Monday, June 16, 2008

Date Night

I told Liz that all I wanted for Father's Day was to be able to go on a date with her, so on Saturday night she recruited my parents to come watch the boys and we got to go out. It was great. First we went to Renato's, a local Italian place. The food was excellent. The atmosphere was perfect. Then we went to see The Happening, which was a great movie, freaky, but great.

On the way from Renato's to the movie theater we drove by the Olive Garden. There was a line a mile long of people wanting to eat there. Here's my question: Not that I have anything against the Olive Garden, but why would you go stand in line for an hour for some not-so-good Italian when you could eat some authentic Italian in a much better atmosphere and support a local business. I'd choose Renato's over the Olive Garden any day. I'd make the same recommendation for you too!

It's not that the Olive Garden is that bad (it's not that good either) it's just that it seems to be our tendency to choose the familiar chain restaurants over potentially better but unfamiliar local places. Take a risk. Try something new. Buy local. It helps make Spartanburg a better place to live. Now if we could just get Renato's to donate a gift certificate to Movies in the Park!


At 2:50 PM, June 16, 2008 , Blogger pat gillen said...

I posted about this not too long ago... there's a new place that opened near us called Mestizo (southwestern grill) right next to Moe's. Moe's is always packed and Mestizo never has a single person in it. Moe's hasn't advertised at all and it's packed - yet Mestizo has a guy dressed like a chicken by the road almost every day... huge signs... and even those flag waving men things.
It's kind of like us next to Northpoint's video venue. They have done 0 advertising, and we've worked our butts off -- but people almost always choose the large, familiar chain type environment. I'm convinced on some level that part of planting has to do with creating a familiar 'brand' that people feel ok to attend. At least in the suburbs of the big city, there are a lot fewer people who want to find that hole in the wall. :)
Ok... longest comment ever.

At 4:29 PM, June 18, 2008 , Anonymous Melanie said...

Ummm... I hope Olive Garden doesn't read this, especially if they donate gift certificates to us! Someone is supposed to check back with them on Thursday! And I love the Olive Garden! except for the wait time (it's horrible).
Also, having a "respected brand" name is a major plus in any industry. And chains are a result of that. As a church, we should want to have a name that is respected enough that people want to come under us and open a church chain! Wouldn't that be cool? Little Hub City Churches everywhere!!


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