TTP | Toasted Tots!

Casual Dining Indeed  -

April 20th, 2011

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All the years we spent trying to score booze with fake IDs as teens, and now casual dining restaurants like Applebee's, Olive Garden and Chili's are gassing up toddlers like Nic Cage down on the bayou.

Clearly these restaurants are not hiring Jeopardy champions to rock out their flair and push the cheddar bacon blasters, but booze to babies? We thought they only did that at Phillies games.

Don't get us wrong, we've eaten at enough of these flapdoodle hash houses to have our own picture on the wall next to the rusty trombone and flat bike tire. But other than pre-formed chicken breasts and leaning towers of slimy onion rings, did we really need another reason not to return?

[Join the conversation about ... casual dining!

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Numbers

$1.9B

Amount IHOP paid in 2007 to purchase the Applebee's chain.

Wow! IHOP has food? We just thought that was a great place to get stabbed at 2:30 AM.

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Quote

People can get a cheeseburger anywhere, okay? They come to Chotchkie's for the atmosphere and the attitude.

Stan, the manager of Chotchkie's in Office Space (1999)

Words
table turns
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noun.     number of times a table in a restaurant is used to serve a new customer.

Used in a sentence: You could tell our server was behind on her table turns. She brought us our check before the kids even got their whiskey sours.

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Fact

The first T.G.I. Friday's opened in NYC on the corner of First Avenue and 63rd Street in 1965. The concept was such a hit with single adults that the restaurant totaled $1 million in revenues in its first year.

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The List

Traits of the Chain Gang

Décor Did we just walk into a casual dining restaurant or the hippest senior citizen yard sale of all time. Pop culture artifacts hang among wooden skis, bent golf clubs and the random picture of Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston.
Huge Menu Why pick one thing and do it right? Offer everything and do it half-ass! Burgers, seafood, steak, pasta, nachos, calzones, moo goo gai pan, chicken etouffee… they've got it all right there on their 35-page greasy laminated menu. Cool! Check out the frozen margarita machine.
Fun Birthday Song Want to ruin a relationship? Just tell your server it's your date's birthday and sit back and enjoy the restaurant's whimsical, quirky spin on the birthday song. Bonus points if entire wait staff chants and claps. Look for the one waiter actually enjoying himself.
"Almost Famous" Foods Famous bacon cheeseburger? Famous chili? Holy sh*t, we never knew. "Hey waitress, possible to get the mozzarella stick's autograph?

Since the Applebee's hooch hiccup, the chain has said they will "retrain" their servers on beverage pouring, and make sure non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages are stored in separate and labeled containers. Brilliant!

Until they get their sh*t together, make sure your papoose isn't plastered.

GD Star Rating
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TTP | Toasted Tots! (Casual Dining Indeed), 8.3 out of 10 based on 8 ratings