Tin foil dinners, tinfoildinners, cooking

Idea 065: Tin Foil Dinner Restaurant

The tin foil dinner (AKA Hobo Dinners) has long been known to be a camping meal. They’re down and dirty, quick and easy and they somehow taste delicious when you’re on the mountain. I’m certain the name came from an inexpensive way for poor folks to cook their meals. But today, they’re celebrated as a novelty and growing in popularity.

The other night I was invited over to our friends’ home for tin foil dinners. I’m not sure who’s idea it was, but it was certainly a little different from the norm. They had built a roaring fire late that afternoon, so by the time we got there, there was a nice, hot bed of coals.

They set up the dinner like a salad bar, only for tin foil dinners. First, two sheets of foil, then meat, potatoes and a variety of fresh veggies. We first sprayed the foil with Pam, which keeps dinner from sticking. Then went down the line, filling our foil sheets with our favorite items. At the end, some seasoning to finish it off. We folded up the foil layers, turned it over and wrote our names on the bottom with big, black marker. They were ready for the heat.

The foil dinners were a hit. They were absolutely delicious.

15 minutes of cooking time on each side gave us plenty of time to sit around chatting. And wouldn’t you know it, an idea struck me. This experience is quite a novelty. Why doesn’t someone open a restaurant based on this very idea? Restaurant concepts like this are trending all over. Restauranteurs are always looking for a fresh or innovative way to serve up their food. Something different that stands out. Have you ever eaten at Mongolian Grill, for example or watched the magic chefs at a Teppanyaki joint?

I’m certain that with a little refinement, you could make a thriving restaurant business out of this. And some key benefits are that your customers build their own plates. All you have to do is have an oven at the end of the line where you cook them and take them out to the table to serve. The foil and plastic wear can all be thrown away (recycled) so there is very little clean up. And prep is quick and easy, too. Much like Panda Express, just prepare veggies and meat and keep the bar stocked.

Then, piggyback your success into a take home item. Prepare tin foil dinners in bundles and sell them frozen. Just toss them in the oven and cook on high for half an hour. Perfect for dads when mom’s away!

How cool is that? Someone should definitely do this.

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