Applebee’s is no longer content to encourage you to eat good in the neighborhood. They want you to boogie down on the outskirts of town. Dance all night at the town’s one stoplight. Get your swerve on by the county Chevron. Yes, Applebee’s is going disco.
America’s fourth favorite (just a guess, I’m no scientist, but they don’t have Cheddar Bay biscuits or unlimited salad) restaurant chain is going glam, with franchises across the country dimming the lights and cranking the beats at 10:00pm to promote a club-like atmosphere for suburban singles.
I have no business sounding like such a snobby shrew: for all the local restaurants and gastropubs and cafes I enjoy, I live in a city that may be the 12th largest in size but has got to be first in the “Can’t Swing a Cat without Hitting a Chain Restaurant” category. And this woman loves a Bloomin’ Onion.
But a club at Applebee’s? Did the Florida chamber of commerce where this idea originated think the staff was asking to stack food into neat little triangles speared withva frilly toothpick? Or did they look around and think, “Hell, it beats dancing at Chili’s?” Either way, just as Applebee’s didn’t ask our permission to inexplicably adorn its walls with french horns and Point Break posters, they’re not asking our permission to go all Studio 54 on us. And if this idea insists of existing, I insist that they take it seriously and start lining up celebrity endorsements now. Because you know what makes a bad idea better? Famous people being paid to carp about it…or, even, better bringing shame to their own names while promoting yours.
So, here you go, Club Bee’s promoters. Here is your can’t-miss road to celeb cred:
- “You belong at Applebee’s” or so they say. Why not hire Pat Benatar to rework her soaring rock ballad “We Belong” for TV spots. ”Whenever you deny you’re hungry for more cold bruuu-scheeeeeetttttaaaaaaa. Dance awhiiiiiiiiile, dance awhile, drink too much, you’ll think bet-ter…”
- Close down Club Bee’s every night with a tribute to Donna Summer. Film it for your awkward Club Bee’s YouTube channel: “Last dance, last chance, for stu-u-uff [under 550 calories on our new Weight Watchers menu until we change it for February Fiesta]!”
- Reunite the surviving Beach Boys to rewrite and rerelease ”Kokomo,” work in lyrics about “Bahama Mama” and “John Stamos is-a doing blow off a single mom’s abs…Johnny, take it slow.”
- Ask Carly Rae Jepsen to appear at the opening of every new Applebee’s. “Kill Me Maybe” will soon be a YouTube sensation.
- Invite Drake for some delicious spin dip. Invite Chris Brown to try your new dessert shooters. Sit back and wait.
- Hire a Kardashian to show up at the Red Lobster next door.
How else might Club Bee’s go from restaurant chain to off the chain? And where, Applebee’s corporate, is my gift card?