What is the secret of Applebees success?

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senor boogie woogie
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2013/02/03 10:23:22 (permalink)

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.
 
www.applebees.com/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?
#1

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    kozel
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 11:02:46 (permalink)
    It's for those that grew up eating McDonalds thinking it was good food.
    post edited by kozel - 2013/02/03 12:32:26
    #2
    MetroplexJim
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 11:17:16 (permalink)
    IDK; they are succeeding without us.
    #3
    ChrisOC
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 11:29:44 (permalink)
    I can get a free meal there on Veterans Day, also Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse.
    #4
    ChrisOC
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 11:29:44 (permalink)
    I can get a free meal there on Veterans Day, also Olive Garden and Texas Roadhouse.
    #5
    felix4067
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 12:02:34 (permalink)
    Like every other chain, it's consistency. Their food isn't awful, and I actually like some of the things they serve. It might be generic, but it's really not bad. Their prices aren't bad, either. But consistency is the thing. If you travel a lot and don't have time to search for and find Roadfood, chains are your friend. It doesn't matter if you're in Topeka or San Antonio or Miami, the food is exactly the same. That holds huge value for a lot of people. Also, they're open way later than any Roadfood-type place I've ever been able to find, so for someone like me who regularly gets out of work at 10pm or later and needs food, that comes in very handy.
     
    And actually, I have been part of a conversation on more than one occasion where we're sitting around trying to figure out where to go, and someone says, "Let's go to Applebees!"  It does happen.
    #6
    Michael Hoffman
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 13:00:57 (permalink)
    Until about six or eight months ago I'd not been to an Applebee's in years. That was because my only time in one resulted in a very, very long wait for the first visit from a server, followed by an even longer wait for the ordered food, which turned out to not be even close to what was ordered, and cold to boot. I was reluctant to try again, but as it turned out, the service was good, the food was good, and I really enjoyed it. I'm guessing that it had something to do with the fact that this Applebee's was in Western Pennsylvania where the people are just plain terrific, and my first visit was to a store was right here in central Ohio. lleechef and I have been back a couple of times and I was very satisfied. I recommend the Applebee's in Monaca, Pennsylvania. The burgers were really good.
    #7
    ann peeples
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 13:18:46 (permalink)
    I feel bad, as my experience was horrible at Applebees. The food was horrible, the service even worse. I will say one thing-i had to go with family, as it was their birtday choice.I enjoyed their sliders...really fresh beef!However, wings are bad. i make better wings-not that hard. And they charged me extra for blue cheese-and that is what the original wings came with-blue cheese dressing!
    #8
    kland01s
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 13:43:25 (permalink)
    Upfront I will tell you that since I have been a Roadfooder from ten years ago, I am now a disabled  handicap person who rides a mobility scooter.  I rarely leave the house. My life and styles and where I eat are very different now. I have many many places to order a carry out meal and I usually pick Applebees because of their  carry out packaging and decent food. Just the other day I had the under 500 calorie garlic steak and my partner had shrimp fettuccine.  Applebees food has always been good and it serves my needs. Don't broadly judge. Maybe someday you won't be able to walk, I didn't ask for this.
    #9
    kozel
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 13:48:09 (permalink)
    felix4067
    Like every other chain, it's consistency. Their food isn't awful, and I actually like some of the things they serve. It might be generic, but it's really not bad. Their prices aren't bad, either. But consistency is the thing. If you travel a lot and don't have time to search for and find Roadfood, chains are your friend. It doesn't matter if you're in Topeka or San Antonio or Miami, the food is exactly the same. That holds huge value for a lot of people. Also, they're open way later than any Roadfood-type place I've ever been able to find, so for someone like me who regularly gets out of work at 10pm or later and needs food, that comes in very handy.

    And actually, I have been part of a conversation on more than one occasion where we're sitting around trying to figure out where to go, and someone says, "Let's go to Applebees!"  It does happen.

    You nailed it! The search for consistency is why the traveling public (especially the traveling public with kids in tow) seek out the familiar, ergo chains. I'd rather risk being disappointed in the search for a pleasant surprise.  Well said Felix.
    #10
    FriedClamFanatic
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 14:01:22 (permalink)
    I'll do their appetizers..if it's the only place around.  I always figured it was the 20-something gals and the 60-something guys......with the 30+ guys waiting in the wings (cheap, but hopeful)
    #11
    kozel
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 14:29:25 (permalink)
    FriedClamFanatic
    I'll do their appetizers..if it's the only place around.  I always figured it was the 20-something gals and the 60-something guys......with the 30+ guys waiting in the wings (cheap, but hopeful)

    Wait, I'm 60 something; where's the nearest Applebees?
    #12
    mr chips
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 14:54:30 (permalink)
    When I went to sam's little league regional in 2009, I was amazed at the other parents lack of inters in relatively interesting places. There was a very good indian place within walking distance of the hotel, an In N out less than a quarter mile mile away and a whole town full of Salvadorian places, A Hat restaurant. Almost everyone ate at chain places like Outback, apple bees and McDonald's.
    #13
    felix4067
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 15:13:15 (permalink)
    kozel

    felix4067
    Like every other chain, it's consistency. Their food isn't awful, and I actually like some of the things they serve. It might be generic, but it's really not bad. Their prices aren't bad, either. But consistency is the thing. If you travel a lot and don't have time to search for and find Roadfood, chains are your friend. It doesn't matter if you're in Topeka or San Antonio or Miami, the food is exactly the same. That holds huge value for a lot of people. Also, they're open way later than any Roadfood-type place I've ever been able to find, so for someone like me who regularly gets out of work at 10pm or later and needs food, that comes in very handy.

    And actually, I have been part of a conversation on more than one occasion where we're sitting around trying to figure out where to go, and someone says, "Let's go to Applebees!"  It does happen.

    You nailed it! The search for consistency is why the traveling public (especially the traveling public with kids in tow) seek out the familiar, ergo chains. I'd rather risk being disappointed in the search for a pleasant surprise.  Well said Felix.

    Thank you. The difference between me and a lot of people on this site is that I don't consider that to be a bad thing. Especially if you've got kids, you need them to eat. What you don't need is for them to be screaming and throwing fits because they're starving. Especially if they're starving because you took them to a really cool-looking Roadfood-type place and the food was crap. I will gamble on food more often than not if it's just me, but again...if I'm working out of town I need food, and I need it now. I also need to be able to eat it, because food definitely is fuel. If I gamble on something that looks neat and lose, then I am completely screwed until my next meal break, which is at least five hours away. Doesn't sound like much, but when you now have to go what will be at least 11 hours between meals (assuming the one I gambled on is awful and I can't eat it) while doing hard physical labour, it's a lot.
     
    Chains definitely have their place. And honestly, Applebee's is probably of better quality than most in its class.
    #14
    1bbqboy
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 15:35:26 (permalink)
    Applebee's is big in medium sizes to small places where they occupy
    the "nice restaurant" niche where no other alternatives exist. 
    As Felix said, the kids can eat, the parents can have a drink or a beer, and everyone goes on their way happy.
    #15
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:27:02 (permalink)
    mr chips

    When I went to sam's little league regional in 2009, I was amazed at the other parents lack of inters in relatively interesting places. There was a very good indian place within walking distance of the hotel, an In N out less than a quarter mile mile away and a whole town full of Salvadorian places, A Hat restaurant. Almost everyone ate at chain places like Outback, apple bees and McDonald's.
    For the past 13 years or so a group I was a part of tried to explore many different restaurants of all ethnic varieties in our tri-State area - on the other hand my wife and her friends go to lunch weekly also and they almost invariably wind up at a chain restaurant like Applebees or Red Lobster etal.  They do not seem to really care about the food they eat as much as the conversation etc .  My group loves good conversation also but we just seem to get off more on the different food variety however the female members of our group are a whole lot less into trying new things than the males are.

    #16
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:31:30 (permalink)
    Some of our female friends even refused to go out with us because of the places we chose.
    #17
    Heartbreaksoup
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:35:46 (permalink)
    Years ago, I was with co-workers on a business trip to Columbus GA.  I thought that B. Merrell's, a locally-owned "TJ McTchotcke's" sort of place known for their really good wings, would be a guaranteed-uncontroversial place among unadventurous eaters.  When I suggested it around lunchtime, a co-worker turned up her nose.  "What is THAT?!" she said.
     
    Our host replied, "Well, it's kind of like an Applebee's..."
     
    Co-worker whined, "Why don't we just go to Applebee's then?"
     
    As for me, I occasionally bought food there to take home when the AA ECHL Gwinnett Gladiators scored on a power play and everybody in the arena got a BOGO entree... cheap way for a single dad to feed two kids, you see.
    #18
    kozel
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:44:02 (permalink)
    NYPIzzaNut
    Some of our female friends even refused to go out with us because of the places we chose.

    Like Hooter's?
    #19
    kozel
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:47:58 (permalink)
    mr chips When I went to sam's little league regional in 2009, I was amazed at the other parents lack of inters in relatively interesting places. There was a very good indian place within walking distance of the hotel, an In N out less than a quarter mile mile away and a whole town full of Salvadorian places, A Hat restaurant. Almost everyone ate at chain places like Outback, apple bees and McDonald's.

    Standing in NYC's Chinatown watching the tourists coming out of a Subway (sandwich place not the train) makes me want to scream.
    #20
    CCinNJ
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:51:28 (permalink)
    We should have a NYC get-together and do that!
    #21
    1bbqboy
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:57:55 (permalink)
    CCinNJ

    We should have a NYC get-together and do that!

    Scream? A flash mob of old folks in mobility scooters. I'm in.
    #22
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 16:59:33 (permalink)
    kozel

    NYPIzzaNut
    Some of our female friends even refused to go out with us because of the places we chose.

    Like Hooter's?
    Nah like Puerto Rican, Spanish, taquerias, Vietnamese etc..
     
    post edited by NYPIzzaNut - 2013/02/03 17:00:55
    #23
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 17:01:55 (permalink)
    Some don't even dig Chinese or Tex Mex places.
    #24
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 17:03:09 (permalink)
    kozel

    mr chips When I went to sam's little league regional in 2009, I was amazed at the other parents lack of inters in relatively interesting places. There was a very good indian place within walking distance of the hotel, an In N out less than a quarter mile mile away and a whole town full of Salvadorian places, A Hat restaurant. Almost everyone ate at chain places like Outback, apple bees and McDonald's.

    Standing in NYC's Chinatown watching the tourists coming out of a Subway (sandwich place not the train) makes me want to scream.
    It is like that all over the world I am told.

    #25
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 17:04:29 (permalink)
    Lots of sheep in human form I am afraid.
     
    I will take lamb's brains anyday.
    #26
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 17:05:56 (permalink)
    Or bun bo hue soup spiced up to a 10!
     
     
     
     
    With lots of water LOL
    #27
    agnesrob
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 17:21:28 (permalink)
    Well, I am a female and would never refuse good company due to inferior food. On the other hand, I am a food lover, who, on occasion likes BK, Taco Bell or McDonalds. I also love Fois Gras, Caviar, lobster and dry aged beef. I guess I just love food! When given the opportunity to eat in a local ethnic establishment over a chain, I would not go with the chain.
    post edited by agnesrob - 2013/02/03 17:22:38
    #28
    NYPIzzaNut
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 17:47:44 (permalink)
    Can you get great pizza where you live?
    #29
    CCinNJ
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    Re:What is the secret of Applebees success? 2013/02/03 17:57:34 (permalink)
    It's New Jersey!

    Of course.
    #30
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