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Is Legal Sea Foods a chain?

Regardless of what they say, and how they distinguish themselves from others, I still consider it a chain. Do you? http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/07/bus...

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  1. Are they as clueless about other parts of their business? Or is it just another gimmick ad to attract the gullible?

    Are they going after Red Lobster customers?

    1. I've bought LS gift cards at one location that were used at another. If that's not a chain...

      1. I had never heard of Legal Seafood before this but if this is not a chain then I don't know what is.


        1. I went to one in Boston over 10 years ago (I'm from the UK) and I thought it was a chain then. If visitor from across the Atlantic is under the impression you're a chain, then you're probably a chain

          1. Yes, of course it's a chain.

            1. Legal Seafoods is not a chain. And a stripper is just a college girl trying to earn her tuition.

              3 Replies
              1. re: ferret

                Daughter went to college in Boston, so I have known about it for a while.
                They really need a different name, one that doesn't have you subconsciously think of putting the word "barely" before it.

                1. re: Tripeler

                  Got it name when it was seafood market that gave out Legal trading stamps. Sort of like S&H Green Stamps, if anyone remembers them

                  1. re: mwhitmore

                    Thanks for the information. Now I have something to match the "legal" with.

              2. They are trying to argue that slightly different menus in their different locations make them different. But the fact that they use very similar menus and the same name surely makes them a chain. How can you expect common branding not lead people to think you are a chain?

                2 Replies
                1. re: cwdonald

                  That's exactly right, CW! They want to have their fish and eat it, too. They want to promote the brand but not have any of the negative connotations associated with a chain. Sorry, LSF, you can't have it both ways!

                  1. re: cwdonald

                    MacDonald's offers different menu items at different locations around the world, it's still a chain and so is Legal.

                  2. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants are all corporate-owned, while Legal Sea Foods owns all their stores, but the company is privately-held. Cracker Barrel serves slight regional variations on their menus; does that make them not a chain? No.

                    Smashburger, a mix of corporate-owned and franchise locations around the country, puts one regionally-named burger on the menus of their various locations. Does that make them not a chain? No.

                    So sorry, Mr. Berkowitz. You're the CEO of a chain operation, even if you did have someone edit your Wikipedia entry to say you own a restaurant "group".

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: mcsheridan

                      "So sorry, Mr. Berkowitz. You're the CEO of a chain operation, even if you did have someone edit your Wikipedia entry to say you own a restaurant "group"."

                      Don't worry. I just changed it back.




                      1. re: jpc8015

                        Ya gotta love Wikipedia!!!! <<SMILE>>

                        1. re: jpc8015

                          Don't be surprised if they revert. I'm sure LSF has people watching those entries, particularly this week.

                          1. re: mcsheridan

                            Yeah, I am waiting for the nasty email from the good folks over at Wikipedia.

                            Also edited the entry here just for good measure:


                        2. re: mcsheridan

                          I think I'm missing your point, MC. Are you really saying that Cracker Barrel and Smashburger are NOT chains?

                          1. re: CindyJ

                            Quite the reverse; I'm insisting that they, and Legal Sea Foods, most definitely *are* chains.

                        3. Yet another case of someone redefining a word and then saying he doesn't like what it means and isn't it.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: acgold7

                            "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less."

                            We've all had a peek behind the looking-glass - some live there.

                          2. It's very much a chain these days. And most of the Legal Sea Foods restaurants that I see are in classic chain locations -- shopping malls and airports. That said, I think it's better than Red Lobster and Joe's Crack Shack and many others.

                            EDIT: I meant Joe's Crab Shack rather than Crack Shack (my fingers are even slower than my mind), but I like the typo so much that I'm not editing it!

                            1. I've been a Legal fan since the Inman Sq. days, but let's get real. Legal is most certainly a chain.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: brandywiner

                                Ah, another Hound who remembers Grandpa Berkowitz and his fledgling start up.

                                In spite of misty memories, I'm no longer a LSF fan. They've dropped the red Portuguese chowder from their menu and several other dishes that reflected Legal's New England roots. Now the menu reads shopping mall bland or shopping mall stereotyped.

                                1. re: brandywiner

                                  You mean back when you went to the fish counter, picked a piece, said broiled or fried, chose a seat at a picnic table, and got your fish with fries, cole slaw, and a plastic fork on a paper plate? Where a grad student could eat out on an NSF stipend? That legal Seafood?

                                  1. re: therealdoctorlew

                                    Precisely! Right down to the NSF detail! Except that in my memory, the food didn't arrive on a paper plate, but was served in a cardboard folded boat-shaped container.

                                    1. re: Indy 67

                                      I agree on the boats. Not a bad job of recollection after 40 years in non-immediate memory, after all!

                                2. About 10 years ago or so, I remember their website was trying to convince people that they weren't even a restaurant company. They were a seafood company that had restaurants or something like that.

                                    1. I had to laugh a couple days ago while in Newport, RI having lunch. I overheard someone at the next table say "where should we eat in Boston?" Someone else said "How about Legal Seafoods?" And the person responded "Oh no, that's just a chain." Had to giggle thinking about Mr. Berkowitz filming his commercials.

                                      1. Why is being considered a "Chain" a bad thing? When my local Applebees has teenaged line cooks who don't really give a crap about their jobs? What about a local Legal Seafoods whose executive chef selects his own menu and is a partner who lives and dies on the profitability of his restaurant? Isn't there a difference?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                                          Being a chain is not a bad thing. Its the CEO of the company that would probably tell you that it is. I sense a bit of self hate.