The next time you settle in to an Applebee's for a beer and some queso blanco, you may be struck with the urge to speak with one of your fellow patrons. But, instead of just turning to the booth behind you, or (gasp!) walking up to a nearby table full of strangers, why not use an app?
“What’s Applebee's” (a play on What’s App, the target of a recent $19 billion Facebook acquisition) advertises itself as the latest hot new social network. The app allows you to connect with other Applebee’s fans around the country.
But this is a highly exclusive network; you must be physically inside an Applebee’s to use it. Think of it as a virtual red velvet rope.
Darden Restaurants inked a $2.1 billion deal on Friday to unload its struggling Red Lobster business to Golden Gate Capital.
Golden Gate may be able to inject some new life into Red Lobster, but the deal is likely to rile up Darden investors. Shares fell nearly 3% in early trading.
Talk about creative coping mechanisms for being alone - from the blogger who photographs selfies with his imaginary girlfriend to the company that takes your stuffed animals on vacation without you, Japan appears to be cornering the market on accommodating solo travelers.
You can now add the "anti-loneliness" Moomin House Cafe to the menagerie of "wait, what?" strokes of Japanese brilliance.