What is the secret of Applebees success?
I was reading about the minister who stiffed an Applebees waitress of a tip, writing something like "I give God 10%, why should I give you 18%?". Then the poor waitress gets fired when she posts the receipt online.
What I want to know is, what is the secret to Applebees success? I just cannot believe that people are at home and thinking about going out to eat with someone jumping up in exclamation "Let's go to Applebees!" I just do not believe this has ever happened. The below website is an overview of their menu.
The food, even on their site, looks generic. Just does not stand out in a crowd and not even as appealing as another chain restaurant would be. Just boring American food in a casual atmosphere. A Shoney's with a bar. It has been years since I have been in an Applebees because I live outside the United States, but again, they would not be a place I would go to. If I want a steak, I'll go to a steakhouse. Go to a rib place for ribs (I am from the South, why would I eat at freaking Applebees for ribs?), seafood, anything else. I would rather go to either a more local/regional place or at least, go to a chain place to get what I wanted (like steak, ribs etc.)
I think that Applebees probably does better in smaller communities with limited choices in food, or travelers off the highway. Or someone who is hungry and tired, staying in a hotel, and Applebees is across the street. If I were a tired, hungry person in some podunk town and next to the hotel was an Applebees, great. But in my American hometown, not a cosmopolitan place by a stretch, Applebees would be way down the list.
Still, it sort of puzzles me how this company stays in business, sort of the restaurant version of Radio Shack, it's there, but no one knows why its there or why it thrives when so many other restaurant concepts have withered away. I do not hate this company, and if I ate there, it has been many years ago. But why would anyone go there and what is the lure?