Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Things That Are Overrated

Unless I can think of another one between now and when I finish writing the post, I'm only going to mention one overrated thing, thus rendering the title of the post inaccurate. But my idea is that as I think of more things that are overrated, I'll post about them, and I invite my co-authors to do the same. So when there are more posts about overrated things, then the title will match.

The first thing that is overrated is The Cheesecake Factory. If you go to the Cheesecake Factory at a time when most people eat meals, say dinnertime, then you are going to wait at least 45 minutes, probably more. If you wait that long, then the assumption is that the restaurant is worth waiting for. Cheesecake Factory is not.

The menu at the Cheesecake Factory is 25 pages long. They have all kinds of choices, from sandwhiches to pastas, fish, and everything else. As a result, none of their dinners are particularly good. They should pick one kind of cuisine and focus on that, or they should keep the categories, but shrink them all. The menu should be 3 to 4 pages long, not 25.

I worked for a professor in the psychology lab when I was an undergrad. The focus of her research was on choice. Her general finding was that people like to have choices, but when they have too many choices they get overwhelmed and, as a result, do not enjoy their choice as much. They have to spend far more time deciding what they want, then they wonder about what would have happened if they had chosen among the x number of other things they could have chosen. When people are given only one choice (not really a choice) they report moderate enjoyment. When they have a few choices, they really enjoy their selections. When they have a ton of choices, they report even less enjoyment than when they were only given one option.

This is what the Cheesecake Factory suffers from. Now the cheesecake is fantastic, but there's no reason to wait 75 minutes for a table and eat a mediocre dinner just to have cheesecake at the end. You can walk up to the bakery and order a cheesecake and roll out. That, in my opinion, is the only reason to go to the Cheesecake Factory. If you want dinner go somewhere else, perhaps Applebee's.

9 comments:

The Notorious LJT said...

U2 is overrated.

Kate said...

this made me cry, i laughed so hard. cheesecake factory is SO overrated.

as is times square. if i didn't have to mess with the mobs of obnoxious photo-happy tourists again for the rest of my life, it'd be too soon.

Joe said...

Yogi Berra: "No one goes there any more. It's too crowded."

For real, it's tasty (albeit murderously unhealthy) stuff.

But I agree -- if I'm waiting that long, I want to eat the cheesecake off of Jessica Simpson's tits.

thecostofliving said...

Sheena Iyengar?

ChuckJerry said...

Yes. I worked for Prof. Iyengar for 2 years in her lab. And, as an aside, I designed the first iteration of her webpage as well, though my version doesn't exist anymore, as that was many years ago.

Open Bar said...

Ah, I was wondering who that person was.

Max said...

Baseball is overrated.

ChuckJerry said...

Baseball is not overrated, it's underappreciated.

Max said...

You're right. My comment was uncalled for and inaccurate. I retract my statement.