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Applebee’s Just Announced a Huge Change in the Way It Serves Its Food (Not Everyone Will Like It)

Have we really come to this?

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BY Chris Matyszczyk - 12 Jun 2018

Applebee's Just Announced a Huge Change in the Way It Serves Its Food (Not Everyone Will Like It)

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.


Dining out is a thing of pleasure, isn't it?

At least, that's what I've always led myself to believe.

It's a reward for surviving yet another day, yet another morass of problems, issues, complaints and the rare triumph.

It's worth, therefore, taking a little time over.

Yet here comes Applebee's, ready to disrupt that notion.

It's trying a new system that, well, takes the anticipation out of dining.

You go onto its app. You order your food. And, the minute you arrive at the restaurant, your meal magically appears on your table.

I confess this turns my tummy a little.

I like musing over a menu, chatting with a server, watching as they attempt to peddle the special, aka the leftovers that Chef has tried to turn into a palatable dish.

I change my mind several times. I try and sense the smells emanating from the kitchen. I look at other people's dishes just to see what looks good. Or fresh. Or unappetizing.

Yet here is, well, what exactly? Dinner?

"It's like converting casual dining to fast food," Stephen Joyce, CEO of Applebee's parent company Dine Brands Global, told the New York Post.

I can imagine this might suit those in a hurry.

But if you're in a hurry, why sit down for a meal in a restaurant?

I fear, though, that this is yet another appeal to the impatience of the millennial.

They want things now. Or, preferably, earlier than that, as anticipated by their favorite artificial intelligence.

For Applebee's, naturally, this new system offers some hope that its restaurants can turn tables over more quickly.

Moreover, will there be any need for servers at all? Won't the people who bring the food to your table simply be those who now bus it?

And what might it do to the general atmosphere?

What's that you say? Who cares about the atmosphere at Applebee's?

Now that's just mean.

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