There have been so many threads on CH over the years along the lines of "My friends/family/coworkers/kidnappers & torturers are forcing me to eat mediocre food in some horrible chain restaurant. What will I do????" Forgetting the fact that none of us on CH want to eat mediocre (or really bad) food, there is the money factor as well- why would we want to pay for food unless it's really really good? But the reality is that going out to eat is not always just about the food.
Case in point and the reason I'm writing this thread: My friends helped my husband and I to move my parents into my apt. (Sidenote: it's a temporary situation thankfully but someone please help me!!!! :} ) Anyhow, when they suggested that we go to Fridays afterwards, there was absolutely no way in hell that I was going to suggest something else, no matter how much I loathe Fridays. I have nothing against chains if they're good (I actually just went to Legal Seafoods for the first time yesterday and loved it) but I really really dislike Fridays. However, I went. And guess what? I had a fantastic time! And this was despite the fact that the food was bad to meh. Life is too short and friends are too important. I say the next time your friends suggest a chain or a place you don't personally like- ask yourself if you've really been on equal footing with restaurant suggestions. It's one thing if you always go to subpar places that you haven't suggested. However, if they've gone to your ethnic and hole-in-the-wall places on a regular basis, do you really have cause to complain? Suck it up and enjoy the time with your friends....and plan the next outing yourself. At the very least, most chains have pretty good drinks.