Get to know Grand Rapids (and the world)

Ron, Applebees cook

I’ve read more than a few Reddit posts about secrets of chain restaurants and businesses to not want to eat at Applebees.

And maybe Ron didn’t know this when I met him and began chatting with him about what he does. This being the case, he might not have told me the whole truth. Regardless, it did make me feel better if I ever find myself on the road, with no where else to eat, dining at an Applebees, or Chiles, or whatever other casual dining chain.

Ron wasn’t always a cook at restaurants. He spent many years in an auto factory until he had enough years under his belt to “retire.” His pension is nice and all, but he decided to continue to work to make his spending cash last a lot longer.

He said he’s only one of the kitchen employees that doesn’t have a second job, so he ends up working a whole lot of weird hours. Sometimes working until 2 a.m. in the morning and being back at 9 a.m. to open up.

After he talked about how the hours suck many times, I asked him about the food.

Is it fresh? 

He said almost all of it is, and cooked to order.

Although, he did admit the fried foods and sauces are mostly precooked and simply refried.

The cost of the menu items at those restaurants always blow my mind. Two entrees for $20. Half off appetizers. He said it’s possible, even with fresh foods; but that it comes down to the cooks.

They can’t mess up. If they do, they get in trouble.

But there’s a computer system that tries to make it as easy as possible. But sometimes it moves too fast, and all Ron can do is look at it, and say, “I’m only human.”

Ron was a nice man, and although I won’t make it a habit to eat at Applebees, he made me a little less apprehensive to it.

 

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