Chains Board Rules Question
I am very confused by the varying rules that are applied to moving posts from regional boards to the chain board.
It is my impression, perhaps mistaken, that the purpose of the Chains board is to allow discussion, without respect to geography about a chain of restaurants. For example a discussion of Seasons 52 recently commented on the experience at a King of Prussia PA outlet, a Jersey outlet and an outlet in Florida.
However, recently there have been several very small threads that have been moved from regional boards, with one or two posts to the Chains board when only a single location has been discussed. Examples include:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/811822 from the Ontario board about TIm Horton's.
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810856 and here from the Seattle board about Capitol Grille.
The effect of moving them from their respective regional boards was not increasing conversation, but rather killing the conversation completely.
Furthermore, if one looks at the following thread, the OP posted on the Chains board for a request that should really have been on the LA board solely because they wanted an answer that could include chains. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/810990. The effect was that she never received an answer at all...
I am wondering what if anything could be done to clarify when threads should be moved to the chains board. It seems to me there could be times when a discussion about a chain restaurant location could remain on a regional board, if the conversation is confined to the discussion of the chains locations in that region.
By default, discussion of a chain belongs on the chains board. Unless there's a specifically compelling local angle to a question or a report -- for example, when new outlets of beloved chains are opening in a specific region, there's often a thread about the arrival of the business, where the information is about the timing of the opening, how busy the place is as it opens, etc -- the discussion belongs on Chains.
The nature of chains is such that they don't differ much from place to place, so a comment on the food quality at one outlet generally reflects the food quality at another outlet, as well. Unless Capital Grille's menu varies significantly from location to location, a comment on their salad choices is as useful to someone on the East Coast as someone on the West Coast. A question about whether Tim Hortons generally undertoasts their bagels can only really be answered by a broad set of perspectives from people who've dined at their outlets across the chain.
As with anything, we're not 100% consistent on this, based on the intricacies of individual threads, whether we've even seen them, etc, but that's the broad theory behind moving things to chains.
re: The Chowhound Team
It seems like the post that only, possibly could have related to chain restaurants should have been moved to the local Board. It really didnt belong on the chain board unless the person was only looking for Chains, not true.
Im sure she could have gotten plenty of recommendations on LA.
the Tim Hortons post related to the chain generally, I guess nothwithstanding its big in Canada that it was appropriate to move since it was a question about chains generally.
the Capital Grille post - really a tossup, it was a local report but I guess the questions asked could have been generic - not sure how much variability there is between the Capital Grille outlet menus. Capital Grille is pretty upscale for the chain board, however. dont think it would have hurt to leave that one local.
In general I think this whole thing should not be too finetuned - if the person is in the wrong place to get the answer they actually seem to be looking for, the post should be moved, otherwise the post should stay where it started out. Moving posts is usually a thread killer and frustrates the intent of the OP, unless the question is on the absolute wrong geographic board.
I don't speak for the Chowhound Team so I can't answer your question about when threads ARE moved to the chains board. However, I would think it makes sense for them to be moved when they are applicable to others of the chain's locations, and not to a specific location. For example, if someone has a question about the food at a chain in general, or a comment about multiple locations, it would make sense to move it to the chains board. When someone has a comment that is specific to an individual location and would not likely apply to other locations, it would probably be more appropriate to leave it in the regional forum. $.02