It's been my experience that people often like chains because they are familiar and somewhat consistent and because it's more comfortable for them than experimenting with the hole-in-the-wall place in that one neighborhood that gets them out of the suburbs. Whenever my friends or family are making the plans or suggestions and we are headed to a chain, I smile and have a good time. It's simple enough to respond to someone's "OMG have you had the triple-decker burger thing here it's sooo good!" with "I'm sure it is! Have you had a chance to try hole-in-the-wall's burger? We should go sometime!!" and be the person who gets to turn them on to something special.