Dumb Decisions

January 31, 2010 by admncc

I have always enjoyed going to Applebee’s.  My wife and daughter also love it, so it’s often one of our first choices when we dine out.

However, I’m not sure I can support their most recent endeavor.  Our local Applebee’s has implemented a new policy.  You can now borrow a portable DVD player and DVD from them upon your arrival.  And you can watch the movie at your table before, during or after your meal.

I was on the Applebee’s web site earlier trying to determine if this was a nationwide promotion, but it doesn’t seem like it is.

There are a number of reasons why I disagree with this promotion!  For starters, it encourages the social decline that we’re already seeing due to cell phones, blackberries and texting.  People already don’t talk.  We don’t need to give them another reason; especially when they’re in a restaurant.

Second, it’s a distraction.  If your table has a movie playing, it might be too loud or it might be a movie I like.  Either way, it might disrupt my meal.  If my table has a movie playing, you might feel the same way.

Not too mention – I would think that Applebee’s wants to bring customers in, serve them and get them out of there as efficiently as they can – so new customers can be seated.  But now people will take their time, so they or their kids can watch the movie.  Or they might even stick around longer after they’re done eating, so they can finish their movie.

I just think it’s a terrible business decision.  And I can’t think of any reason why they’re doing it, other than to make people more comfortable while they wait.  But if that’s the case, offer short movie clips or 25-minute long TV shows on DVD.  My daughter wanted to watch High School Musical when my mother-in-law took her there the other day.  That’s a two-hour movie.  And I doubt she would have been happy if we had to turn it off before it was over.

So am I overreacting or missing the good part of this idea?

All Posts / Business / Family/Lifestyle / General Moaning / Relationships / Restaurants Applebee's / Blackberries / Business Decisions / Cell Phones / High School Musical / Marketing Promotions / Movies / Poor Customer Service / Portable DVD Players / Restaurants / Texting / The Social Decline of America / TV Shows /


  1. That’s pathetic. Why is it that people have to be constantly entertained?

    I’ve never been an Applebee’s fan. Around here, it’s mediocre food and slow service.

  2. Extreme John says:

    Yeah it’s a fail.. Who the hell wants to extend turn around times. Fail all around.

  3. c.princess says:

    For the same reason you disagree with the promotion, so do I.

  4. NeoConDon says:

    …gotta be Lorain County…

  5. Jane says:

    I never thought about it like Reforming Geek said. You are right. People do need to be “constantly entertained.” Pretty sad isn’t it?

  6. Wow, what a terrible idea. Why not just order in?

  7. TallElf says:

    Well.. CrappleB’s strikes again. First they take my favorite burger off the menu, then they add Distracting Video Devices to the dinnertime interruption. Come on now, Dinner and a movie, not dinner with the movie.

  8. What the hell? My Hubs is in the service industry and he would have a fit! Time is money, people, especially in a place like Applebee’s. You’ve got to turn the tables to make the money. I’ll bet the waitress’s tips have really plummeted!

  9. Sugar says:

    That is ridiculous! You’re right CC, we don’t communicate enough with all our technology, the last thing we need is to have a DVD player at the table in public while we’re eating.

  10. The Constant Complainer says:

    I have continued to look into this matter and am now convinced that it is a local promotion only. And I’m seriously thinking about sending a copy of this post to Applebee’s Corporate Headquarters… I’d love to know their response. Ha!

  11. MajorLeague09 says:

    You got to be kidding me. The person who thought of that idea should be shown the door. Most times when my husband and I go out to eat, we haven’t even started our appitizer and the main course is on the table. I thought that it was about getting people in and out as fast as possible. That has to be the dumbest idea ever thought of. I think you should send that to the Applebee’s Headquarters. I think they would be interested by what there stores are up to.

  12. Dick says:

    Worst idea I ever heard! Applebees must be owned or operated by a bunch of foreigners who think Americans cant live without their DVD’s, movies and silly TV. Some of us can live without it, me for one, and if I was at a table, next to one playing a movie DVD, and it was loud or distracting? Well…

  13. hey, i’m alive and currently writing a post. thanks for checking up on me 😉 UM, after having worked in the restaurant biz i cannot think of a worst idea!!!! you’re absolutely right that this promotes the decline of family time, which is already almost non-existent. and there’s no point in watching a movie that you can only see half of. However, i don’t think it’d be a bad idea to have tv shows like the Office available in the bar area, for those who hate sports. that might actually be a good idea. but overall, HORRIBLE.

  14. tera says:

    (See, I’m behind on commenting, too!)
    This is a terrible idea. I used to work at an Applebee’s and I cannot imagine having to deal with this. Not to mention that, as a waitress, tips at restaurants like this are not great to begin with, so who needs the aggravation? I would be extremely ticked off if I had a crappy table that I couldn’t wait to have leave and then have them stick around an extra hour to watch a movie!

  15. thinkinfyou says:

    Our Applebee’s sucks,the food and the service are both horrible. I can see it as a promotional thing here to take people’s minds off the bad food and service.

  16. otin says:

    I could see it maybe if it was just tuned in to the tv feeds that they have in the place, like to watch sports or something. Movies are a bad idea.

  17. You really should send this post to HQ, I would love to read what they respond with!

  18. I’m thinking that the powers of Applebee that are in control had their own good reasons for doing this but I agree with you on the social decline issue. To build the relationships that will give strength and meaning to life takes real conversation which many times does not happen in front of a screen watching a movie.

  19. Zig the "People" person says:

    I hate to say it, but NCD is right…it’s Lorain county!

    The idea to let people watch movies with dinner is the dumbest idea I have ever heard. It must be a Lorain County thing. Applebees is good, but after hearing this I will never patronize them again! Lorain County sucks!

  20. Lacey says:

    This is the most ridiculous idea ever & I don’t know why in the world the company would approve that. DUMB! People are seriously developing social anxieties b/c of the insane amount of technology we have to keep us from having to actually communicate face to face. BAD IDEA, Applebees. BAD. BAD. IDEA.

    How are you? Haven’t heard from you in a while!

    Superbowl tomorrow! Are you going to be watching my Saints beat the boo-ya out of the Colts?

  21. abarber says:

    You definitely need to send this post to Applebees HQ and let us know their response. I’m sure someone there will also agree with us that this is a terrible idea. Why would you want customers hanging around to watch a 2 hour movie, when you have people waiting for tables? It is the poorest business decision I have heard of in a long time!

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