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  #1  
Old 13 March 2007, 08:20 AM
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Throw Tomato Applebee's doesn't cook

Comment: Can you confirm or disprove the "fact" that Applebee's uses
nothing but microwaves and deep fryers to prepare the food it serves?

My boyfriend told me that a friend of his who worked as a "cook" for
Applebee's told him that they didn't actually cook anything there, just
used microwaves to heat pre-cooked food.

Just a few weeks ago, a close friend participated in a fundraiser in which
she an her co-workers served food at Applebee's for tips (which were
donated to a local charity). She confirmed the pervasive use of
microwaves instead of grills or stove tops.

I'd like to know if this is true. I don't eat at Applebee's anyway (the
food is disgusting), but I would like to know the facts.
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  #2  
Old 13 March 2007, 09:20 AM
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Well, if the steaks are microwaved/deep fried, they come prepackaged with grill marks and a bit of searing on the outside.
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  #3  
Old 13 March 2007, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantei Kid View Post
Well, if the steaks are microwaved/deep fried, they come prepackaged with grill marks and a bit of searing on the outside.
While I have no doubt that the OP is nonsense, I have seen frozen meats come with "grill marks" on them, presumably to make them look home cooked.
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  #4  
Old 13 March 2007, 10:56 AM
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Default You're on the right track .....

Restaurants live or die on portion control, which reduces the involvement of the cook in the end product.

Even things that are cooked on premises are, in chain restaurants at least, supplier-delivered in single table sizes along with instructions on how to reheat or "finish cooking" them. You know those little individual loaves of fresh-baked breads? Delivered frozen along with their cute little serving boards.

Let's all go get Chinese! I've never seen a frozen entree enter a wok.
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  #5  
Old 13 March 2007, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chillas View Post
I have no doubt that the OP is nonsense
Nope, it's true. My uncle is an Applebee's manager, and told me that the foods come pre-packaged, and all they have to do is heat them up. Including the steaks with "grill marks" on them.

This explains the frozen mashed potatoes I once had.
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  #6  
Old 13 March 2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm View Post
Nope, it's true. My uncle is an Applebee's manager, and told me that the foods come pre-packaged, and all they have to do is heat them up. Including the steaks with "grill marks" on them.

This explains the frozen mashed potatoes I once had.
Oh dear! That's ... disturbing. I think I will no longer be frequenting Applebee's.
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  #7  
Old 13 March 2007, 12:19 PM
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I wouldn't be surprised if all chains operate this way. Why do you think that they all taste the same no matter what town you are in?

My son worked at Chilis and I don't know about all, but much of their food comes already prepared too. I think the burgers are cooked freshly but I don't know - I'll ask him when he gets home tonight.
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  #8  
Old 13 March 2007, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snapdragonfly View Post
I wouldn't be surprised if all chains operate this way. Why do you think that they all taste the same no matter what town you are in?

My son worked at Chilis and I don't know about all, but much of their food comes already prepared too. I think the burgers are cooked freshly but I don't know - I'll ask him when he gets home tonight.
I'm about done with Chilis. Their food seems to be tending toward the bland side. I had a burger there that was just plain cooked meat, no seasoning whatsoever. Tasted like cardboard.

My wife and I have become decent cooks; there are few restaurants we frequent that cook better than we do at home, barring "exotic" food like chinese or lebanese.
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  #9  
Old 13 March 2007, 01:31 PM
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Applebee's has to be one of the last places I would go to eat, Mcdonald's would beat it out any day. I find there food flavorless, and well soggy and disgusting. Not to mention the wait staff, and I have been to atleast 2 different ones. Which isnt much but the food and wait staff was horrible at both locations.
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  #10  
Old 13 March 2007, 01:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enchanting_eyes View Post
Applebee's has to be one of the last places I would go to eat... ...I find there food flavorless, and well soggy and disgusting. Not to mention the wait staff,
soggy and disgusting? yerk.
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  #11  
Old 13 March 2007, 01:37 PM
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I have major trouble believing this is every Applebee's in the world. The stuff just doesn't taste microwaved to me. But even if it's true, who cares, since it doesn't taste microwaved. I've very rarely had anything taste bad at an Applebee's, probably one of my favorite places.
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  #12  
Old 13 March 2007, 01:44 PM
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Really when you think about it, thats about the only way TO handle it at chain restaurants.

First, they have high turnover... meaning by the time they've taught a cook how to make everything on a 30 item menu he's probably about to quit for a better job.

Second, there is some variation between the different chains at least among the signature dishes. Seasonings and the like, recipes basically. If they taught the cooks how to actually MAKE that dish from scratch it's a huge risk in terms of corporate secrets getting out.

Third, transporting frozen goods is cheaper and easier than transporting them in thier more fragile raw state generally.

Fourth there are time limitations -- some dishes would take so long to prepare from a raw state that the only way TO get them out onto the tables in anything approaching a reasonable time frame is to pre-cook as much of it as possible before hand.

Lastly, it's becoming more difficult to find people who will take a barely over minimum wage job who actually know the basics of cooking anything. Most chain restaurants only pay maybe $9 or $10 an hour in my area for example.

The exception to alot of these is places where the cooking is part of the "experience" -- where watching things get made is part of the ambiance so to speak. Like the tortillas at On The Border -- most OTB's have cute little chambers where you get to watch someone make the tortillas lol.

Honestly, I'm not worried about it -- when I go out to eat, I'm effectively paying for the convience of NOT having to cook it myself! Or sometimes it's to play my favorite game of "Guess How To Make This At Home" lol!
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  #13  
Old 13 March 2007, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Neeva View Post
Fourth there are time limitations -- some dishes would take so long to prepare from a raw state that the only way TO get them out onto the tables in anything approaching a reasonable time frame is to pre-cook as much of it as possible before hand.
Know what sucks? In our local Applebees, it still takes an hour to get your food. Knowing that all they have to do is unwrap it and nuke it makes the wait that much more annoying.
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  #14  
Old 13 March 2007, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hambubba View Post
soggy and disgusting? yerk.
Im glad you found it funny

The fries are really soggy, plus they might just be soggingly ( is that a word? if not it is now.) disgusting.

OH were you talking about the wait staff being soggy and disgusting, because the one girl was just plain soggy and that one guy well he was a bit disgusting ( that might be due to the fact, that he has one hell of a sit right by his eye, it looked like it was pulsating, and would just pop any sec.)

Last edited by Enchanting_eyes; 13 March 2007 at 02:11 PM. Reason: soggily is a word however
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  #15  
Old 13 March 2007, 02:10 PM
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Somehow I think "just have to unwrap it and nuke it" is an exaggeration. Are these really just your common everyday household microwaves? I'm sure that's not the only prep that goes into it anyways. Even way back in the day when I worked at McD's the process of making a simple cheeseburger was more than just tossing a premade one in a microwave.
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  #16  
Old 13 March 2007, 02:19 PM
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It wouldn't surprise me a bit. In fact, it would really explain the quality of the food I've had at Applebees. It absolutely tastes microwaved or just heated up to me. Not fresh, ever.

I'm not surprised, though. As everyone else has said, it's a time saver and a portion control thing.
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  #17  
Old 13 March 2007, 02:23 PM
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I've noticed as much all the times I've been unfortunate enough to eat there. The food certainly tastes frozen and microwaved a lot of the time.

Give me Chipotle any day of the week over any of the chains. I could subsist on their guacamole and cilantro rice for days. I'm sure of it.
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  #18  
Old 13 March 2007, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spam & Cookies-mmm View Post
Know what sucks? In our local Applebees, it still takes an hour to get your food. Knowing that all they have to do is unwrap it and nuke it makes the wait that much more annoying.

The better to you get you to drink and buy "appetizers", my dear.
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  #19  
Old 13 March 2007, 03:22 PM
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having worked in chain restaurants, a lot of things yes, come frozen, but often are cooked to order and not in microwaves. some things can't. or aren't feasable to ship frozen. Pasta for one (it's cheaper to pre-boil bulk pasta fresh every day and throw away waste at day end). The day cooks usually spend most of their time preping the kitchen for the night/rush cooks. thawing what they'll need, I don't know for certain about applebees, but yeah the potatoes there are definately frozen... and gross
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  #20  
Old 13 March 2007, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aud 1 View Post
The better to you get you to drink and buy "appetizers", my dear.
They're just wasting trips providing me with free refills.

It never bothered me until I spent a few days in Orlando, and discovered restaurants that provide service that's worthy of a tip.
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