Talk:Chain restaurants in the United States and Canada

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Article status[edit]

I still don't think this is much of an outline. There's still only one top-level header (not counting "See Also"). Powers (talk) 16:28, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

It is already larger than a number of other travel topics and itineraries. How do you want to define the boundary between stub and outline and review existing articles? I started this hoping others would jump in with more ideas, the way the fast food article expanded. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:40, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Maybe the section headers could get some inspiration from the fast food article? Also if I am not entirely mistaken, some chain restaurants / fast food places love to blur the line, with KFC (definitely fast food) marketing in German as "Ist das noch Fast Food?" (is that even fast food any more?). So I fear this is an issue where we should tread with care, lest somebody gets offended for x being fast food or not. Best wishes Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:54, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
I was thinking the simple boundary is if it is counter or table service. --Traveler100 (talk) 16:55, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
Outline vs. Stub has little to do with the length and more to do with whether there is a structure to which content can easily be added. While we're at it, I do have concerns about the title, as fast food restaurants are often chains as well. Powers (talk) 23:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
how about "Casual dining chains"? --Traveler100 (talk) 05:21, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
German Wikivoyage has an article called de:Essen und Trinken in den USA, ie. Eating and drinking in the USA. If the article needs to be renamed, we could consider something along these lines. Also the German article's structure could be used here. ϒpsilon (talk) 05:59, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Stub vs. outline usually refers to the absence of the stock section headers (Come, See, Conquer... get in, get around, eat, drink, sleep and the like). There are very few predefined sections (if any) which must be in a travel topic, as it is the most free-form of all WV article types (even an itinerary usually has Understand, Prepare, Get in, Go), so it's rare to hold a travel topic at "stub" instead of "outline".
"Casual dining chains..." is a reasonable choice for the title; "restaurant chains..." technically does include all of the fast food McDrivel, which already has an article. K7L (talk) 16:00, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Step up from fast food?[edit]

The names I recognize from this list are all what I would consider fast food, and they tend to suck (I'll allow that maybe some of the names I don't know are better). For example, two of the most disgusting meals I ever ate were at an Applebee's branch and a TGI Friday's branch. I'm questioning what we're recommending on this site. Promoting this kind of horrible crap is a far cry from advising people to get fantastic food at stalls in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, et al. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:35, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Pointing out which one are of questionable quality or just not worth visiting is also providing useful information. But like fast food this is a part of American culture so cannot be ignored. I know for those who spend some time in this part of the world it is almost like stating the obvious but for first time visitors we should provide some background information. --Traveler100 (talk) 11:26, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Ikan, "fast food" is counter service. They don't have waitstaff. Powers (talk) 13:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
This is venturing rather close to a collection of Wikivoyage:Listings#Boring places. K7L (talk) 15:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
First, I get the definitional point you're making, Powers. But I agree with K7L. I'm very troubled by the promotion of some really bad food in articles about fast food or other chains that are terrible. What should we do about this? Ikan Kekek (talk) 15:34, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
I'd like to reopen this discussion. I don't think horrible restaurant chains are any kind of "step up" from any other kind of eatery in the U.S. Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:34, 9 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm concerned you might be conflating "chain restaurants I don't like" with "horrible restaurant chains". If Applebee's and Friday's were legitimately horrible, they wouldn't still be in business. You may be spoiled living in NYC, but not every city in the world has a wide variety of high quality independent restaurants making the chains obsolete. Powers (talk) 20:53, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
On the question of "step up", I think there's a clear and obvious difference between a) a counter service restaurant that keeps fried burgers warm under a heat lamp waiting for someone to order them, with food designed to be eaten by hand and served in disposable packaging; and b) a sit-down table-service restaurant with waitstaff, a bar, a wide menu of cooked-to-order meals plated with some attention to presentation on actual stoneware, and at least an attempt to provide a proper dining atmosphere. Powers (talk) 21:01, 10 April 2016 (UTC)
I'm concerned that you think that because something is in business, that's ipso facto a validation of its quality. If all we're doing in this travel guide is recommending for people to do whatever is most popular with the lowest common denominator of tourist, you can count me out - and I mean that seriously. If this site turns into that, I'm outta here! And if you seriously think that this is about being "spoiled" by living in New York, I'd like to introduce you to the site. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:24, 12 April 2016 (UTC)

[Unindent] So anyway, let's get back to the topic: I think the point being made is not that the taste of the food is a step up from fast food but that the level of service is a step up. If that's the case, would anyone object to clarifying the point by writing something like "Chain restaurants are a step up from fast food outlets in terms of service and are commonly considered by patrons to be a step up in atmosphere, too"? Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:01, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Although I do have to again agree with K7L that this is more or less a collection of boring places. There may be some use for it, but listing better "road food" types of places in destination articles would be more useful, as chains are just about always easy to find and one-of-a-kind mom-and-pop restaurants are not. But anyway... Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:05, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Further to my post before the digression: The danger, in my opinion, is that a reader will assume that "step up" refers to the taste of the food and encompasses all of the mentioned restaurant chains by comparison with all of the fast food chains. Powers, if you'd like to post the list of specifics you gave above, that would be more instructive, because the point is that there are objectively observable differences, but nothing more should be concluded from those, as each chain - whether of sit-down restaurants or fast-food restaurants - is different. Ikan Kekek (talk) 10:10, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I think part of the reason why this article and fast food in North America exist, is so we don't have to list boring places in every destination article. By all means, interesting small mom and pop places should emphatically listed in destination articles. Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:48, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I see that point, but do you agree with me about the term "step up" being interpreted by the reader as meaning the food at Applebee's - a sit-down restaurant chain - is better than the food at Popeyes, a fast food restaurant chain that's pretty widely considered by people I've met from Louisiana to serve honest food with a real Louisiana taste (I haven't tried their chicken myself). Ikan Kekek (talk) 18:51, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Yes, I fear people might get that impression. And quite frankly there are chain restaurants in Germany that I would never recommend over some food trucks or small fast food joints. The Nuremberg area (broadly speaking) is surprisingly good on the former by the way; they have semi regular meetups in places reachable by public transit and there are always a couple of great ones around. What we could say is that prices tend to be higher and service is less "bare bones" but this does not necessarily imply anything about quality. Hobbitschuster (talk) 20:08, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Thanks, Hobbitschuster. Powers, your opinion about this? Ikan Kekek (talk) 22:22, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I made a change. I think it's clearer. Ikan Kekek (talk) 14:16, 17 April 2016 (UTC)
Apologies for not responding sooner. I think the new text is an improvement, but the sentence as a whole is a bit of a run-on. I'll take a stab at repairing when I get a chance. Powers (talk) 21:35, 23 April 2016 (UTC)
Apologies again to User:K7L for the edit conflict, but I've taken a stab at a revision. Powers (talk) 02:04, 24 April 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. I consider your edits an improvement. Ikan Kekek (talk) 07:23, 24 April 2016 (UTC)

Regional chains[edit]

I've tried to identify which of these are purely regional chains, covering just a country (or part of a country) instead of all of North America. There is a risk of ending up with weirdness like w:East Side Mario's, which wraps itself extensively in New York City indicia for marketing purposes despite operating solely in nine of the ten Canadian provinces (its US expansion attempt was as ill-fated as Canadian Tire's). There are a few US chains that are big in one region, but unheard of elsewhere - good luck finding a Waffle House in the north, for instance. K7L (talk) 15:19, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


The German WV article on "Essen und Trinken in den USA" is already linked to a Wikidata item. Now the question arises which of our articles on food in North America (being that we don't have a general one) should be linked to this item... I am quite frankly at a loss... Hobbitschuster (talk) 12:55, 2 June 2015 (UTC)

Better to go with none, then.
Actually, we ought to have had an Eating and drinking in the United States article (or something very similar) before we started breaking it down into Fast Food and Casual Dining, etc. Our general rule that we only create subtopics when there's too much information in the supertopic isn't being followed. (And yes, I realize that North America and the U.S. are not the same.) Powers (talk) 13:10, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Well the German Wikivoyage has quite some "Essen und Trinken in x" articles, whereas the English WV (if you don't count the one on Mexican food) has none. Therefore the origin of this peculiarity is at least somewhat understandable... Hobbitschuster (talk) 13:17, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
For that matter, it's odd that fast food redlinks while fast food in North America exists. If I want to list the "chippy" (a British fish-and-chips takeaway), where does it go? K7L (talk) 14:26, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Well, either the (to be created) article on Fast food in Britain or the article (which we don't have either) on food and beverages in Britain Hobbitschuster (talk) 14:33, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
As opposed to the (equally non-existent) fast food and fast food in Europe? K7L (talk) 16:07, 2 June 2015 (UTC)
Yeah I got nothing. does fast food outside the US merit its own travel topic?.... maybe it does after all, but I don't know... Hobbitschuster (talk) 16:39, 2 June 2015 (UTC)


There is not a single image and no banner. Is there nothing on commons? Hobbitschuster (talk) 15:31, 1 November 2017 (UTC)