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Symbols of American Mediocrity

I just came back from an early lunch at Applebees and was overcome with a sense of revultion. the food was mediocre, the staff was utterly indifferent. Why do we tolerate this stuff? You walk into a McDonalds or a Whole Foods and they are almost always clean and well run. What keeps places like Applebees in business? what other businesses out there are this mediocre (or conversely, what businesses do you think are excellent)?

Thu. Apr 12, 11:28am

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I went to Applebees once and never again.

Btw, I don't think Applebees is a symbol of American mediocrity. I think it's a poorly managed chain that also doesn't invest in the quality of food they purchase/serve. Why it stays in business I don't know.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 11:34 AM

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may i suggest writing a letter detailing your experience to the restaurant, the corporate headquaters and your local newspapers? one great thing about america is the freedom to complain when you feel you have been treated poorly or have received mediocre service. i personally write to commend and /or complain to many companies and almost always i receive at least a response. i'm not suggesting that one letter can change an entire chain restaurant's policies, but if enough people write in with similar experiences, it may make a big difference. applebees is not a fixture, it's a company that depends on the public to keep it in business.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 11:53 AM

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I live near Times Square in NYC, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why so many American tourists make a beeline for Fridays, Applebees, Olive Garden, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday's, etc. They can get the exact same corporate-recipe food wherever they're from, and it's not like it's a financial decision because the chains here charge the same as plenty of non-chain restaurants (our ridiculous rents are something of an equalizer in this capacity). So these businesses may indeed be symbols of mediocrity, but they have an awful lot of patrons...what does that say about the majority of Americans. Kinda sad.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 12:00 PM

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My hubby and I travel a lot... we enjoy going to different places every year for our annual vacation.

Sadly, I've noticed more and more that whereever we go, we see the same chain restaurants!!! We usually try to seek out "local fare", and as each year passes by, that becomes more and more difficult to do...

The really unfortunate part is that because of the internet and globalization, it's not only happening in the U.S., but also around the world!

I travelled to Switzerland with my dad in 1991-- We had heard many stories from my mom about Switzerland (she studied there in the 1960s)... She told us how "quaint" the country was... I was appalled to see a "Pizza Hut delivery" vehicle!! In Paris, we saw a Burger King...

I'm sure it's even more "Americanized now that another 16 years have passed... I think I also read somewhere that many countries are now having incidences of obesity and anorexia / bulimia due to the influx of American "fast food" chains, and the accessibility to American Media portrayals of what's "trendy"....

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 1:01 PM

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Fast Food are America's WMD's that we are exporting to the world. And they will kill more people than any nuclear bomb.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 1:17 PM

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I totally agree that the poster should write a letter to the management of the restaurant as well as corporate. Chain restaurants can serve healthy tasty food with a smile if customers demand it.

It seems to me that there is a slow growing revolt against fast food in general that will lead to better heath worldwide. WE can all help it along in many ways.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 1:22 PM

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it is all part of the globalization plan. believe it or not, but there are some people who want things to be familiar (taste, smell, etc.) when they travel. You might miss your family, but you can be comforted by the fact that McDs is always with you.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 1:27 PM

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please!! fast food can be eaten sensibly and not pose the health risks associated with super-sizing everything, every time. if you order enough food for 1 person and not enough to feed a family you can fit fast food into your diet/eating plan. fast food is going to kill more people than a nuclear bomb? i hope you're not serious that you actually believe that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 1:45 PM

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1:45- you are woefully ill informed. Fast food is a last ditch option if no others exist. But as part of a plan- are you kidding? it is devoid of nutrients that you need to lead a healthy life.

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 2:00 PM

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1:45 did not say to eat fast food for every single meal. I doubt there is anyone on this board who gets tons of nutrients in every single meal. Even people who make the best effort to eat all-natural, etc., will still have some meals that are void of some nutrients.

At most fast food restaurants, you can get salads, grilled chicken, etc. These are not devoid of nutrients. Even burgers have protein, milkshakes have calcium, etc. McDonald's has a fruit-and-walnut salad that comes with yogurt dipping sauce; they also sell apple slices with a little caramel to dip.

If you order a quarter-pounder with cheese, an order of fries, and a soda, for every meal, you would be missing many nutrients that you need. However, if you stop by, order a salad with light dressing on the side, and a grilled chicken breast on top, how couldn't that fit into your plan???

Thursday, April 12, 2007, 2:29 PM

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