Fancy Like Applebees

The Lempert Report
March 31, 2022

Phil: So Applebees there's, there's this great story in Eater written by Amy McCarthy. Amy actually worked at Applebees for a brief time as a hostess. So she's able to give us a, a look behind the scenes, talk about the fact that, you know, all their foods are microwaved. They have announced that they're gonna add drive through windows to 15 locations. They've got over 1600 locations now. So the fact that they're, you know, 15 locations from a drive through, but really what she's talking about is the problem with Applebees is the quality of the food, but Applebees now has some hipness to it. 

Sally: Well, well, I don't know if you're familiar if you listened to mainstream pop country, but there was a song this past year that it was a smash hit by Walker Hayes called fancy, like, and the, the gist of it is, is that, you know, the first verse, he talks about how, you know, his, his girl's not fancy and he takes her to Wendy's and she likes to get her fries there. And, but when he, you know, when they get fancy, they go to Applebees and it very much plays like an Applebee's commercial as if he was writing an apple commercial. But I think we have to consider, you know, what our our younger generations are telling us and, and, you know, particularly we talk about millennials a lot and what they want and that chain food. Is it really cutting it for them? 

Phil: And is it the, the food food itself? Is it the atmosphere? I mean, one of the, one of the things, and I've been to Applebees before, not a regular Applebee's guy. But I mean, all these chain restaurants look the same on the inside. And they're all kind of ugly. 

Sally: Yeah. I think that is definitely part of the problem is that there's no character or personality to these establishments, but also the food, you know, the, the, the interest in, in better quality food has been increasing, especially with the younger generation. And, you know, as, as the woman who worked at Applebees that wrote this article as talking about, you know, that they, they, you use a microwave to make food in Applebees. Yeah. 

Phil: Oh, well, well, and, and I think that, you know, they haven't kept up.