Food service

Abstract

A method for serving individual portions of food by placing the servings in open containers such as paper bags and delivering these bags of food to the diner while maintaining them neat and securely upright so that the food will not spill from the open top. And a rack for use in such service having a plurality of pairs of successive, rigid supporting walls to keep the bags upright, and also provided with means for detachably connecting together a plurality of the racks.

Claims

1. A rack for serving food in individual portions in open bags, said rack consisting of a series of mutually spaced compartments with walls formed of rigid material and interconnected at their upper and lower portions to form an undulating, serially successive, plurality of said spaced compartments integral with each other adapted to receive said open bags of food, the said compartment walls being of uniform height and joined at their upper and lower ends to form slots which are aligned, respectively, in a single plane which provides a stable base for the rack when resting upon either of these sets of slots, there being a plurality of said supporting slots in either of said positions of the rack with an even number of supporting slots when the rack is in one position and an odd number when it is reversed, and lips at each end of the rack providing linking means whereby corresponding elements of other racks will engage therewith and hold said racks in fixed position relative to each other. 2. A rack in accordance with claim 1 wherein the lips functioning as linking means extend at each end of the rack substantially parallel with the corresponding penultimate wall of the rack. 3. A rack in accordance with claim 2, wherein the compartments have divergently sloping walls forming V-shaped slots.
United States Patent 1 1 3,586,173 [72] lnventor Wayne Alan Reynolds 2,023,150 12/1935 Ritchie 211/50 6229 Maloney Ave., Hopkins, M1nn.55343 2,289.103 7/1942 Cooper. 21 H50 [21] Appl No. 802,556 2,769,550 11/1956 Rollins 211/50 X [22] Filed Feb. 26,1969 3,013.668 12/1961 Mennen 211/73 X [45] Palemed lune 1971 Primary Examiner-Nile C. Byers, Jr. Attorney-Millard L Caldwell [54] FOOD SERVICE 3 Claims, 1 Drawing Fig. U-S. 2 I A method for serving individual portions of food 1 f Cl 8 29/00 by placing the servings in open containers such as paper bags Field Search 21 V and delivering these bags of food to the diner while maintain- 50 ing them neat and securely upright so that the food will not spill from the open top. And a rack for use in such service hav- [561 References Cited ing a plurality of pairs of successive, rigid supporting walls to UNITED STATES PATENTS keep the bags upright, and also provided with means for 1,488,282 3/1924 Phillips 132/84 detachably connecting together a plurality of the racks. PATENTEUJUHZZISYI 3,586,173 INV E NTOR; WAYNE N REY News BY fill/( 4:41! (r H 5 ATTURNEY F001) ssnvrcs BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION. ' labor must be utilized at maximum efficiency. One attractive source of savings is by the use of small open paper bags or like containers in which individual portions of food can be served. This method of service facilitates prompt I delivery to the diner of uniform servings. It also helps in keeping the food warm and protected from wind and dust as compared with plate service. The elimination of the cost of plates and of their handling would be a significant saving for the restaurants. Difficulty has been encountered in attempts to utilize bags in place of plates in serving food, especially warm food, in drive-in restaurants. When open bags of food are served on a tray or analogous carrier, there are serious problems due to spilling of the contents of the bags. This is not only annoying for the diner but also increases the work of maintaining a clean, sanitary, and attractive eating place. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION The present invention solves the problems heretofore en'- countered in serving food as single helpings in small open bags or the like. This solution is achieved by delivering to the diner the food bags so supported in an upright position that their contents will not spill either while he is being served or while he is eating'therefrom. In this method of food service, bags, preferably paper bags, commensurate in size with the individual'portions of food being served are filled in the kitchen and placed between unitary supports which maintain the open bags upright. These supported bags are then delivered to the diner. A new type of serving rack has been invented for use in this method of food service. It is especially adapted for supporting a plurality of the above-described open food bags in upright position on a tray. The rack is made of rigid material, e.g. a metal strip or wire mesh, or a plastic casting, or equivalent, shaped to form successive supporting walls between pairs of which the open containers of food can rest while maintained erect so that the contents do not spill. In a particularly advantageous form, the device provides a plurality of successive slots into each of which a single small paper bag containing an individual serving of food can be placed and be kept upright without any need for manipulating the supporting surfaces. Preferably bases of two or more of the slots provide feet on which the rack rests while in use. DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The invention can be carried into practice in various ways, but one specific embodiment which is particularly advantageous is illustrated in the accompanying drawing. This is a perspective view of the preferred form of the new serving rack. As show in the drawing this embodiment is constructed of a metal strip which has been bent to form a series of V- shaped slots which provide supporting walls indicated by numeral l of the drawing. The bases of the successive slots are aligned to provide feet, 2, on which the rack may rest, for ex ample upon a serving tray. The rack has slots for supporting two open food bags when used as illustrated. But the peaks, 3, of the slots are also aligned so that the rack can function when turned upside down. The peaks, 3, then become troughs of the slots thus providing for service of three food bags when the diner's order so requires. Still greater flexibility in quickly meeting varying needs of the customer is assured by providing means at one or both ends of the rack for detachably connecting a plurality of units. In this way, the number of open bags 0 food which can be served can very quickly be increased while preserving the unitary character of the rack so that there is no difficulty in assuring delivery of the entire order to the customer at the same time regardless of the number of food items ordered. In the rack shown, upturned lips, 4, are provided at both ends to serve as linking means. These upturned ends each form a resting place into which a corresponding element of another unit can be placed so that the two racks are held in fixed position relative to each other on a serving tray. Two linked units used in the position illustrated will provide five bag-supporting slots, or when turned over and linked by lips, 4, will give six slots. Stainless steel has been found especially suitable for making the new racks, but other metalswhich are adequately corrosion resistant can be similarly used. The metal strips should be of suitable thickness to provide the required rigidity. Steel of about one sixty-fourth inch thickness has been used in strips about 3% to about 4 inches wide by about 18 to about 22 inches long. Such strips can be pressed into the form shown using a properly shaped punch and die, or can be successively folded over a mandrel to obtain the same shaped rack. However, as previously mentioned, other materials can be used in making the new racks, and, of course the dimensions can be varied within a suitable range. The number of supporting slots can be increased, and their form may be changed. For instance, they can be given more of a U-shape than the V-shape illustrated. Instead of upturned lips for attaching the racks together, there may be slots or other openings at one end into which a projecting knob or the like on the other end of another rack can be fitted to form the desired linkage. Other suitable linking means can be employed instead. It will be evident that the new racks offer many advantages. They are readily stacked so they occupy little space in a crowded serving center. Their simple shape facilitates cleaning. Minimum effort is involved in filling them with the open bags of food since no adjustment of supports or other parts is required. Substantial improvement in restaurant service has been achieved by their use, but they are also useful for serving food in other places, for instance, hospitals, airplanes, etc. I claim: 1. A rack for serving food in individual portions in open bags, said rack consisting of a series of mutually spaced compartments with walls formed of rigid material and interconnected at their upper and lower portions to form an undulating, serially successive, plurality of said spaced compartments integral with each other adapted to receive said open bags of food, the said compartment walls being of uniform height and joined at their upper and lower ends to form slots which are aligned, respectively, in a single plane which provides a stable base for the rack when resting upon either of these sets of slots, there being a plurality of said supporting slots in either of said positions of the rack with an even number of supporting slots when the rack is in one position and an odd number when it is reversed, and lips at each end of the rack providing linking means whereby corresponding elements of other racks will engage therewith and hold said racks in fixed position relative to each other. 2. A rack in accordance with claim 1 wherein the lips functioning as linking means extend at each end of the rack substantially parallel with the corresponding penultimate wall of the rack. 3. A rack in accordance with claim 2, wherein the compartments have divergently sloping walls forming V-shaped slots.

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