These Applebee's Dessert Shooters Advertisements Are Confusing

[January 2008, 42nd St, New York, NY. Image thanks to Karl!]

We always wondered what wild and wacky things happened in the Applebee’s in Times Square. Now we know.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Chazon says:


    Also shouldn’t that image be captured January 2008??

  2. nealb says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they are $3.99. We had the same trouble there with the half-priced appetizers. In on advertisement (the most prominent place) there was no condition of day of the week or time. When we ordered them, the waitress pointed to a very small location on another small card on the table for specific exclusions.

    They likely want you to decided to order something when you believe it costs less hoping that you’ll order it anyway after the waitress “corrects” you about the price.

  3. getjustin says:

    I believe this begs the question: Why are you in NYC and eating at Applebee’s? Hell, why are you eating there anywhere!

  4. LoLoren says:

    It’s always interesting to me how Applebee’s and Chili’s do the same promotions at the same time. Chili’s has these “shooter” deserts.. one of which is serious false advertising: A 7 layer chocolate dessert, with only 4 countable chocolate layers. If I’m paying 3.99 for a shotglass of chocolate, I want 7 layers, dammit.

  5. virtuallori says:

    What Getjustin said. There are so many better places to eat, especially in New York.

  6. strathmeyer says:

    @LoLoren: And TGI Fridays. I imagine the people that visit the Consumerist aren’t the kind of people who eat at these places.

  7. Mr.Purple says:

    Go to XO Kitchen or Rice.
    Across the street from XO Kitchen there is a super market that has 24 Plasma TVs outside in the open guarded by one Jamaican guard who speaks fluent Chinese. I love that restaurant for that.

  8. geeoph says:

    Man, NYC is so overpriced! I ate at Applebee’s last night (I had a giftcard from the holidays) and they were only $1.99!

  9. boxjockey68 says:

    There are SOOOO many better places to eat anywhere. Yuck, yuck, & double yuck..

  10. Jon Parker says:

    I would avoid Applebees no matter where I was, but New York? My god, there’s so many great places to eat there. Use a resource like Chowhound to help you find the really great stuff, then stay out of the stupid chains.

  11. Falconfire says:

    @LoLoren: ROFLOL My fiance pointed out the EXACT same thing, there is no way the thing has 7 chocolate layers yet its advertised as such.

  12. timmus says:

    Applebees became a crap restaurant in my book last year when I ordered a burger and it turned out to be one of those tough, chewy patties they preshape at the factory and sell at supermarkets. I’ve never been served such garbage at any restaurant until Applebees. Never again.

  13. SaveMeJeebus says:

    Isn’t this the same place that sells greasy french fries molded into the shape of a cup? Thanks, but I’ll pass.

  14. dbson says:

    This is how most places in Times Square are. The prices are higher because of the location, it’s nothing new.

  15. velvetjones says:

    @getjustin: My thoughts exactly….we went to Times Square once, and regretted it instantly.

  16. marsneedsrabbits says:

    I’m not transporting myself all the way to NYC from Middle America just so that I can eat at a place I strenuously avoid at home…
    But then I realize that most Americans aren’t me and really want exact the same stuff wherever they go.
    Which begs the question: why do most people ever travel if they only want the comforts and mediocrity of home?

  17. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    They were only $1.99 in MA. Not bad, either, if you want just a small dessert.

    Ahhh, another dinner at TGIFriAppleChiliBees. Don’t forget your 37 pieces of flair.

  18. sashazur says:

    You were in New York City, famous for thousands of fantastic restaurants offering all kinds of exotic and/or excellent quality food…

    …and you went to @&$%! APPLEBEES?????!!!!!

    You deserve to be screwed! :-)

  19. DrGirlfriend says:

    The word “shooters” annoys me to no end.

  20. josh1701 says:

    All the chain restaurant outlets located in Times Square (Red Lobster, Friday’s, Applebee’s, Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday, etc.) are their chains’ highest-volume locations.

    @getjustin: When The New York Times Magazine interviewed Mike Huckabee a few weeks ago, he chose to be interviewed at the Olive Garden though the reported offered to take him anywhere he wanted in Manhattan. Actually, the reporter vetoed Huckabee’s first choice of Friday’s.

  21. bohemian says:

    About the only time we eat at Applebees any more is if we are stuck on the road on a long stretch of podunk towns driving somewhere and our only options for the next 4 hours are Burger King, McDonalds or Applebees. We have actually tried to re-time trips home to avoid having this stretch of the trip happen during the need to eat dinner.

    I feel a bit guilty about going to Chicago only to end up eating dinner at Bubba Gumps. Fox & Obel had just quit serving, we were in jeans and sweats after a day of hiking through the museums and had our kids in tow. We figured we were doing other diners a favor by not dragging our disheveled selves and our kids into a nicer establishment on a Saturday night. At that point the idea of taking yet another taxi ride to stand in line for one of the Chicago pizza places sounded like too much work.
    But if were traveling alone minus kids I just don’t see a point in eating at chain restaurants.

  22. bohemian says:

    @josh1701: Ok, that is reason enough right there to not vote for Huckabee. :-)

  23. DrTweeker says:

    Could also be that the lower-priced menu card was intended for distribution in one of their stores outside of NYC. When I worked at a large national-chain restaurant/venue, we had special menu inserts and pricing for our NYC/Times Square location that was always $2-$3 higher for the same item, and the menus were exactly the same except the NYC Price, so special inserts were sent to those stores. NYC & Hawaii were the only locations that were in that highest pricing tier.

  24. Buran says:

    @josh1701: I love the OG’s alfredo sauce. The rest of their menu, save the breadsticks which are also really good, is so-so, but that alfredo is really good.

    That’s been my typical experience of most restaurants I’ve been to, both chain and independent: one or two great dishes, some decent ones, and a lot of stuff I’m only so-so on.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with liking one particular dish at a restaurant. Even if it’s a chain.

  25. Buran says:

    @DrTweeker: And yet can’t you argue, if they don’t give you the lower of the two prices, that they’re illegally offering an item for sale at one price and then demanding more money after the fact? The card makes an offer of sale. You take the offer. It’s illegal to jack the price later.

    We went over this in the thread about the buffet the other day.

  26. Buran says:

    @marsneedsrabbits: You answered your question with the word “comforts”.

  27. alhypo says:

    What’s so confusing? When you order, the price is $3, and when you pay your bill, it’s $4. Simple…

  28. suburbancowboy says:

    It is shocking to me that chain restaurants exist in NYC. You are in the city with arguably the best variety of food from all around the world, and you pick Applebee’s? And how to Pizza Hut and Domino’s exist in a city where there are pizza joints every half block, and even the worst ones are better than Pizza Hut or Domino’s. Are you that afraid to try new things? Why did you come to New York then? You should’ve stayed at home on the couch watching Oprah.

  29. FLConsumer says:

    @getjustin: you beat me to it.

  30. descend says:

    It’s wildly amusing how many people think they’re establishing some sort of foodie cred by attacking Olive Garden. I bet these same people would recommend Grimaldi’s as some sort of great New York experience. Most 20-something New Yorkers eat at tourist traps, just those of a different sort.

  31. Trojan69 says:

    The seven layers are the three or four cake layers, with three or four layers of frosting. See? Misleading? Sure, in the traditional advertising/marketing way. But there absolutely are 7 distinct “levels” of ingredients. When’s the last time you had a burger that closely resembled the ones you see on TV ads?

    So, if you were brought an unsatisfactory foodstuff, why would you accept it? Simply refuse it and have it taken off your bill.

  32. Falconfire says:

    @Trojan69: cant be, you can count the cake and frosting layers, through the glass, even in the picture there are only 5 layers at most and thats only if you count the whipped cream which is NOT CHOCOLATE which is what the thing is advertised as, 7 layers OF CHOCOLATE.

  33. HykCraft says:

    $3.99? They are $1.99 here in Minnesota.. and you can order them whenever.

  34. Kishi says:

    @boxjockey68: You’ve obviously never been out to eat in the backwater college town I live in. Very few non-chain restaurants, and they’re all closed on Sundays anyway…

  35. bricko says:

    3.99 is a ny price then, here in Wichita they are all 1.99 and the Hot Fudge one is great. The shooter size thingy is the newest restaurant size fad. We have had them in several restaurants now.

    Probably a response to the food nazis etc.

  36. saltmine says:

    @Buran: You seem to be quite the legal professional. Why, on almost every post, you comment about how this is illegal or that is illegal. Most of the things you’re referring to are errors of typography, not matters of law. I might suggest you have no idea what you’re talking about, most of the time.

  37. guroth says:

    the same layer thing was brought up at a recent chili’s en devour.

  38. Chairman-Meow says:

    MMmm…..I think the next time I go to New York, I want to eat in a restaurant where the food tastes *exactly* the same as everywhere else in the country!

  39. algormortis says:

    Vynl Diner, 51st and 9th, should you ever want something “safe” and “family-friendly” when stuck in that neck of Midtown. Skip the fried chicken, though.

    Don’t, just don’t, for the love of Pete, go to AppleChiliOliveChevy’s. Walk up 9th and you’ll see things far more delightful even if Vynl doesn’t appeal to you.

  40. Daniels says:

    The only thing wacky going on at the Times Square Applebees is people actually paying $9.25 for a bottle of Coors Light while eating the same food they could get at home.

  41. Daniels says:


    I went to the Vynl on 15th and 8th and “family friendly” wasn’t the first thing that came to mind.

  42. LeopardSeal says:

    @Buran: You know there are real Italian restaurants pretty much everywhere, right? You might want to try some of their not-from-a-jar sauce sometime.