Bennigan’s Closing – Who Gives a $#@&?

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That was my initial reaction to the news that Bennigan’s was closing 300 of its eponymous dumps along with some Steak and Ales, as well. If I could close all of the mediocre crap chain restaurants in this country, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Then I started to think about all of the poor folks who will be losing their job. This led to a contemplation of the sorry state of this country and its even sorrier economy. Then I went back to “screw it, there are less crap restaurants in the country!”

Okay, I am not really that heartless, but I do hope that something good can come out of our screwed up economy. If some of these culinary WalMarts go out of business while times are tough, perhaps they can be replaced by real restaurants and some mom and pop type joints when things improve. I am tired of diners as upscale kitsch. I am tired of people being duped into spending their hard earned cash on mediocre, over-cooked, over-salted, deep fried, horribly sauced garbage. I am tired of having to search out quality in a country that can grow and raise the best of everything if they so choose.

Bennigan’s? Good riddance! Chili’s, TGI Friday’s, and in a perfect world all of the other abominable chains should be next. Carraba’s can be spared, though. They seem to be the exception that proves the rule.

  • Faye

    Many people (who are not me) prefer these places. And as far is I am concerned, they are the culinary equivalent of white zinfandel. I don’t want it, but if someone else does, so be it. Just leaves more of the good stuff for me.

    And if you believe there is a soft economy, that will actually diminish the number of new mom-and-pops. Restaurants are very tricky businesses with very tight margins. If people are spending less on eating out, that’s the absolute wrong time to open your own restaurant.

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Joe Power

    Hi Faye! Thanks for the stopping by and commenting.

    These places have driven out small, individually owned restaurants. Just like Walmart, they can’t be dismissed with a shrug and a “What can you do? That’s what people want.”

    You make a very valid point about bad economic times being the wrong time to open a new restaurant, but if you go back and read what I wrote, I was suggesting that perhaps these current dark times will be followed by better ones that, if we are lucky, will allow for the return of real restaurants.

    However, I am fully in agreement with you on one point. I like when there is more of the good stuff for me, too. Cheers!

  • Faye

    I will still disagree – I don’t think these chains have driven out the real restaurants. If you are someone who prefers the chains, then you really aren’t happy with any kind of variation or originality, and you probably wouldn’t be happy with the privately-owned restaurants even if that were all that was available. Much in the same way some people prefer to shop at Wal-Mart – they want a wide variety at low prices, and for them that is more important than locally-owned, or smaller variety but possbily higher quality (or whatever criteria they are using to judge).

    I know many people who don’t want variety in their food. They want the same thing, every time, regardless of what city they are in. My DH is one of them. He would rather eat at the same chain all the time and know exactly what he is going to get rather than run the risk of getting something that he doesn’t like. With the restaurants we go to, he always gets the same thing – he’s not interested in broadening his horizons. Whatever – that’s his choice, and he’s entitled to it. That’s not my cup of tea, so there is a lot of compromising. :)

    I am just never a fan of the ‘we have to stop them from ruining us’ argument. It removes all personal responsibility from the equation. As we learned from South Park, ‘the heart of Wal-Mart is me.’

  • Faye

    Many people (who are not me) prefer these places. And as far is I am concerned, they are the culinary equivalent of white zinfandel. I don’t want it, but if someone else does, so be it. Just leaves more of the good stuff for me.

    And if you believe there is a soft economy, that will actually diminish the number of new mom-and-pops. Restaurants are very tricky businesses with very tight margins. If people are spending less on eating out, that’s the absolute wrong time to open your own restaurant.

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Joe Power

    While I agree with many of your points, overall we will just have to agree to disagree about the damage done by chains, and especially by Wal-Mart. I realize that free-market Libertarians such as the (exceptionally funny) South Park folks need to deny the unfair and downright evil practices of Wal-Mart to be able to cling to their political beliefs, but that doesn’t actually change what they do.

    Besides, isn’t the lesson of South Park that Chef has salty balls? :)

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Joe Power

    Hi Faye! Thanks for the stopping by and commenting.

    These places have driven out small, individually owned restaurants. Just like Walmart, they can’t be dismissed with a shrug and a “What can you do? That’s what people want.”

    You make a very valid point about bad economic times being the wrong time to open a new restaurant, but if you go back and read what I wrote, I was suggesting that perhaps these current dark times will be followed by better ones that, if we are lucky, will allow for the return of real restaurants.

    However, I am fully in agreement with you on one point. I like when there is more of the good stuff for me, too. Cheers!

  • Faye

    I will still disagree – I don’t think these chains have driven out the real restaurants. If you are someone who prefers the chains, then you really aren’t happy with any kind of variation or originality, and you probably wouldn’t be happy with the privately-owned restaurants even if that were all that was available. Much in the same way some people prefer to shop at Wal-Mart – they want a wide variety at low prices, and for them that is more important than locally-owned, or smaller variety but possbily higher quality (or whatever criteria they are using to judge).

    I know many people who don’t want variety in their food. They want the same thing, every time, regardless of what city they are in. My DH is one of them. He would rather eat at the same chain all the time and know exactly what he is going to get rather than run the risk of getting something that he doesn’t like. With the restaurants we go to, he always gets the same thing – he’s not interested in broadening his horizons. Whatever – that’s his choice, and he’s entitled to it. That’s not my cup of tea, so there is a lot of compromising. :)

    I am just never a fan of the ‘we have to stop them from ruining us’ argument. It removes all personal responsibility from the equation. As we learned from South Park, ‘the heart of Wal-Mart is me.’

  • http://www.anotherwineblog.com Joe Power

    While I agree with many of your points, overall we will just have to agree to disagree about the damage done by chains, and especially by Wal-Mart. I realize that free-market Libertarians such as the (exceptionally funny) South Park folks need to deny the unfair and downright evil practices of Wal-Mart to be able to cling to their political beliefs, but that doesn’t actually change what they do.

    Besides, isn’t the lesson of South Park that Chef has salty balls? :)