Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
They have a concept. It works. So they expand, like the average American.
It seems, though, they're not all as popular as one another. Some garner far more complaints than the competition.
Helpfully, Consumer Reports has just issued a list of those chain restaurants that get the most complaints. Even more helpfully, it lists the nature of these complaints.
I wonder if you'll guess which chains upset customers the most.
This is based, Consumer Reports says, on the average number of complaints per 100 visits.
At the top -- or, if you prefer, the bottom -- of the list is Fricker's.
This is a wings and sports chain that may be winging it a little when it comes to noise levels, service, and the cleanliness of its environment.
Closely behind Fricker's is Dave & Buster's. This is another sports bar-type of place that promises it's the only place you can "eat, drink, play, and watch sports."
You can kick a field goal in a sports bar? That sounds quite exciting.
Customers, however, don't enjoy so much the noise, the service, the cleanliness, or the food preparation there. All were markedly below the average of chain restaurants.
I confess that some of these chains were unfamiliar to me.
Quaker Steak and Lube, for example.
The name makes me imagine things involving meat and other intimate items I'd prefer not to imagine. It is, in fact, a casual dining restaurant chain based in Pennsylvania.
It's also, according to this survey, a place where customers complain about the noise and the service.
I do find some of these customer complaints a touch odd.
If you're going to a place called the Hard Rock Café (No. 13 on the list), aren't you rather expecting not to have an intimate romantic evening? Aren't you perhaps inviting your ears to enjoy a little, well, hard rock?
Oddly, 31 percent of complaints at the Hard Rock Café were about the noise levels.
The Texas Roadhouse chain has a similar issue, if not worse -- 38 percent of complaints were about the noise.
My mind finds it hard to contemplate a quiet Texas roadhouse, but perhaps that's just my mind displaying its limitations.
As much as this report might point to certain restaurant chains having certain issues, doesn't it also point to the sort of people who make complaints?
When some customers complain, there's surely no doubt their complaints are legitimate.
Ask a few restaurant owners, however, and they'll tell you some customers are simply complainers.
They walk into a restaurant and expect it to be what they want, rather than what it is.
They expect their every whim to be indulged, no matter the restaurant's concept and style.
Some customers are never happy.
I fear that it's these people who, far too often, fill out complaint cards.