People like crap.
That is the only explanation I can come up with to account for the incredible popularity of chain restaurants. Sure, In-N-Out makes a pretty good cheese burger (as spoken by a struggling vegetarian), though I do remember them being even better when you had to drive a little to find one. Also, the farther you get from SoCal, the worse they are. But In-N-Out is not even a good example. Take Chevy's. Has anybody ever said: "Mmmn, I love Chevy's. Nobody makes better Tex-Mex". (Disclaimer: I have never actually been to Chevy's, so maybe they do make the best Tex-Mex).
I bring all this up because last night the missus, the missus's sister, the missus's sister's roomate, and I went to Romano's Macaroni Grill. The food was a little better than mediocre, and the service was horrible (waiting 45 minutes for the check horrible...it felt like France). Many years ago, Nico and I ate at the original restaurant (in Columbus, OH, if memory serves). That place was quite good...and dare I say, original. It would have almost given me a reason to go back to Columbus...if I were ever in the near vicinity. But in Huntington Beach, it's just another restaurant serving large glasses of cheap wine.