The Applebee's in Barrie, Ontario, has a Facebook strategy that's familiar for chain restaurants. It posts a lot of images of food and asks the blandest questions imaginable of its 2,000-odd fans. "Who is coming in for an Early Bird Special today? "Which of our burgers is your favorite?" "Happy New Years! Any resolutions that you care to share?"
Chip Zdarsky, a comic book artist, discovered the page when both of his parents liked the same photo of a hamburger, and found it endearingly sad. No one was replying to the questions. So, he figured he would step in and really make friends with the page. Of course, he was making fun of it—but what emerged over months of his "Applebee's & Me" project was a curiously affectionate relationship.
Read below to see the interactions, and check out Digiday's fun interview with Zdarsky, who admits the "politeness in every exchange was just strangely sweet."