“Family-friendly chain restaurants, particularly the slightly more upscale operations in malls, have redefined what is a tolerable delay, said consultant Ronald Gorodesky, president of Restaurant Advisory Services in Blue Bell.
“We got trained,” Gorodesky said. “Over the last 20 years, and more so the last 10, we have become comfortable with the idea that we often have to wait.”
…Aided by aggressive marketing and kid-friendly menus, chains have become the Goliaths of suburban family dining, Gorodesky said.
At risk of becoming victims of their own success, some national chains are taking measures to mollify diners.
“I think you have to have a wait,” said Ben Novello, president of Outback Steakhouse, which has 782 locations. Patrons like “a busy, happening place.”