We’ve all been to the ‘Bees at some point in our life. I have many times, and I don’t regret many of them. Some of them, sure. The worst of them? Absolutely. The time that I locked myself in the bathroom with a Quesadilla Burger and didn’t come out for forty five minutes having changed into new clothes that I brought in one of them canvas Wal-Mart bags but didn’t bring back out? Only slightly. That was a tough time in my life and that was premium self-care, which the internet tells me is important.
But it’s no secret that Millennials are skipping Applebee’s. People keep asking me about this for some reason, and I’ve come to my own conclusions…
A Trend Towards Conscientious Dining
Joshua’s. TacoSlam. Pizza Garage. Luigi’s Burgs and Brats. Joshua’s South.
Have you heard of these? No, you haven’t. They’re popular local restaurants in my hometown, where you don’t live. Me and all of my millennial friends eat at restaurants like these when we want our food grub. The local restaurant offers local fare that’s generally a higher quality than the chain fare you get at Applebee’s. Mozzarella Sticks are Mozzarella Sticks no matter where you go. The ‘Bees is the ‘Bees where you go. But there’s only one Pizza Garage, and I go there every weekend to try out some of their famous specials – My favorite is The Ford Explorer, a pie topped with “Motor Oil” (olive oil). I know the guy who runs Pizza Garage, and I know the guy who runs TacoSlam, and Luigi had to throw me out of the restaurant himself that one time, and Joshua’s kind of a shady figure but I respect him nonetheless. The ‘Bees is a national conglomerate, and I don’t know a damn thing about Mister Applebee himself.
The Food? It’s Gross!
I honestly haven’t eaten anything other than the Quesadilla Burger ever since Richard from the Applebee’s in my hometown messed up my boneless wings in the summer of ’09. The quesadilla burger is fine, I think. But the other stuff is probably gross because it’s probably made by Richard.
Update Your Atmosphere Already!
I was okay with the local high school basketball jerseys framed on the wall and the tennis rackets nailed to the ceiling, but individual framed portraits of every teacher in the local school district? Come on! I don’t need Mrs. McGillicutty staring me in the face as I eat my Quesadilla Burgers. She failed me in Pre-AP European History because I called the Luftwaffe “The Whole Planes Shit”, I don’t want to be reminded of it.
Your Menu’s Getting Stale!
Their signature entree is a burger that is also a quesadilla. What a ridiculous and culturally appropriative concept. I’ll shove several of them down my throat, sure, but I won’t like it.
After the Death of Mr. Applebee, the Gusto that Used to Encompass all of the Applebee’s Program has Been Lost
George Applebee was a great man. George Applebee used to sign the lines that defined Eating Good in the Neighborhood. George Applebee was a hero, and a winner, and he made Applebee’s what Applebee’s is.
But when George Applebee died in that campfire accident in the fall of 2015, the cracks started in the foundation of Applebee’s.
- In December 2015, Green Bean Crispers fell off of the “Half Price Apps” menu
- In February 2016, there was that whole big thing what with the tie-in campaign with Zoolander 2.
- In June 2016, Applebee’s put their official support behind Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson, something completely out of line with the chain’s prior anarchistic views towards politics.
- In January 2017, Richard was hired
- In March 2017, the “Several Jet Skis for Everyone in the Applebee’s Front Office Staff” initiative was started, especially strange considering the headquarters’ location in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
- In June 2017, Cheese n Mayo n Bacon Nacho Busters were dropped from the “Half Price Apps” menu.
It’s only gone downhill. There’s just a Carterian malaise that’s fallen over the generality of Applebee’s ever since George’s death, and I worry that, like Jimmy Carter’s America, Applebee’s has fallen to pieces because of it.
Applebee’s can probably rebuild itself from out of the trenches of a post George and a mid-Richard dominion, it’ll just take time. I don’t have any ideas on how to fix this, but my job is to complain all of the time, and I’ve done just that.
Until it’s better, me and the other millennials will stick to just the three or four quesadilla burgers per week, a far leap from the seven or eight of yesteryear, and I will Eat Good in another part of the Neighborhood.