About Your whole thing with Applebee’s…

Dear Lori from West Seneca:

We shouldn’t even be having this discussion…

But apparently you, and some other folks from Western NY believe with deep passion that Applebee’s is the best and cheapest way to “Eat Good in the Neighborhood.”

Well.. not our neighborhood. Not here. Not in Buffalo.

It’s too easy to beat on Applebees, Chili’s, and other “pieces of flair” restaurants… but apparently it’s our turn at the pinata, because folks keep going there, and getting upset when we express how disappointed we are in that.

One Reddit user put it perfectly… “Applebee’s is a very nice microwave that they decided to build a restaurant around.”

The point of Applebee’s is to get food and drink out as quickly as possible. And that’s it. Why go there when we have so many better options in Western NY for local food made well by people with a vested interest in the communities where you send your kids? Don’t be fooled by the walls clad with iron-on “we support our (insert local high school sports team) heroes here!” It’s not good food, it’s not fresh food, and it’s not cheap food. And you can do FAR better for a family meal in Western NY.

Let us be clear… Eating at Applebee’s isn’t thrifty. It’s lazy. You eat at Applebee’s when your favorite ingredient is a tie between rancid fryer fat and salt.

Buffalo Eats prides itself on representing what is cool, unique, and different about Buffalo Food. We LOVE to support local food and for the most part shy away from chains –  but we are also very conscious about food costs, and the costs of going out. So accept this as a response to comments that some folks in WNY eat at Applebee’s “because not everyone can afford to go out to other restaurants.” Applebee’s is not cheaper. It’s just shittier.  In fact, lets take a look at some menu items and compare them to places around here. It pays to be a smart consumer – especially when you can do it while supporting local businesses and enjoying food that wasn’t microwaved in a big plastic bag.

I get it Lori, I do. … A lot of these local places can’t be bothered to “turn down the A/C in your section till you leave.” But Lori, how many managers have you already spoken with already this week? Isn’t it exhausting? Are you willing to try something new?

Don’t take it from me: See what Debbie, Dawn, and Norma said on this post from last year:

Debbie Dunn: Applebee’s has gone downhill. Bring back some of the old favorites.

Dawn Carew Rinkavage: Used to like Applebee’s but a few years ago their food became inedible. The food was what you’d expect at a fast food restaurant. Wasn’t worth the price!!! Haven’t been back since.

Norma Howarth: Our last trip to Applebee’s was abysmal. Yes, the wine was reasonably priced but the meal was awful. Will not return.

Even Applebee’s itself admits that it sucks:

ON BRAND IDENTITY: “There was an attempt to kind of reposition the brand in a somewhat aspirational manner around a modern bar and grill, and it’s very clear from the data that we may have alienated some core guests in the process.”

ON PRICE: “This is a brand that’s always had a strong heritage around value. We are an affordable indulgence, plain and simple — and a pretty accessible and approachable one. Candidly, I think we’ve taken our eye off our core value proposition over time.”

ON GUEST SATISFACTION: “There’s a lot of variability today across 1,800+ restaurants in terms of how we satisfy our guests. We have some exceptional partners and some outstanding restaurant results, but on the other end of that spectrum, we also have too much variability.”

We at Buffalo Eats invite all of our locally run restaurants to view this local menu for the Applebee’s I believe is closest to Lori’s house, and tell us what items your restaurant makes better, and for less money. I’ll keep a list going.