Yesterday the New York Times Diners Journal's daily "What We’re Reading" post (with which we are ridiculously obsessed and over which we weep when we [frequently] don't make the cut) pointed us to a 2009 (but new to us) video on Americans’ perceptions of the chain restaurant industry.
The National Retail Foundation and Shop.org partnered with ExpoTv.com to ask consumers to sum up what they like about national chains like T.G.I. Friday's, Chili's, Panera Bread and Cracker Barrel. Their overwhelmingly consistent response? Consistency - as manifested in atmosphere, service, menu items, pricing and even uniformity in food size.
We get it. We totally do. Sometimes we're out on the road, low blood sugared, beset with ennui - something's gone awry, and we just wanna get fed with no major surprises. There are even a few items (helloooooo Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuit!) for which we beeline when we're in geographical range. But beyond that, in many ways consistency is rather the antithesis of what we're looking for when we spend our money to dine out. Yes, things should be consistently GOOD, but new choices, flavors, dishes, cuisines and ingredients - that's thoroughly linked to our love of the non-chain places.
Previously - Poll: Maintenance meals