Chain Restaurants Are the Root Of All Epicurean Evil, Part 9,847

Yesterday I offered some thoughts on the term "gastro pub", sparking a debate on the term. It also drew commenter BigJonDaniel to lay some Chain Restaurant smack down:

Ok - Let me lay this out for you. Most restaurants in Dallas do not start because the owners love food. Oh no. They start because the owners are trying to incubate a chain concept.

The idea is not to love the food, or even love the customers, but to create concepts which can either be grown into chains, or sold off to companies running chains. This should change the way you look at some of these places you walk into. They will look a little too slick, they will have dumbed down menus, they will have graphics and design much more advanced than the usual new restaurant, they will be mediocre.

To be clear, I'm not a chain hater. The reality is that some restaurateurs come up with "scalable" concepts, good ideas whose proliferation provides a meal we can trust on a regular basis. But if Jon's right -- if that many chains have sprung up in Dallas with the sole intent of making owners a quick rich -- well, yeah, that's a problem.


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