[This post was split by the Chowhound Team from a thread on the Midwest Board I"MSP- MSP Mag Best BBQ " http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5856...]
I prompted to say that in my view, there is nothing wrong with chains. It means two things to me:
1) It is a successful restaurant (good food) that warranted more locations
2) It is a successful business model (not necessarily good food) that thrived on business sense, and not the food
People like to get on their high horses about not eating at chain restaurants. Mrs. Gutgrease usually thumbs her nose at places that aren't "unique." While this site is dedicated to helping fellow food lovers find new places to eat, I think it's worth noting that chains can be just as good or better.
If you are into keeping your money local then you have a different argument that isn't food motivated, but financially motivated.