Most grocery stores do sell basically the same products.
I believe Ted was saying the same thing I’m saying. That IF he wants Oreos, it doesn’t matter where they come from. They’re Oreos. They require no manipulation.
But, when he wants to go have a hamburger, he doesn’t want McDonald’s because the product ordered is a pre-formed soy/beef patty thrown on a flat-top. He’d rather have a hamburger that is hand-formed from real beef and grilled. That requires manipulation – and doesn’t happen often in chain restaurants because the more an ingredient is manipulated the less likely there will be consitency across locations. So, while the two burgers ultimately came from the same "store" they aren’t the same product. Those two burgers are not like the oreos.
I do see the apples vs. oranges thing, and that was actually my point in my original post. My big issue is quality and if you’re buying Oreos they’re the same "quality" whether you buy them at a Mom and Pop grocery or at Wegman’s. Grocery stores don’t manipulate their products much, so chain or family-owned, the products aren’t a lot different. Consistency (of quality) is a non-issue. The quality of the product is going to be the same whereever it’s bought.
But in a restaurant, it is the main issue. If there’s one location, an owner doesn’t have near the worry about consistency and is completely comfortable buying all raw ingredients and manipulating them. But in a multi-location concept, an owner does have to worry about consistency. It’s his main concern. Then quality often ends up suffering.
If quality is your main reason to dislike chain restaurants, Ted’s "Apples vs. Oranges" absolutely applies.