we shouldn't be expected to eat 100 meals at 100 different RCs before we form an opinion about quality and service, either.
Of course not. But I see people constantly surprised by realities they didn't know about when they extrapolate from part of a restaurant (or a chain) that they know about, to parts they don't. On the other hand you can
speak from experience of the particular RC's you've visited, and that's valuable info for other folk. Ideals of chainwide uniformity notwithstanding, real chain steakhouse sites have different personnel, markets, even types of ownership, as I wrote of RC.
The most common weakness I see in online (or in-person) restaurant reports is extrapolation beyond what people know. It's partly how we all intuit reality (which tends to estimate unknown details automatically). You can see it any time you know a restaurant well (from many visits under diverse circumstances), and a customer new to the place, with very narrow experience, comments confidently with generalizations that they likely would never use if they knew the restaurant better. Yet their specific experiences and observations have value, if they would stick to those... Occasionally I try to point out such a generalization, or that something they reported, good or bad, is atypical, as any experienced customer could tell them; but they reply defensively (as if it were about them, not the restaurant), like "if the place had any standards, every experience would be identical." Maybe, but that's off the point.
And again, occasionally negative
comments reflect situations the customer clearly created, and even admits! On eG, two threads appeared once from diners who complained of mildly negative experiences at different high-end restaurants -- and admitted having created the problems, with clearly obnoxious behavior. And many readers sympathized! It's a window into some of the psychology.