EDGE TRADER

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Gas hurting restaurants?

Applebee's blames poor earnings on gas prices! Hmm; somehow this didn't reduce the 2 hour wait at our local Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) last Saturday. I will admit to visiting Applebee's for the occaisional lunch or even dinner if we are desperate and there's no where else to go, but generally we are talking last resort.

It couldn't be the fact that people are tired of eating sizzling chicken at a place with assorted junk and old photos hanging on the wall, could it? Couldn't have anything to do with the competition or the unusually warm summer we are having, could it? Couldn't be the lack of a solid promotion or advertising effort this summer... NO OF COURSE NOT!

There are so many Applebees in my area that they are a gas saving choice - they are generally closest or among the closest to pretty much anyone.

Which brings me to Cracker Barrel. My first experience with Cracker Barrel occurred when driving my family from Orlando to Atlanta. It worked something like this: got on highway, approached first exit, saw sign for Cracker Barrel, approached second exit, saw sign for Cracker Barrel. Approximately 25 Cracker Barrels later, we finally caved in and ate. Couldn't be overbuilding of restaurants? Couldn't be the fact that no one has to get in the car to drive to hot summer weather? Let's be serious: how many times can one human really eat dumplings? Note to Cracker Barrel execs: to combat earnings woes, please consider building restaurants on both the North bound AND South bound sides of each exit - perhaps that will increase traffic!

Ugh...

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