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Date check: Chain restaurant test

I read someone lamenting on Twitter about the fact that they had been taken out to dinner at a chain restaurant.  I guess it didn’t go over well.  Would it bother you if your date took you to some horrendous place for a date or to dine?

When you talk about dating compatibility, do you ever think, “Gosh, if we don’t have the same taste in restaurants, it will never work out?”  I’m being facetious, but you would be surprised how this becomes a thing on the dating scene!

I’ve even seen the chain restaurant test to gauge every thing from a person’s personal taste, financial/social status, to snobby attitude checks.  This basically involves suggesting/going to a chain restaurant for the express purpose of getting a reaction.

Now I am a firm believer in having common interests, world outlooks, and values because it’s important to connect on deeper levels.  When it comes to harshly judging each other based on things  like taste in music and food, it seems like an excuse to be elitist with people.

I would be shocked and appalled (read: really annoyed) if I saw a perfectly good potential romance go off the rails because someone judged harshly on a restaurant selection.  (This coming from a self-professed foodie and fangirl of fine dining)

Would it bother you to go to a chain restaurant for a date? Do you think the difference in culture and taste is the sign of deeper incompatibility?

Do we have to like the exact same things in order for it to work?

I went to Decatur’s newest BBQ joint Burnt Fork and read about the owners.  Apparently the owner’s wife is not a fan of meat.  Guess what is on the menu? Meatless options! You just marinate on that..(sorry for the bad pun).

By Wise Diva, Misadventures in Atlanta Dating Blog

206 comments Add your comment

Sweet Pea

March 17th, 2011
6:32 am

Good Morning All!,

I wouldn’t balk at chain ones(Applebees, Houstons, Chow Baby..you catch my drift) simply because it’s the thought that counts, and it may be all that he can afford at the time or perhaps he hasn’t been introduced to eats from other cultures. I enjoy variety, and my thought is our preferences should be revealed in our conversations. Of course, if that is the ONLY type we frequent and there is no flexibility during special occasions then Houston we got a problem! I’d rather have SOME compatibility when it comes to dining but surely wouldn’t see it as a deal breaker…we could dine somewhere that caters to both palates!

Off topic: Guys…yesterday was hilarious!!! Leggs/ARed….I feel you on trimming the hedges as my mom always emphasized the importance of cleanliness of what lies beneath! Cleaning and powdering down was the regime til I learnt in da skreets too! Have a blast today!
.

Sweet Pea

March 17th, 2011
6:35 am

oops regimen not regime

COME ON NOW

March 17th, 2011
7:12 am

Good morning,

Is this really the topic for the day? Ugh. Lame. Who cares if we go on a date to a chain restaurant? Chain restaurants are perfectly fine. If someone is really going to nitpick about eating at a chain restaurant then they have ISSUES.

MrsG

March 17th, 2011
7:18 am

Yesterday was the 9 year anniversary of when my husband and I first went out. McDonald’s for breakfast. It has to start somewhere and it was not planned, just happened. It is not the destination that makes it a great vacation – it is the person you created the memory with that makes it sweet! We still go to McDonald’s every so often for breakfast!

destin dawg

March 17th, 2011
7:18 am

lots of folks who have credit card debt…. spend way too much on dining out … and you pay sales tax and tip on top which adds 20 to 25 %…. Outback, Ruby Tuesday, Chili’s, even Golden Coral, a few of the better Chinese and Sweet Tomatos suit us just fine !!! and don’t waste $$$$$ on drinks… have a cocktail at home 1st…. drink water… it’s healthy !!!!! Obese or over weight and in debt ???? eat home and pay off your car !!! trust me.. you don’t want a high maintenance spouse !!!

Name (required)

March 17th, 2011
7:43 am

I’d have to be near starving to death to eat at Applebees, Ruby Tuesday, or TGI Fridays and I’m way under the weight limit to even be allowed into a Golden Corral. Aside from that, there are some really good chains around here and even some stomachable national chains. I prefer to support local small businesses, but I really like the Chipotle chain and their committment to local suppliers, so I go there every so often. (I know we’re not talking fast food in this thread, but bear with me)

I have no idea how places like Hard Rock Cafe and Olive Garden stay open, however. Truly awful, uninspired offerings.

Jason

March 17th, 2011
7:46 am

It’s things like this that makes it hard to feel sorry for my fellow singles. I don’t like chain restaurants and have never taken a date to one… well I did once when I was 15 but in the little po’dunk Alabama town I grew up in, Quincy’s was the fanciest place in town. Even so, I can’t imagine going to a chain restaurant being a deal breaker. Sure, if that’s all they ever wanted to go to and all they ever ordered was chicken tenders, it would be an annoyance and negatively effect the relationship but for the first few dates, who cares? I spend those getting to know the person. Perhaps they wanted a place to wouldn’t distract from what should be the main focus of the date: the two people on it!

Seriously folks, if you are so picky that something like this is going to be more important than the person sitting across the table from you, then you’re really too picky to be in a relationship. If it isn’t this, it will be something else. Enjoy being the mayor of Lonelytown with no term limitations.

Big Tim

March 17th, 2011
7:57 am

If the lady don’t like Red Lobster, I put it in her butt. Works every time…

Lady

March 17th, 2011
8:09 am

Wow Big Time! LOL

the easter bunny

March 17th, 2011
8:15 am

That is a great question. I really like it. When I go to Atlanta I look for a great rib joint. But, I am digressing about taking a date to a chain restaurant. Actually, I do not like eating out, however, if my date thought that chain restaurants were low class, I would say, we can always eat at your place. When I first started eating out Howard Johnsons was the only chain restaurant. It was before McDonalds. When I first started eating out, there were only two lane highways.
You know what I like, diners. I would take my date to a diner. I like the $2.00 blue plate special.
Which reminds me, my personal trainer is coming this morning, I am going to suggest that we eat at the Elks Club, they have a special everyday in the cocktail lounge. I prefer taking a date to a private club, like the City Club in Atlanta, it is so exclusive there are no memberships, you only get in if your momma or poppa were members. Now that is a way to impress your honey. Pointing out the CEO of Coca-Cola at the next table. There is a quaint custom, if there is something special that one of the members is enjoying, they may ask you to try it. I love top of the line private clubs. Nothing succeeds like success.

Lady

March 17th, 2011
8:23 am

daggit meant Tim…..lol funny!

MC Hammock

March 17th, 2011
8:25 am

If something like eating at certain level restaurants, never eating at chain restaurants or anything such as that becomes a pivotal point, then YOU aren’t worth the price it would take to TAKE you to those places. People, it’s a trade off world and you have to present some value to your SO in order for them to WANT take you someplace special. If they NEVER do it, then that’s a horse of a different color. If you aren’t fun, no dice. If you take everything too seriously, you’re out. If you don’t tend to my needs and only expect me to cater to yours, Nyet. If you have to constantly be entertained and can’t live with sometimes spending time together, it’s 4th and 25…time to punt. Those things cost money and you can’t be throwing that stuff away or go into debt, just to meet “the Bar”. You gotta give some a$$ to get some a$$ and that goes both ways.

Lady

March 17th, 2011
8:26 am

interesting I was reminded recently that the era I use to rip in run in atl socially has changed and there are plenty new and exciting quaint spots to frequent……..It was an interesting convo bc I was stuck in the early 2000s when I started naming stuff….lol……digressing lol :)

True Love & Waffle Fries

March 17th, 2011
8:28 am

The trick is to finding a girl who will STILL want to spend time with you after you take her to Chick-fil-a or O’Charley’s.

That, my friends, is LOVE.

True Love & Waffle Fries

March 17th, 2011
8:29 am

CORRECTION:

The trick is “to find” a girl who will STILL want to spend time with you after you take her to Chick-fil-a or O’Charley’s.

That, my friends, is LOVE.

Reggie

March 17th, 2011
8:31 am

@MC, I co-sign your post. Too many people, both women and men, expect their needs to be top of the agenda. If you think all you need to get by with are your looks and money, guess again. If you have a hard time getting a second or third date, maybe the problem is YOU. I heard Ron White put it best “Maybe after all of these dates that weren’t for you or didn’t meet your criteria, there is one common factor in this triangle of love. Maybe it’s ME?”

Sweet Pea~Happy Paddy's Day

March 17th, 2011
8:37 am

I guess a self-professed foodie girl with fine dining taste would break out in cold sweats if her date pulled up at Roadhouse!

Date: I can’t wait to taste some roasted peanuts while we wait to be seated.

Foodie Girl: Uh did you say something?? (blotting the sweat from her face while shaking uncontrollably)

Date: What’s wrong??? Did I say something??

Foodie Girl: Well I’m allergic to peanuts and the thought of walking on shells to be seated is so unbecoming to me besides this restaurant doesn’t exude the ambience I’m accustomed to.

Date: Oh ok well would you prefer Picadillys? They have cloth napkins and a wide variety of selections to fulfill your palate without the peanuts! Oh and they have the Dilly Specials! :)

Foodie Girl: hmmmmmmmmmm Why don’t we go to Bones?

Date: Why don’t I take your arse home and I’ll go eat alone?!!!

Yes She Is Cute

March 17th, 2011
8:38 am

Good morning everyone! How are y’all feeling?

I didn’t realize it was even an issue or that I should be offended if taken out to a chain restaurant. In all actuality I think its a practical place to start on a date 1. you know whats on the menu, 2. you are familiar with the type of atmospher and 3. its economical. Now by chain restaurants if you mean Friday’s Chili’s, Carrabas yes thats cool…But if you are talking Burger King, KFC or McDonalds then No that is not cool for a first date. If you wanna be cheap at least take me to a cafe or a DINER geez. Be creative about it.

Dan - Simply....Superior

March 17th, 2011
8:39 am

It’s the “adult high school” syndrome.

Some people just can’t get over wanting to be (or relive) “popular” among their peers.

You see in the ladies that like to go to nice restaurants, won’t eat at dinner just to take the bag to work the next day.

Be happy that someone wants to spend time with you, regardless of the locale. Get to know the person first prior to judging them based on externalities. In total, act like an adult looking for someone to spend your free time with, as opposed to a child looking for someone to entertain you.

Leggs

March 17th, 2011
8:54 am

Good morning!

Would it bother you if your date took you to some horrendous place for a date or to dine? BUT, OF COURSE with “horrendous” being the operative word!

Unfortunately, I’m a picky eater (have gotten better over the year). Chain restaurants do not bother me. Heck we all know some of the best food can be found at local “dive” restaurants. Ok, these aren’t chains. However, don’t take me to Applebees. @Dan, I know you like this place (lol), but their menu stinks!

I’m rebelling, instead of wearing anything green, I have on blue from head to toe (even my jewelry).

Yes She Is Cute

March 17th, 2011
9:03 am

Oh yeah, I guess it is St. Patty’s Day huh… Happy St. Patty’s day. I have no green on whatsoever and I really am not in the mood to be pinched. At least not that kind of pinched.

Sweet Pea~Happy Paddy's Day

March 17th, 2011
9:05 am

Like most have said it is about spending time with a person to get acquainted moreso than the locale. I don’t have a problem as stated with frequenting chain restaurants but would hope that for special occasions WE both contribute to taking it a step up as there are chain restaurants at every level. As for anyone expecting fine dining right out of the gate would be considered shallow to me unless that person has the money to blow, a desire to do it, and you are both on the same socioeconomical level. There’s no need to grow broke by trying to impress! Just talked with a friend of mine who shared that a guy she knew was depleting his 401K to wine and dine a lady he liked.. :/ If she can’t appreciate your time, money, and efforts then good riddance!

MC~ Like your 8:25 post

Purple Rain

March 17th, 2011
9:09 am

I rarely eat out and I would hardly if ever eat at a chain restaurant. Not because I’m uppity its just that all of our home cooked meals currently and growing up were made from scratch..yes we make our own pasta raise our own meat and grow most of our own spices/herbs. No Lawry’s, or garlic and onion powder etc. That being said I just don’t like eating out unless the ingredients are very fresh and you just don’t find that in chain places. Also if we are actually going out to eat its a special occasion so why waste it in a chain? We enjoy home cooking and its just a daily way of life and family time. When dating my I could not wait to show off my cooking skills…even for a first date I would throw a picnic basket together..player player. Lol

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 17th, 2011
9:09 am

Of for the love of “Cristos”. Good grief.

Okay, I will buy that it is not impressive to take a lady to McDonalds on a first date, but if the woman thinks it is “beneath her” to go to Pappadeaux, or Carrabas, or Ippolitos, or even Roadhouse or Outback then she can kiss my backside.

I make plenty of money, but my life doesn’t revolve around Ruth’s Chris, Chops, or Rays On the River. Will I go to those places…sometimes. However, I don’t need a woman in my life who’s primary (maybe ONLY) concern is how much I spend on her. This ticks me off, and not much does. She may look like Christie Brinkley, she may have a better bod than Jennifer Lopez, but if she is that shallow, I’ll throw her back in a heartbeat.

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 17th, 2011
9:16 am

“if she is that shallow, I’ll throw her back in a heartbeat” and HAVE, more than once.

MC Hammock

March 17th, 2011
9:20 am

Like I said, the woman has to present some sort of worth for the man to want to spend that much on her. The man has to present some sort of value for her to go out with him. I went out with a gorgeous lady a couple of times with a body that would stop a train. Problem was, she thought she deserved the Primo treatment all the time because of the way she looked. She turned out to be SUCH a drag and SUCH a bore. Then when I didn’t call her after the second date, she sent me an email saying that there were 50 guys that she could replace me with. All I said was “Well, then go to it because I;m not going to be there to begin with.” She couldn’t believe that some guy wouldn’t do anything just to be seen with her. It sounds impersonal, but BOTH sides have to present something that other person would want besides hot looks (women) or money (men). Eventually, you have to interact and that stuff goes only so far.

Lady

March 17th, 2011
9:24 am

Like I said, the woman has to present some sort of worth for the man to want to spend that much on her. The man has to present some sort of value for her to go out with him. <———————So True!

Randyt (aka Been There, Done That, Got a Closet FULL of T-Shirts)

March 17th, 2011
9:25 am

@ MCH re: 9:20 post. Right!!! Looks are only a small part of a truly desireable woman. Looks are good for a one night stand, but a relationship…has to be a WHOLE LOT MORE, like a personality, intelligence, and a heart for instance (okay, an over-sexed deaf/mute who owns a liquor store does have some appeal, I will admit.

AmazonRed™ - 213 will regulate!

March 17th, 2011
9:28 am

Morning all -

Do I prefer chain restaurants, especially on a first date? No. Will I dismiss someone for taking me to one? No. I’m good with the bigger picture, a date is really about getting to know the person you’re with, the locale shouldn’t bear much weight (unless it’s a fast food restaurant or a strip club… RUN :lol: )

I do think living in Atlanta, it’s not hard to think outside of your local Applebee’s and Red Lobster…but hey it is what it is.

Dan - Simply....Superior

March 17th, 2011
9:30 am

@MCH

Those looks fade, and that money (can/has) will run out.

When I thought about settling down, I thought beyond the looks, etc. I thought about personality, character, traits that make a person not only tolerable but desirable to be around long term.

When I was just dating, I could give a fugg. More often than not, I felt like old girl in your scenario “they” should want to be seen with me.

I guess it really does come down to what you’re looking for.

AmazonRed™ - 213 will regulate!

March 17th, 2011
9:44 am

LOL. Sweet Pea, just read your comment about yesterday. Yeah, those streetz be talking! :lol:

Fion

March 17th, 2011
9:47 am

@ Big Tim
“If the lady don’t like Red Lobster, I put it in her butt. Works every time…”

Ay man, Use-ah nasty motherswinger, ain’t ya!

AmazonRed™ - 213 will regulate!

March 17th, 2011
9:50 am

Like I said, the woman has to present some sort of worth for the man to want to spend that much on her.

There are plenty of restaurants that are not chains that cost the same as chains. It’s really more about exposure and creativity when chosing one. Chosing a chain is a no brainer, but with a lil thought (and just a lil) you can chose something that you can’t find in every major American city.

Purple Rain

March 17th, 2011
9:51 am

Never take a date where they have pictures of the meal on the menu…lol…because it never looks the same when you get it

Leggs

March 17th, 2011
9:51 am

@Fion ~ have you noticed that everything he says he ends with “put in her butt. Works every time!”

AmazonRed™ - 213 will regulate!

March 17th, 2011
9:52 am

Leggs – My mother loves her some Applebee’s too. We didn’t know what they were when I went off to college, so we stopped in while she was visiting and has been hooked ever since. Mainly because it brings back a good memory for her (and apparently they are banned with in the L.A. city limits…you can’t find em out there!!! )

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

March 17th, 2011
9:53 am

Morning
This is one of those “whatever” issues for me. Most of the people who do things like judge based on what restaurant you take them to are people who are a paycheck from being on the streets. They’re judging you based on a lifestyle they can’t achieve themselves. GTFOH with that. And are all chain restaurants bad…because Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris, Ray’s (On the River, In the City, Killer Creek), Legal’s, Fogo de Chao are all chain restaurants too. Eat where you like the food, period. It’s also funny that alot of times, people who decry the chain restaurants aren’t really any more eclectic in their tastes than anyone else. Pull up to an Indian, Ethiopian, Korean, Greek, Senagalese spot and watch the look on their face. I guess they just want a non-”chain” place to get a burger or chicken tenders.

Purple Rain

March 17th, 2011
9:53 am

It takes a lot of thought and effort to take her to Applebee’s. Lol. Why would you do that if you are trying to impress? Might as well break out the 2for1 coupon too on that first date…besides you why take a dat to a chain when in fact you will probably find more women at a chain who look better than your date lol

Fion

March 17th, 2011
9:55 am

@ Leggs

yeah, and it’s funny as hell. At least i hope Big Tim is tryin to be funny. Because if he ain’t, he really is one NASTY ………..

Purple Rain

March 17th, 2011
9:55 am

Chain deez nutz!Lol

AmazonRed™ - 213 will regulate!

March 17th, 2011
9:57 am

Dreams – As a person who has friends who scoff at chains, it’s not about price…because there expensive chains out there like you mentioned. It’s more about creativity. It takes no thought to pick a chain. It can also speak to someone never wanting to try new off the beaten path type restaurants because they never want to venture outside of what’s familiar.

Leggs

March 17th, 2011
10:02 am

“Eat where you like the food, period.” That’s my stance as well.

Leggs

March 17th, 2011
10:03 am

What if there are only chains in a 20 mile radius. How far should one drive to avoid a chain (LOL).

MC Hammock

March 17th, 2011
10:06 am

I’ve never been one that looks at “the restaurant” as entertainment. It’s food and it fills me up so I can go entertain/be entertained. Maybe it’s me, but if you go to a restaurant for your entertainment, you have a pretty boring life. Besides, I’ve never, ever thought any restaurant can cook seafood better than I can and no one can make a steak any better than I do. Specialty dishes, well that’s different. But all it is is food. I just don’t see the exotic lure that ranks so high. You can go for atmosphere, I agree. But to tell me “Oh, you MUST go taste the _______! It’s to DIE for!” Ummm…no it isn’t. There are a few things that ARE that good, but I’ve yet to have it served to me on a plate in a restaurant.

Purple Rain

March 17th, 2011
10:09 am

I will go out for sweets and such because I can’t make those.

MC Hammock

March 17th, 2011
10:12 am

And I taught tennis lessons to one of the founders of Buckhead Life Group and I could eat at any of their restaurants for free (I did have to pay for the tip). I tried them all. Most were good (two were extremely disappointing because of the serving sizes), but none would make me think that if I never went there again, I wouldn’t lose a wink of sleep. But I sure did impress a few bimbos that I met…lol

Sassy Me..:-)

March 17th, 2011
10:17 am

Eat where you like the food, period

Plain and sipmle.

You can go to a chain restaurant and have a wonderful time and turn around and go to a “really nice place” and have a totally crappy time…which leads me to say it shouldn’t really totally be about where you go but just enjoy the person you’re with. To me that can make or break it…but that’s just my .02…

kimmie

March 17th, 2011
10:18 am

Morning Gang!

Dreams – High-5ing your post. My sentiments exactly. You are so right, most folks that do all the looking down the nose at chain wouldn’t know how to act if you took them somewhere really out of the box!

non-chain chicken tenders – :lol:

I’m a bit of a foodie, but I don’t expect everyone I meet to be so also. Cooking and food just happen to be a passion/hobby of mine. It’s not everyone else’s passion though. I recognize that. I also understand that sometimes it’s just a matter of exposure. Everyone has not had the same opportunities and exposure that I have had. My only issue would be that someone is close-minded and unwilling to try new things. I’ve bumped heads on more than one occasion with a few of my friends. With men, most have been pretty open to at least trying. My fiance’ and his kids are actually coming around. I have introduced them and his extended family to a few unfamiliar dishes and they have really enjoyed and embraced them.

abc

March 17th, 2011
10:23 am

Except for a few places within Atlanta city limits, there’s almost nothing BUT chains, and they mostly universally suck — but, where else to eat lunch?

Besides, catfish at Folks is okay. It ain’t gourmet, nope… Shane’s has a passable BBQ sandwich. Williamson’s, Slopes etc. just kinda suck, can’t figure out why people like that. The best steak in town comes off my own grill.

DreamsMaterialize "Free Me-Lo"

March 17th, 2011
10:26 am

Lame. Who cares if we go on a date to a chain restaurant? Chain restaurants are perfectly fine.
COME As long as they leave the coupon at home right. ;-)

It’s more about creativity.
ARed I’m all about creativity. I like food that many wouldn’t even think about eating. So, if that’s their beef with the chains, then I’m cool with that. But don’t get the scrunch face and ask where the utensils are at the Ethiopian spot…be creative and eat it with your hands. lol