Food is not a want it is a necessity. However, in today’s society we have evolved beyond eating to survive and progressed to eating for pleasure. We no longer limit ourselves to family meals at home. Instead the majority of the population tends to enjoy gathering family and friends and going out for a dining experience. When dining out, the food itself is not the only factor to determining whether or not the meal was pleasing. The atmosphere, the visual, the taste, and the smell have all become key components in deciding whether or not a mean out is enjoyable. With these things in mind, on a rain Saturday afternoon two of my friends accompanied me to the casual dining restaurant, Applebee’s. I was there for one simple reason and for one simple mission, and that was to evaluate how Applebee’s smell, taste, and visual surroundings effected my meal.
If one were to venture hungrily into an eating establishment and were greeted by an unpleasant smell, such as molding rotten eggs, your stomach would churn. Regardless of my location or my reason for being there, the first thing I notice is the smell. If an unpleasant odor ventures it’s way into my nose my immediate reaction is to flee the premises. Thankfully, when I opened the heavy oak doors and stepped into the restaurant my nose was instantly filled with the smell of a sizzling steak as a young waiter whisked past me carrying it in his palm. After our hostess had seated us in a squishy booth that reminded me of beanbag, I took note of the raw smell of Applebee’s. The best and most accurate way to describe it would be to parallel it to the smell of my grandmother’s kitchen.
My grandmother is quite secretive in what she puts in her recipes so when you walk into her kitchen you are greeted by an assortment of smells. Freshly rising bread sitting cozily in the oven, an essence of Italy captured in a pot of pasta bubbling over, and an assortment of spices is just what you get in one whiff. Surprisingly, Applebee’s filled my nose with the same assortment of smells. It wouldn’t be Applebee’s if they went around revealing their recipes, similar to my grandmother. The scent gave me a feeling of comfort, regardless of the fact that I was eating out, I felt at home. Needless to say by the time my waitress approached the table, I was quite ready to order. My nose had projected my hunger to new heights.
Once my food had arrived I was ready to commence my meal. I ordered a 12 oz sirloin steak cooked well done to perfection. The dark brown, nearly black strips running horizontally across the steak let me know my order was followed precisely. I doused it with A1 steak sauce and cut myself a small, rectangular piece. I chewed it slowly and felt the juices and steak sauce ooze into my mouth with every bite. It was so chewy and tenderly delicious that for a moment it was nearly forgotten that I had ordered an additional side dish. I took a sip of my Sierra Mist, which was losing it’s carbonation because it was beginning to taste watered down. My attention had now been turned to the steaming baked potato. The baked potato was searing to the point that I could view the heat emitting from it.
Loaded with bulky sour cream and shredded yellow cheddar cheese, it was an eyeful. I sprinkled enough salt on it to make anyone with high cholesterol nervous. Greedily I plunged my fork into the potato and began mashing the contents together, the bulky sour cream, the shredded cheddar cheese, and the salt. By the time I was done mashing the condiments together, if it were not for the skin of the potato, one might have imagined that they were originally mashed. Ready to eat, I loaded my fork and shoved it into my mouth. My mouth slightly watered in pure satisfaction. The eclectic tastes within my mouth molded together to serve as the perfect combination.
Once I had completely finished my meal I began to take note of the surroundings. Throughout my meal my friends and I sang along to several of the songs playing within the restaurant. A few of the songs were older and took us back to our childhood, to the days of playing tag and jump rope in the schoolyard, such as “Hit Me Baby One More Time,” by Britney Spears, and “Wannabe,” by the Spice Girls. Other songs were a bit more recent and were current hits, and a few more were songs that were not memorable. As mentioned before the restaurant style in itself is homelike in the dining section. It is very apparent that customer satisfaction is a high priority of the restaurant.
The bar area however, is sports orientated. I took note of the fact that every television set that was on within the restaurant had a sports event on. On the television set directly in front of me a Tampa Bay Ray’s game was on and in the bar area it seemed to be the game that was drawing the most attention. An assortment of Ray’s jersey’s could be seen from my seat, and there was absolutely no doubt about the fact that you indeed were in Tampa. With the slightly dimmed lighting it gave an overall tranquil frame of mind.
At the beginning of time it can be inferred that man did not eat for the taste, but ate just to manage to subsist. In the contemporary day of 2008, you will be hard pressed to get an individual to consume something that they find less than desirable. Furthermore, if you are in the food industry it will take a lot more than just superior cuisine to sway consumers to eat at your establishment. Restaurant owners must take into consideration not only the taste but the smell, atmosphere, and visual. While eating at Applebee’s I was able to have a pleasurable experience because the smell, taste, and visual experience within the eatery was delightful. I would recommend this establishment to anyone who would enjoy an inexpensive, but high quality meal.