Apple(bee’s) of my Eye

Most of you know that hubby works for a well known (and unnamed) restaurant chain. They are very aggressive in their approach to competition even if it means sending their people to the competition to check it out. They had recently been hosting an all you can eat special which wasn’t going as they had hoped. None of the restaurants were pulling in the numbers like they were expecting. Why was this? Was it the economy? Was the competition simply doing a better job? What better way to find out than to send their managers to check out the competition?

Hubby was recently at an annual meeting for his company where their marketing department was present. They were asking some tough questions and I guess Hubby was one of the only managers who spoke up with his true feelings on the subject even though it didn’t make him a very popular person at the time. Some of the other managers apparently wanted to speak up but were afraid to. They were afraid of the repercussions if they did call. How are the marketers going to be able to make an accurate assessment if their management team was not going to be honest with them?

Apparently they did appreciate hubby’s honesty because Friday at work he received in the mail a gift card to one of their competitors. Our instructions were to go to the restaurant and eat off their “two for” menu with our favorite beverages and report back our findings. I guess they picked 4 or 5 managers across the region or division to go to different restaurants. I think the restaurants were O’Charley’s, Logan’s Roadhouse, Fridays, Applebee’s and some restaurant we don’t have around here. We were picked to go to Applebee’s. I honestly don’t normally go to Applebee’s very often when we are home. In fact I think in all the years we have had one here in town I’ve only been there twice. I’ve gone several times over the last couple of years when we’ve been out of town but not locally. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

First off I was surprised with the selection. Some of the different restaurants around here have had a 2 for $14.99 menu or $17.99 but ours (Applebee’s) was I think 2 for $20. This included a shared appetizer and 2 entrees. The drinks were not included in the $20 price. The selection of entrees was a lot better than I had thought it would be. Most of the restaurants that we had been to with the “two for” menus had basics like burgers, chicken tenders, some type of salad (like southern fried chicken salad or oriental chicken), or some type of pasta dish. Applebee’s actually had steak and ribs on theirs. Well, riblets. I’m not sure what riblets are (whether they are pork or beef or what – I had joked to hubby that maybe they were squirrel or rabbit) but I got them and they were good. Hubby actually got a steak. And the portions were good size. I actually brought 2/3 of mine home and have had one more meal and still have 1/3 of it left!

I have to say I was impressed that we got a free $40 gift card and got an appetizer to share, 2 entrees, 2 drinks (I even got a top shelf margarita), tip and still had a few dollars left on the card. We normally tip very well since all of our family at one point or another has been in the service industry. We were told we could only leave 15% which made me feel a little bad because she did a really good job and I would have liked to leave her more. I guess maybe we will have to go back on our own and ask for her again and over tip her to make up for only leaving what I consider a minimal tip.

I’m kinda hoping that they decide to do more research and send us to another restaurant to check out the competition. Hey, I’m game.


About pegbur7

South of the Mason/Dixon Line
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24 Responses to Apple(bee’s) of my Eye

  1. terrepruitt says:

    Maybe it tasted so good because someone else was picking up the bill.

    Just kidding.

    Glad you had a nice time.

  2. suzicate says:

    Applebees 2 for is a great and delicious deal. We did it Friday night. It’s right down the street for us, so it’s one of the places we like…at that price, who wouldn’t?! Need me to test any places here? Just askin’!

  3. Normally, I don’t like Applebees since I find them too seasoned and saturated. Maybe I should check it out again!

  4. We used to take the kids to Applebees but I’ve never liked it. We have such great produce in Cali, and they don’t exploit that at all. It’s not bad, but it’s not innovative at all. Because I cook and use almost exclusively organic and fresh ingredients I’m pretty hard to please.

  5. Ron says:

    Oh, how fun to be able to taste test for FREE!!!

    ” 2 for $20. This included a shared appetizer and 2 entrees. The drinks were not included in the $20 price.”

    Even still, that’s an awesome price considering that most places charge an arm and a leg for drinks. I went to a new restaurant a couple of months ago with a friend of mine and they charged us $12.00 for a glass of wine, and the glass wasn’t even HALF full!

    “I’m kinda hoping that they decide to do more research and send us to another restaurant to check out the competition. Hey, I’m game.”

    You GO, girl!

    Have a super Tuesday, dear friend!


    P.S. Clever post title!

  6. Mom says:

    I do believe when things are free they taste better, look better and are all around better!!!Your meal sounds yummy…even though i am reading this first thing in the morning before I have to go drill inside someone’s yucky mouth!

  7. NikNik says:

    I’ve been wonderin if the Applebees 2for was any good after seeing the commercials. Guess the Hubs and I will have to check it out!

  8. Jenny says:

    Maybe it was the top shelf magarita! jk. I’m glad your Applebees was good…we used to love to go there but within the last couple of years the service has gone down hill!! It takes forever to get your food and we have had some unpleasant experiences. Maybe they need new management… lol. There is another one in Martinez, maybe we’ll give it a try.

  9. K Odell says:

    we did the chili’s 2 fer 20- I like the food on that menu- I was sad there was no dessert included like TGIFridays, though. It was Ok cuz I got my birthday milkshake 🙂

    • pegbur7 says:

      We don’t have a Chili’s here in our town anymore. There are several IN Atlanta but if I’m going in to Atlanta to eat, it’s usually going to be not near a Chili’s. I haven’t eaten at a Chili’s in years but will have to keep it in mind when we are travelling.

  10. Carol says:

    We have lunch at our Applebees occasionally and have had dinner there a couple of times. I’ve always been happy with it, and the dinners have always had enough food that at least half of it has come home with me. Service has always been good. Free does always make it better, I think.

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