Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Goodbye applebees

It appears we are done with Applebees. At least one in particular.

Probably 10+ years ago - while we were pastoring a church - we set out very intentionally to find a place where we could make some friends outside the church and where we could also be somewhat "normal" people. So we started going to this one Applebees on the same night, at roughly the same time, every week. Sure enough, it actually worked. It wasn't long before we noticed some of the same people coming there and working there. Pretty soon we developed friendships to varying degrees, and it soon came to be our 'place to go.' We would all meet up there, and we started doing things outside of our "applebees time." We went bowling together; visited other places together; etc. Eventually that turned into inviting people to our homes and having parties together and all sorts of fun stuff. I was always, and still am, amazed at how it actually kind of worked out. Many of those people are now among our very best friends. In fact, if it weren't for that group of friends, I'm not sure what Jane and I would have done this last year.

Anyway, apparently a rift developed between one of the servers there and a member of our group. It has kind of escalated to the point where... it's just not worth the hassle anymore. I kind of think you're supposed to support your friends in situations like this. So we've decided to cut ties and the group is in search of another central meeting spot. I'm sure we will all survive.

I have to say, though, that I'm surprised we all went there as much as we did. Sure, many of the employees there are very nice people - we will miss several of them who have become friends. But I don't know if it's the company as a whole, or just this one location, but they must have a strange management training program. While there are a couple of rare exceptions, for the most part, their managers are some of the most socially awkward and in many cases just downright rude people. Plus the menu at Applebees had really went down hill over the years.

So... that's about all I'm going to say about it. It was fun while it lasted. There are plenty of other places where food and drink are way cheaper, and the people are just as nice.


JAH said...

I will miss the place as well, but friends are friends no matter where we spend our time together. Kind of like the old, "home is where the heart is" saying. Like you said, if there is one thing I've learned this past year, having and being a friend that sticks things out together no matter what is a rare and good thing.

MR said...

Yeah, I've got great friends. I really didn't intend to start a revolt, but I'm humbled by the solidarity. And while it was a tremendous pain in the ass, I'm glad integrity has been restored. My friends are genuine people of simple character and one face, and it feels good to be able to say that again.

And, good news, our forward observer reports back that the venue this Friday not only has Budweiser on tap (for A.J. if he'll drive out there), but the fried mushrooms the forward observer has been griping about for years. I think we fished our old spot long enough, it'll be interesting to see who we meet in different places. This is like taking the show on the road!

Jim Lehmer said...

I got no dog in this hunt but my hope would be wherever you land, hopefully it's locally owned. I'm not saying I never eat at chains any more, but if I have my druthers, I want to see my dollars stay in the community (and yes, a franchise can be locally owned, but then the franchise fees are still sucked away).