’s trend towards basement kitchens.

George Johnson Lifts have a wide range of lifts available to suit every purpose. From the smallest 25Kg document lift to a 500Kg floor level service lift, contact us to discuss your options and see which one might be right for you.