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Why are chain restraunts depressing?

 
 
Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 12:45 am
Well, not everyone may find them so, but I bet there are a few people on here do..
I find them pretty prosaic, but why? Why are things that look β€˜new’ often conceived of as such? And minimalist IKEA furniture? And white walls? And shopping malls? And muzak?

I was going to type that it lacks a reference to a larger web of social ideas, but that's not true.. I can easily typify the people I see in such places. I was going to say it lacked a certain flavour, but that can't be true either, 'no flavour' is actually quite a distinct flavour, when you think about it, otherwise why would it be enough to provoke in me depression?

If you entirely disagree with me, then would you be kind enough to explain what it is about these places that you like?
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 12:59 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Chain restaurants don't send me into rapture, but they don't depress me.

Reasons for like them:

1) Decent, good tasting, consistently prepared food
2) Generally cleaner that individually owned restaurants due to corporate standards and inspections
3) Large portions (not a big draw for me, but a lot of people appreciate this)
4) Usually a good selection of draft beer
5) Almost never hard to find
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 01:18 am
I pretty much stay out of the chain places, but they do appeal to many because

1) you get consistency/no surprises...which makes them comforting

2) everything, right down the the colors on the walls and the font in the menu, has been through a lengthy review process and has been designed to appeal to a broad range of people, which will also often include me.

3) With economy of scale and bully power with suppliers chains can drive down prices far below what a mom and pop place can offer.

I find these places depressing because there are no surprises, and is little character. Small doses of formula dinning only for me, tyvm.
roger
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 01:53 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
If you lived where I do, you might develope an appreciation for them.
0 Replies
 
The Pentacle Queen
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:07 am
@hawkeye10,
Where's my quote button gone?

Hawkeye said:
they have 'little character'

What is character? What is it about them that makes us percieve that they have no character? Some of them are brightly decotrated, and yet, still have no character.
hawkeye10
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 05:07 am
@The Pentacle Queen,
Quote:
What is character? What is it about them that makes us perceive that they have no character? Some of them are brightly decorated, and yet, still have no character
Let me put it this way....I like a silicone filled bleach blond with veneers on her teeth and perfect fashion sense as well as the next guy, but once you have fucked one how much mystery is there in dealing with the next one, or the one after that?

When I am speaking of Character I am talking about something akin to mystique...the discovery of unexpected charms. You will not find this in a restaurant created by formula, focus group, and scientific study, no mater how bright and pleasing it is to the senses.
Setanta
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 05:32 am
Why are chain restraunts depressing?

Because they want you to eat up, pay your bill and get the hell out as quickly as possible, 'cause they want that table for the next victim . . . er, patron.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 09:00 am
Because they are formulaic and uninspiring. There's no character, as someone else has said, they can't change the menu or decor, and they are predictable.
Finn dAbuzz
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 01:51 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:

What is it about them that makes us percieve that they have no character?


Snobbery
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 01:53 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Let me put it this way....I like a silicone filled bleach blond with veneers on her teeth and perfect fashion sense as well as the next guy, but once you have fucked one how much mystery is there in dealing with the next one, or the one after that?


Other than the fact that underneath the similar exteriors there are entirely different human beings?
ossobuco
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:03 pm
Definition of PROSAIC

1
a : characteristic of prose as distinguished from poetry : factual
b : dull, unimaginative <prosaic advice>
2
: everyday, ordinary <heroic characters wasted in prosaic lives β€” Kirkus Reviews>
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:03 pm
Definition of PROSAIC

1
a : characteristic of prose as distinguished from poetry : factual
b : dull, unimaginative <prosaic advice>
2
: everyday, ordinary <heroic characters wasted in prosaic lives β€” Kirkus Reviews>

Oops, posted too fast, will be back.
hawkeye10
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:04 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
Other than the fact that underneath the similar exteriors there are entirely different human beings?
Likewise my Olive Garden is different from your Olive Garden because the people are different, but this does not alter that when I go to yours I get pretty much the same experience as I do in mine...
ossobuco
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:21 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't require that all in my life not be ordinary.

I have for decades favored individually owned and managed small restaurants or diners, no matter what the cuisine, for ... their individuality. Some of these, even most of these, will inevitably be ordinary. It's the ones that make some food that I like very well that have me coming back. I usually like those foods because they are exceptionally well executed, but sometimes it is because the cook or chef is somewhat adventurous or even notably adventurous, or cooks foods that are an adventure for me. Adds, sometimes it's the people, even with the most ordinary small place.

I tend to stay away from chain restaurants, but have been fine with them once in a while. Breakfast at Denny's say, with the morning paper nearby. Easy, comforting in a way, close by. I won't say 'not expensive', since some small restaurants have good food that underprices some chains.

For example, a local restaurant here, individually owned with a menu of terrific food, is not terribly expensive. I finally ordered their hamburger to try it. Best I've had in this city - total bill, seven dollars and that included the soup (or good salad). Or, 4.5 pd. That's more than from MacDonalds, but less than many middling chains.

We have a local chain here in Abq that actually has some quite good food.. at slightly higher pricing than the place I mentioned above, that is a stand alone.

edited a second time as I messed up the first edit
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:22 pm
@hawkeye10,
hawkeye10 wrote:

Quote:
Other than the fact that underneath the similar exteriors there are entirely different human beings?
Likewise my Olive Garden is different from your Olive Garden because the people are different, but this does not alter that when I go to yours I get pretty much the same experience as I do in mine...


Every Sunday my kids and I go to a local chain restaurant to watch football in its bar. We know the staff and our fellow patrons. The place has a lot of character despite the fact that it looks like every other link in the chain, and serves the same food. If I go to the link in your neck of the woods, I guarantee I will have a much different experience.

PS: Whether or not they are exercising franchise empowerment, they do select tap beers based on customer preference.

I don't have a problem with independently owned restaurants. The best restaurants I've been to are independently owned, but I can't say that my best dining experiences have been in independent restaurants, and I've been to some that are terrible despite the character of the surroundings.

In any case, if you want some assurance of consistency of experience (and what's wrong with that?) even if your local favorite is an independent it will eventually cease to startle and delight and settle into comfortable.
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ossobuco
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:22 pm
This food snot will not go to Olive Garden..
Finn dAbuzz
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:23 pm
@ossobuco,
I won't either because I don't like their food.
ehBeth
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:26 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
The Pentacle Queen wrote:
I can easily typify the people I see in such places.


I get a sense that's your default belief.
dyslexia
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:36 pm
@The Pentacle Queen,
I don't find "chain restaurants" depressing anymore than I find non chains depressing. When I go to a chain I know what to expect and am seldom disappointed. Most chains are consistent from one to another, it's really more a matter of what my expectations are.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
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Reply Tue 21 Dec, 2010 02:38 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
In America, I go to a lot of chain restaurants because some of the food is AWESOME!
I go to Waffle House for their pecan waffles.
I go to Shoney's for their biscuits and gravy.
I go to Applebees for their Oreo milkshakes.
I go to Jersey Mike's (subs) for their oregano seasoned oil and vinegar.
I go to the Olive Garden for their zuppa toscana and iced tea.
I go to Red Lobster for their cheddar biscuits.
I go to TGIF for their coconut shrimp.
I go to Ground Round for their cinnamon dippers.
I go to Friendly's for their banana splits.

I don't find chain restaurants depressing at all - they are what they are- I don't go there expecting ambiance.
I just want whatever it is I feel like eating at the time.

Here, I only go to this place called Hobbs Boat Inn - I know it's a chain, but I don't know the name of the chain it's a part of- it's one of those pub-like restaurants attached to a motel.
I go there because I like their sweet potato and cauliflower curry and they serve Stella (lager on draft).
And there are two really nice waitresses and one really friendly waiter whom I really like. It's also on my way to and from the town in which I go to the library and grocery shopping.

I go to another chain restaurant that's a pseudo pub when I drop my daughter off for work. I like their asparagus and spring vegetable risotto.
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