[Given that the gents over at Not a Potted Plant so graciously allowed me to contribute this week’s Monday Trivia question, it’s fitting that this week’s Tuesday question comes from Will Truman. — RS]
A couple moves back, I lived in a town with an Applebee’s, but no Chili’s. Prior to that, I had never really eaten at Applebee’s before. While there, I ate at Applebee’s quite frequently. At some point after we left, the town got a Chili’s. We stopped by there and at at Chili’s solely because we’d always been wanting to eat at Chili’s every time we ate at Applebee’s.
On Twitter, Matt Yglesias commented something to the effect of “In a world where Chili’s exists, why does Applebee’s?”
I tend to like variety. When Wheat Thins go on sale, I tend to buy two of a lot of flavors, including some that I don’t like nearly as much as others. And I recognize that there are some things that I simply don’t like, but others do (fast food Chinese?!). But when it comes to some things, there is one product or entity so much better than the alternative, and so immediately comparable, you wonder why the latter exists. I think that Yglesias’s Chili’s/Applebee’s example is a good one (though I do like the existence of TGIFriday’s).
Another one is KFC. In a world where Popeye’s exists, I don’t understand why KFC does. Popeye’s is better in every imaginable way. They have spicy options that KFC lacks. Their non-spicy option blows KFC’s out of the water. The biscuits are better. The mashed potatoes are better. The
prices are the same or with a slight advantage towards Popeye’s (at least in my experience). The primary argument for KFC is “There isn’t a
Popeye’s around here” or “KFC isn’t as good and so I eat less of it which is healthier.”
Oh, and IHOP and Denny’s. Denny’s will do in a pinch, but why must there be a pinch? Why can’t they all be IHOP?
So what are some products that you don’t understand the rationale for, seeing as how there is such a better product around? The above focus is on food, but it doesn’t have to be about food.