After seeing his parents interact with a local Applebee's on Facebook, Chip Zdarky noticed that unlike Chili's, the prettiest girl in school with 12 billion likes, Applebee's was mostly talking to itself. Just like the lonely but very friendly kid you sometimes encounter in a middle school lunch room, Applebee's was cheerfully sending out questions about salads and boneless chicken wings out into a cold and unforgiving void. Zdarsky decided to change that by engaging the franchise in conversation over facebook. And the restaurant responded.
While it isn't clear whether Zdarsky ever visits the Applebee's to hang out in person (that might ruin the magic?) he and the franchise have been having a bromance of epic proportions on Facebook for the past several months, discussing the merits of half and full-sized portions (always the full, dude! Always the full!) and whether Zdarsky would be having a burrito or chicken for dinner in the comments of Applebee's posts. So I guess it's more like a friendship with a nice older person who just really cares about your health and well-being. And as you would do with a friend who is nice but a little bit hapless, Zdarsky has been protecting the franchise's honor online, telling people who hate on the facebook page to back off.
While this is touching in a weird way (very weird!), I wonder if this is what the future holds: All of us befriending our own franchise and gently guiding them through the internet, protecting them from harm.
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