Linsky sheds light on chain restaurant hierarchy

David Linsky ('14)/ Eastside Business Manager

In todayʼs society many food chains struggle to stay in business. Within the middle tier restaurants there is great competition. This summer I had the pleasure and at some points, the displeasure, to eat at most of these dining establishments. Throughout my experiences I have created the hierarchy of middle-level chain restaurants.

At the bottom of the hierarchy is none other than Bennigan’s. Starting from the big green sign, the entire experience was below satisfactory. Between the fact that I had never actually been to a Bennigan’s before and how the place was almost empty, I could tell others agree with its placement on the hierarchy. The service was average but the food reminded me more of cafeteria food than a food of a restaurant.

Next comes Houlihan’s. Barely better then Bennigan’s, Houlihan’s ranks next to the bottom. Not only was the food clearly all pre-made, the waiting staff almost caused an allergic reaction after being asked numerous times if the potato skins had sesame seeds. Going into dinner I knew it wouldnʼt rank too high on the hierarchy because it was attached to a Holiday Inn.

As we get to the middle of the hierarchy, the level of food and service jumps significantly. Friendlyʼs places third on the hierarchy of middle-level chain restaurants. The food is just above decent, but the atmosphere is a little much for a meal—with babies all over and the workers trying too hard to act “friendly” when it is obvious they do not want to be there. However, when it came time for ice cream, Friendlyʼs proved why it isnʼt at the bottom of the hierarchy

A close second on the hierarchy is Chili’s. Always a good meal, Chili’s comes in only behind one other eatery. From the appetizers to the main courses, Chili’s is a well-rounded restaurant. Although the food is great, keeping Chili’s out of the number one spot is the service. The waiting staff did not seem observant of its tables, taking its time to check on the customers.

Finally, the restaurant that sits atop the hierarchy of middle-level chain restaurants is T.G.I. Friday’s. When you walk into the restaurant you really do say T.G.I.F. The service was great and the food is even better. The Jack Daniels sauce goes well with everything on the menu. As for the desserts, they have so many options and all are extremely good. For all these reasons, T.G.I. Friday’s highest on the hierarchy.