Title:
Food container with attached napkin
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A food container with attached napkin. The napkin is attached to the food container so as to be useable by a diner eating food contained within the food container, yet remains attached to the food container so as not to blow around creating an unsightly condition, as well as a potential visibility hazard. The food container may be made of sheet of material, or may be any other appropriate container such as a plate, a dish, etc. The food container may be an envelope sized to house the napkin until it is required. An alternate embodiment teaches a cover sheet disposed between the food container and napkin, so the cover sheet may be used to cover food disposed in the food container.



Inventors:
Kolleda, David M. (Ormond Beach, FL, US)
Application Number:
11/228417
Publication Date:
03/22/2007
Filing Date:
09/17/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G19/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
CASTELLANO, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BGL (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A food container with attached napkin comprising a napkin attached to a food container.

2. The food container with attached napkin of claim 1 wherein said napkin is made of absorptive material.

3. The food container with attached napkin of claim 2 wherein said food container is a sheet of material.

4. The food container with attached napkin of claim 3 wherein said food container is made of a plastically deformable material.

5. The food container with attached napkin of claim wherein said food container is made of tin foil or aluminum foil.

6. The food container with attached napkin of claim 3 wherein said napkin is attached along one edge of said sheet of material.

7. The food container with attached napkin of claim 2 wherein said food container is a plate.

8. The food container with attached napkin of claim 2 wherein said food container is a dish.

9. The food container with attached napkin of claim 8 wherein said napkin is attached along one edge of said dish.

10. The food container with attached napkin of claim 2 wherein said food container is an envelope having an envelope cavity, said envelope cavity communicating with an exterior of said envelope through an envelope mouth, said napkin being sized to fit through said envelope mouth and in said envelope cavity.

11. The food container with attached napkin of claim 10 wherein said napkin is attached to said envelope along said envelope mouth.

12. The food container with attached napkin of claim 2 further comprising a cover sheet attached between said food container and said napkin.

13. The food container with attached napkin of claim 12 wherein said food container is attached along one edge of said cover sheet, and said napkin is attached to said cover sheet along an opposite edge of said cover sheet.

14. A food container with attached napkin comprising a food container and a napkin attached along one edge of said food container.

15. The food container with attached napkin of claim 14 wherein said food container is a plate.

16. The food container with attached napkin of claim 14 wherein said food container is a dish.

17. The food container with attached napkin of claim 14 wherein said food container is an envelope having an envelope cavity, said envelope cavity communicating with an exterior of said envelope through an envelope mouth, said napkin being sized to fit through said envelope mouth and in said envelope cavity.

18. The food container with attached napkin of claim 17 wherein said napkin is attached to said envelope along said envelope mouth.

19. The food container with attached napkin of claim 14 further comprising a cover sheet attached between said food container and said napkin.

20. The food container with attached napkin of claim 19 wherein said food container is attached along one edge of said cover sheet, and said napkin is attached to said cover sheet along an opposite edge of said cover sheet.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to food containers, and in particular to a food container with attached napkin.

2. Background of the Invention

Fast foods sold in venues such as race tracks are typically served wrapped in tin foil or disposed in some other disposable food container such as a paper plate, cardboard container, etc. These fast foods may include hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, slices of pizza, etc. No napkins are typically available, because of the very real danger that improperly discarded napkins could blow across the race track while a race is in progress, stick to a race car windshield, create a blind spot for the driver, and cause a potentially fatal accident.

The problem associated with this type of food service lies in the absence of napkins. Without a napkin, eating a hot dog, hamburger or sausage covered with ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, pickle relish, and/or sauerkraut and onions can be a messy proposition indeed. The diner finding himself in these straits has no alternative but to wipe his hands on his pants, shirt, or nearby grass, none of which is a good solution.

Thus it would be desirable to provide a napkin anchored to the food container itself, so that the napkin would be unlikely to blow out of control across a race track. This solution would provide a napkin to the diner, thus avoiding the current practice of wiping one's hands off on one's pants or shirt. When the food container is disposed of, so also would be the napkin, still firmly attached to the food container. This would prevent the napkin from blowing onto the race track, while still permitting access to napkins by the diners.

Another benefit available in any location of providing napkins attached to food containers is reduction in wind-blown debris in the form of napkins. As each food container is thrown away, so also is the napkin associated with such food container. Thus, it would be desirable to provide a napkin attached to a food container, in order to avoid wind-blown napkin debris.

Existing Designs

Capy et al. were granted U.S. Pat. No. 5,590,783 for a fast food container which featured a pocket containing a napkin. This combination was intended to reduce napkin waste, by eliminating napkin dispensers from fast food restaurants, and only supplying napkins which were contained in the fast food containers themselves. While this approach may reduce the consumption of napkins, no provision to attach the napkin to the food container was taught. Thus, the Capy et al. design did nothing to solve the problem of loose napkins blowing around in the wind.

Bernstein was granted U.S. Pat. No. 5,279,456 for a food container which could be unfolded and used as a napkin. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of use of the container as a napkin is limited, because the container is taught to be made of paper coated with a grease-resistant composition. In addition, the food had to be completely removed from the container, and the container collapsed, in order to use it as a napkin.

Thus it would be desirable to provide a napkin anchored to the food container itself, so that it could be used in its capacity as a napkin without having to first empty the food container of food, and then use the food container itself as a napkin.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a food container with attached napkin which provides a napkin permanently attached to a food container. Design features allowing this object to be accomplished include a napkin attached to a food container such as a sheet of aluminum or tin foil, plate, dish, etc. Advantages associated with the accomplishment of this object include prevention of loose napkins blowing around, along with the attendant reduction in the danger of a blown napkin obstructing the view of competitive racers.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a food container with attached napkin whose napkin is manufactured of absorbent material. Design features allowing this object to be accomplished include a napkin manufactured of absorbent material permanently attached to a food container. Benefits associated with the accomplishment of this object include a functional napkin for the use of the diner, and elimination of the need for the diner to wipe his hands off on his clothes.

It is yet another object of this invention to provide a food container with attached napkin which is inexpensive to produce. Design features allowing this object to be achieved include the use of readily available materials and off-the-shelf components. Benefits associated with reaching this objective include reduced cost, and hence increased availability.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention, together with the other objects, features, aspects and advantages thereof will be more clearly understood from the following in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.

Five sheets of drawings are provided. Sheet one contains FIGS. 1, 2 and 3. Sheet two contains FIGS. 4 and 5. Sheet three contains FIGS. 6 and 7. Sheet four contains FIGS. 8, 9 and 10. Sheet five contains FIGS. 11 and 12.

FIG. 1 is a top isometric view of a food container with attached napkin.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a food container with attached napkin.

FIG. 3 is a bottom view of a food container with attached napkin.

FIG. 4 is a top view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is a plate.

FIG. 5 is a bottom view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is a plate.

FIG. 6 is a top view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is a dish.

FIG. 7 is a bottom view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is a dish.

FIG. 8 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is an envelope, with the napkin attached to and stored in the envelope.

FIG. 9 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is an envelope, with the napkin attached to and withdrawn from the envelope.

FIG. 10 is a side cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is an envelope, with the napkin attached to and stored in the envelope.

FIG. 11 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is a plate with a cover sheet attached, and a napkin is attached to the cover sheet.

FIG. 12 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin whose food container is a plate with a cover sheet attached, and a is napkin attached to the cover sheet.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring how to FIG. 1, we observe a top isometric view of a food container with attached napkin 2. Food container with attached napkin 2 comprises napkin 6 attached to food container 4. Food container 4 may be any type of food container, including but not limited to a sheet made of material such as aluminum foil or tin foil, a plate, a dish, a soup container, or any other conceivable type of food container. Food container 4 may be a sheet of plastically deformable material, for example an aluminum foil or tin foil wrapper such as is commonly used to wrap hot dogs, Italian sausage sandwiches, hamburgers, fish sandwiches, and sandwiches, hoagies, and subs of all varieties, etc. This type of wrapper is illustrated in FIGS. 1-3.

Food container 4 may also be a paper plate (as is illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5), a disposable cardboard rectangular dish (as is illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7), or any other conceivable type of food container.

FIG. 2 is a top view of food container with attached napkin 2, and FIG. 3 is a bottom view of food container with attached napkin 2. As may be observed from these views, napkin 6 may be attached to food container 4 along one edge of food container 4.

In use, food may be served wrapped in food container 4, with napkin 6 co-extending food container 4, as is depicted in FIG. 1. When it is desired to eat the food (such as a hot dog, hamburger, etc.), food container 4 is unwrapped from the food item, and napkin 6 is allowed to hang from the edge of food container 4 to which it is attached. That portion of the food which is not yet eaten may be held in food container 4, and the diner may periodically avail himself of napkin 6 to wipe off his fingers, hands, mouth, etc. Napkin 6 is manufactured of absorbent material such as paper napkin or paper towel material, such as is readily available in the market.

In the interest of simplicity and clarity, the instant figures depict napkin 6 as a single, unfolded sheet of napkin material. However, it is intended to fall within the scope of this disclosure that in any embodiment of the instant invention, napkin 6 may be folded in any appropriate manner, with at least a portion of napkin 6 permanently attached to food container 4. Napkin 6 may then be unfolded as appropriate for use.

Napkin 6 may be attached to food container 4 in any appropriate manner, including but not limited to adhesive, tape, heat bonding, fasteners, or any other appropriate manner of attaching napkin 6 to food container 4.

After food served in food container 4 is eaten, and further use of napkin 6 is not desired, food container 4 with napkin 6 still firmly attached is discarded in an appropriate trash receptacle. In this fashion, napkin 6 is prevented from blowing freely around. Even if food container with attached napkin 2 is dropped on the ground, not in a trash container, the weight of food container 4 helps prevent food container with attached napkin 2 from blowing around and creating an unsightly and possibly hazardous condition. This elimination of the “blown napkin” problem is accomplished in all embodiments of the instant food container with attached napkin 2 disclosed herein, due to the permanent attachment between napkin 6 and food container 4.

FIG. 4 is a top view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is a plate 8. FIG. 5 is a bottom view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is a plate 8. In the preferred embodiment plate 8 was a commercially available disposable plate such as paper plate, plastic plate, or any other appropriate plate 8 to which napkin 6 may be permanently attached.

In use, food may be served on plate 8, with napkin 6 disposed either below plate 8, over plate 8 serving as a cover for the food on plate 8, or hanging free. When it is desired to eat the food on plate 8, napkin 8 may be moved below plate 8 or allowed to hang free, ready for use by the diner. As described above, if napkin 6 was folded, it may be unfolded for use.

FIG. 6 is a top view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is a dish 10. FIG. 7 is a bottom view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is a dish 10. In the preferred embodiment dish 10 was a commercially available disposable dish such as paper dish, plastic dish, or any other appropriate dish 10 to which napkin 6 may be permanently attached.

In use, food may be served on dish 10, with napkin 6 disposed either below dish 10, over dish 10 serving as a cover for the food on dish 10, or hanging free. When it is desired to eat the food on dish 10, napkin 8 may be moved below dish 10 or allowed to hang free, ready for use by the diner. As described above, if napkin 6 was folded, it may be unfolded for use.

FIG. 8 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is an envelope 12, with napkin 6 attached to and stored in envelope 12. FIG. 9 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is an envelope 12, with the napkin 6 attached to and withdrawn from envelope 12. FIG. 10 is a side cross-sectional view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is an envelope 12, with napkin 6 attached to and stored in envelope 12.

As may be observed in these figures, this embodiment of food container with attached napkin 2 comprises envelope 12 comprising envelope cavity 16 communicating with an exterior of envelope 12 through envelope mouth 14. Napkin 6 is attached to envelope 12 at envelope mouth 14, and is sized to fit (either folded or unfolded) within envelope cavity 16, as is depicted in FIG. 10.

One embodiment of the instant invention wherein the food container is a free-standing envelope 12, is illustrated in FIGS. 8-10. In this embodiment, envelope 12 may be manufactured of aluminum foil or tin foil, and in use, is wrapped around food to be served in it, such as a hot dog, hamburger, or Italian sausage sandwich. When a diner wishes to eat the food, he unwraps envelope 12 from around the food, and may use envelope 12 to support the food while it's being eaten. When the diner wishes to avail himself of napkin 6, he withdraws napkin 6 from envelope cavity 16 through envelope mouth 14, as indicated by arrow 18 in FIG. 9. If necessary, the diner may unfold napkin 6. Napkin 6 may then be used for its intended cleaning/absorption purpose.

Another embodiment of the instant invention intended to fall within the scope of this disclosure comprises envelope 12 containing napkin 6 as described above attached to another food container such as plate 8, dish 10, etc. In this embodiment napkin 6 remains stored within envelope cavity 16 until required for use, at which point napkin 6 is withdrawn from envelope cavity 16 through envelope mouth 14. In this manner, napkin 6 remains conveniently stored within envelope cavity 16 until required for use.

After use, as with all other food container with attached napkin 2 embodiments disclosed herein, food container with attached napkin 2 is discarded, and the weight of food container 4 helps prevent food container with attached napkin 2 from blowing around and creating an unsightly and possibly hazardous condition.

FIG. 11 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is a plate 8 with a cover sheet 20 attached, and a napkin 6 attached to cover sheet 20. FIG. 12 is a top isometric view of an alternate embodiment food container with attached napkin 2 whose food container is a plate 8 with a cover sheet 20 attached, and a napkin 6 attached to cover sheet 20.

In the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12, plate 8 is attached along one edge of cover sheet 20 and napkin 6 is attached along an opposite edge of cover sheet 20. Cover sheet 20 may be aluminum foil or tin foil, and may serve to cover food served on plate 8 until ready for consumption. At that time, cover sheet is folded away from plate 8 as is depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12, thus rendering food on plate 8 available for consumption. Napkin 6 may be used for its intended cleaning/absorption purpose as desired.

Although the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12 shows the food container as being a plate 8, it is intended to fall within the scope of this disclosure that the food container in the embodiment depicted in FIGS. 11 and 12 be any appropriate food container, including but not limited to plate 8, dish 10, sheet food container 4, a soup container, or any other food container.

After use, as with all other food container with attached napkin 2 embodiments disclosed herein, food container with attached napkin 2 is discarded, and the weight of food container 4 and cover sheet 20 help prevent food container with attached napkin 2 from blowing around and creating an unsightly and possibly hazardous condition.

While a preferred embodiment of the invention has been illustrated herein, it is to be understood that changes and variations may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the spirit of the appending claims.

DRAWING ITEM INDEX

  • 2 food container with attached napkin
  • 4 food container
  • 6 envelope
  • 8 plate
  • 10 dish
  • 12 envelope
  • 14 envelope mouth
  • 16 envelope cavity
  • 18 arrow
  • 20 cover sheet