In a shocking discovery, the Times revealed today that no one is dining at an Applebee's in Manhattan: in fact, the restaurant is full of empty tables. The exact reason is unclear, but it may be because there are so many other similarly mediocre restaurants in the Times Square area offering up stiff competition, including Chevy's, Dallas BBQ, ESPN Zone, and Dave & Busters.
Top analysts concur that as the demand for bad food lessens, many restaurants serving bad food are vulnerable to closure. Applebee's franchise owner Zane Tankel once considered his only competition to be the inimitable Olive Garden, but:
“We’ll see some weeding out,” he said one recent lunch hour, sitting in a near-empty Applebee’s dining room overlooking 42nd Street. Noting a restaurant above him and another across the street, he said, “One of the three of us is not going to be here.”Will Manhattan's dining scene survive without Applebee's? Where will local heroes like Plaxico Burress eat before putting a loaded weapon into the elastic waistband of their pants? If such pinnacles of New York fine cuisine fall prey to the recession, the future looks grim indeed.
NYT: Empty Tables Threaten Some Restaurant Chains