I appreciated the history lesson Mr. Chips, having been on for less than a year.
I agree that we don’t need to discuss places like McDonald’s, BK , et. al, but some chains are regional, so one may not know the merits or lack there of for places like DC’s Silver Diner. And the Sterns, who founded this whole thing, have several reviews of restaurants that are a part of a chain.
Tedbear, I wholeheartily disgree with your apples to oranges theory. Most restaurants on this coast all get their food from the same supplier: Sysco. And sundries products isn’t the only thing that a grocery store sells. They also have meat departments, seafood departments, delicatessens, etc. Jobs were lost when the butcher, fish market, deli, etc were combined in one store. The mom and pop store supplied personal service that large grocers didn’t do. The fact that you don’t see the problem of chain grocers taking over mom and pop or locally owned grocers, is because it’s not a concern of yours. But it’s a concern for some people.
You say: For bulk of my supermarket purchases, a chain has no downside that I can perceive, versus the Mom & Pop grocer. (Or conversely, the Mom & Pop place has no significant advantage that I can perceive.)
So, you’ve drawn a line. In this area chains are bad, and here chains are good. But that’s for you. That’s your mark in the sand. You point out the differences because those are the things you rely on to help you fell comfortable and at ease with your decision. But it’s not fact for everyone.
William’s grocery in North Syracuse NY was a mom and pop store. But it had the largest floor space of any grocery store for years. It had the best butcher, the best baker, the freshest seafood and fish. they knew you when you walked in, at the counters, and in the check out lines. You usually even knew the bagger. And their prices were always lower. But Williams is gone. I’m sure the family with disgree with your idea that it’s apples and oranges. Why did they fail after 70 years? Because they didn’t advertise as much as Wegman’s and P & C. They didn’t havethe money to advertise as much as the chain places, and they lost business. No matter that the deals and quality was better than the competitor.
Now, don’t get me wrong…I LOVE Wegman’s. They have changed quite a bit. Their philosophy is not the same. They’ve actually improved their products and services. Today, it’s a better grocer than back then. But they (along with P & C) did manage to kill off William’s and Sweetheart Grocery Store (which was across the street from Williams)
So, it’s really about where you draw your line. I know people who live in the Village of Liverpool (NY) who only shop at Nichol’s, because they don’t want to lose Nichol’s the same way Williams and Sweetheart fell. I’d like to know if those same people eat at chain restaurants, or just go to the independent restaurants in the same village. It would be an interesting statistic.
You can rationale your decision, and that’s fine, we all have to place our threshold somewhere, but it’s not apples to oranges for everybody.
And, I understand that we, on this board, are here to seek out local places that are unique and not replicated. That’s why I’m here. But if the Sterns can review an In-N-Out, Original Pancake House, Dairy Queen, Five Guys, and Steak-N-Shake AND Whole Food Markets why can’t others at least talk about it without molestation?