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I see it as being at least a little more nuanced than that and it's related to our view of what restaurant are for
Article notes that millennials consistently opt for cheaper or more expensive options. Maybe the real problem is vanishing middle class?
Business Insider on Twitter
“Millennials are killing chains like Buffalo Wild Wings and Applebee's https://t.co/tZOsykblhb”
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52 replies and sub-replies as of Jun 03 2017

My parents' generation had an active stigma against fast food and take home food and I feel like mine doesn't
And by the same token they see inherent value in the "restaurant experience" I don't think mine does
Like I'll tell you why I've never gone to Buffalo Wild Wings and it's not food snobbery bc I'm not a snob at all
It's bc I can get wings from a dozen places where I *don't have to* sit at a table and be served by someone w 14 pieces of flair
The "dining out experience" is more of a con than a pro for me as a screen-addicted antisocial millennial
I'll pay that premium if it's worth it bc there's something special about the food, otherwise I don't care
Fwiw this "mid-level casual dining chain" business model deserves to be killed for exactly this region
It's the highest-margin form of food service, IIRC -- both fast food and high-end restaurants have thinner profits per unit
The Darden empire et al roared into power in the 1970s off of stagnating min wages for tipped employees (it's like $2 an hour)
Meaning that tacking on the "dining out experience" to various genres of mediocrely mass-produced food was a dirt cheap value add
One small part of why this model is crashing may be the soaring inequality this helped create means way more Millennials have waited tables
So we don't see "the dining out experience" as being as cheap bc we are less comfortable tipping like assholes
(That seems to be an across the board shift in norms too - never met anyone under 35 who thought the tip amt was a judgment call)
Just like Millennials certainly are poor but even rich ones don't give a shit that getting McDonald's isn't "classy", contra Arnade
The only advantage to restaurants is when the food absolutely must be eaten fresh
Fwiw think about the fact that the new wave after "casual" was "fast casual" - a dumb name coined bc it sits between McDonald's & Applebee's
That's what Chipotle is, it's slightly upscale branded food without tipped waitstaff, that's where the Applebee's money is going
That's what's actually directly killing Applebee's, it happened bc in the '90s the stigma around counter service was fading
Try explaining to kids that before the 1990s that kind of "upscale" carryout wasn't really a thing
Or, rather, it was a thing - for hip urban populations - and Chipotle took it mass-market
(Which is why Applebee's is now stigmatized, it's a relic of the old, unhip suburbs and old ppl who need a waiter to make them feel safe)
Also worth noting that most of those chains are horrible for vegetarians
(This is a bullshit reason to be snobbish abt it btw bc the point of the Chipotle brand name is to make a burrito joint just as "safe")
(Leaving aside that it's apparently actually dangerous what with the E. coli and whatnot)
Is the subset of people who would say this about chains in general large enough to be a factor?
The only reason I see for going to Applebees OR Chipotle is if you're in the airport or on a roadtrip & the only other option is truck stop
Otherwise, I support locally-owned restaurants - the food is usually more interesting, better quality
Applebees has been 'stigmatized' since the 90s. It's a place to get a mudslide or take your grandma and always has been.
here in the midwest still have to listen to ppl in the biz talk about how "counter service is going to be the NEXT BIG THING."
Casual is dying because their food is mediocre, rooms are loud, and they oversaturated the market. Restos are hard to keep going long term.
Damn. Think you pretty much nailed it.
Lol my first thought was "is that what Chipotle is?"
I'm over 35 and I'm still checking after one of my parents takes us out when visiting to make sure they left enough and top off as necessary
Also, the cheaper the restaurant, the higher tip % should be. In a diner? Tip a lot. This too: tips are really wages, so X1.5 on holidays.
True that. You have to be an awful server for me to go less than 20% on a tip.
The flair restaurants offer fake service and mediocre food for an inflated price. I don’t think Gen X and later wants that.
Next-generation up misses neighborhood joints b/c of suburbia and seeks the fake equivalent of what they had in their youth.
They are simulacra of a vanished America—that has been re-created w/ upscale joints that sell food Greatest Gen finds unfamiliar, expensive)
BTW, Darden is pretty confident right now. I'm betting they're wrong.
That's cuz it's just fast food but more expensive.
Yep, I have gone to Buffalo Wild Wings a few times... and always gotten mine to go.
It's a convenient location to me and I like thier spicy BBQ sauce, but it's just like "OK gimme some wings".
My parents ate fast food & visited restaurants on rare occasion w/ the belief that "ground food" (food cooked at home) was the best option.
Although I consume fast food more than my parents, I certainly consume less fast food & visit restaurants less than my American friends.
Maybe the food in those places just isn't worth spending money on.
I notice every time Millennials are "killing" something, it's something that needed to die, like Applebee's or fabric softener.
Or the diamond industry!!! ::cheers on valiant anti-diamond Millennial warriors::
Millennials too busy surviving to get insecure about stupid crap?
also millennials are more likely to live in cities, where fewer of these chains exist, and there are simultaneously more alternatives
these chains are very suburban, big cities only have a handful and they're usually in the tourist spots that residents avoid
Sometimes I feel like I should be a Millennial. I keep agreeing with them.
Yeah it's like... if I want a fancy restaurant experience I'll save money and go somewhere really nice... otherwise I just want decent food