Why Do I Need to Unchain My Mind?

Is it not interesting that everyone you talk to dislikes chain restaurants and yet, those places do a roaring business? Be it KFC, Burger King, Starbucks, Taco Bell, or Yoshinoya – they are all dissed and yet, they are always packed to capacity.

I fully appreciate how the coffee lovingly brewed by the old Italian uncle in the café around the corner is way better than Starbucks (actually, in my opinion, even the local $1 kopi is way better than Starbucks!) but does that really stop me from going to chain café?

The standalone restaurants and cafés are usually more than just a business to their owners – they are their complete lives. There is a passion behind most of those cafés and there is also the undeniable need to keep it in business. These places are customized and have those little personal touches that make you feel warm inside, like that little Goan café in Gurgaon, run by an elderly couple, had their wedding photos all over the walls. The husband took orders and managed the cash register, while the wife cooked for you. They only had eight tables; because that was the most she could cook at any given point. Such a lovely place.

So I have remembered this place forever, and I recommend it to everyone in its vicinity and talk about it often, but I have been there a total of one time! Because it is tucked away in that little shopping arcade in Gurgaon. On the other hand, I have never enjoyed a burger at the Burger King; you will never catch me recommending it to anyone. Nevertheless, I have been inside a Burger King at least six times. And I cannot even promise that I will never go in again.

As a result, I refuse to compare chain restaurants with those one of a kind ones. Have you ever found yourself wondering, “Should I get a Big Mac or go for some nice seafood at the beach café?” It does not work that way. There is nothing wrong with chain restaurants and their ubiquitous offerings. Ask someone who spotted a McDonalds in Ghana. J


5 Responses to “Why Do I Need to Unchain My Mind?”

  1. A fine balance is required.

    I just left a bigger city and came to a medium sized town. One thing I can say is that both are filled with chain restaurants.

    I go to a chain restaurant when I know what I want or when I want something that is predictible. Sometimes exploring those little off to the side places can make for a pleasant day!

    Personally, it all depends on what I’m looking for and again a fine balance should be used by all.

  2. inkblot Says:

    Yes, a chain/brand store offers a certain standard that might be attractive if you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere and you require a quick bite. Economy not withstanding for the sake of experience I would choose a one of a kind restaurant over a McDonald burger any day!:)

  3. Hey!!

    Where in Gurgaon is the Goan cafe you mentioned?? Couldn’t find it on Google.. would love to try it over the weekend :))

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