Lead: Denny's


Services:  Denny’s specializes in traditional diner food, with an emphasis on pancakes.  

Geographic Scope: The company operates more than 1,710 of its signature eateries located across the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Curacao, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Honduras, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

Revenue:  $100-$500 Million (USD) per year

Employees:  5,001 – 10,000 employees

Business Structure: The company owns and operates about 165 of its restaurants, while the rest are franchised or operate under licensing agreements.

Address & Phone:

Denny's, Inc.
203 East Main Street
Spartanburg, SC 29319

Website: Dennys.com

Quick Links:

[Updated 2/12/17]: A CMO’s View: Denny’s purpose-driven marketing puts spotlight on brand’s revitalization efforts

How Denny's Combined Social Fundraising with Cause Marketing to Raise More Money

Story Behind Viral Post of Man's Act of Charity at a Utah Denny's Restaurant

Burger King Makes Peace Day Deals with Denny’s and More After McDonald’s Dismissal

Denny’s Corporation Donates $70,000 to Build Ninth Habitat Home in Spartanburg

Orders up! Watch Paula Abdul Go Undercover as a Denny’s Server to Help Raise Awareness for No Kid Hungry.

Rivals to Target: IHOP, Bob Evans Restaurants, Huddle House, The Original Pancake HouseVillage InnWaffle House, Egg & I

Analysis: Pancake houses like Denny's have the two essential ingredients for a successful six-figure cause marketing program. They have lots of locations and plenty of foot traffic. They are perfect businesses for point-of-sale fundraisers (charity pinups, register programs, round-ups, etc.).

Another option is an action-triggered donation program involving their signature menu item, pancakes, which are relatively cheap to produce. For example, on National Pancake Day, IHOP offer each guest a free short stack of their famous buttermilk pancakes. For every short stack of buttermilk pancakes served on that day IHOP guests are encouraged to make a voluntary donation to Children's Miracle Network (CMN).

Customers have responded generously! 

Since 2006, IHOP's National Pancake Day promotion has raised over $15 million to provide life-saving treatment, programs and medical equipment for child patients. In the weeks leading up to National Pancake Day, participating IHOP restaurants also sold “Miracle Balloons” for $1 and $5 to benefit CMN. Guests who purchased a $5 "Miracle Balloon" received a $5 discount coupon for their next visit. What a great combination of fundraisers!

I've seen similar fundraisers from other pancake chains like the Egg & I and Perkins Restaurant and Bakery.

Pancakes were the inspiration behind another company's cause marketing efforts. Williams-Sonoma created an exclusive pancake and waffle mix to benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. 20% of the retail price from each jar sold benefited Share Our Strength.

Company Description

The home of the Grand Slam Breakfast, Denny's is one of the leading full-service, family-style restaurant chains in the U.S. Typically open 24 hours a day, the chain is best known for its menu of breakfast items, including eggs, pancakes, and combination plates carrying such names as All-American Slam, Lumberjack Slam, and the aforementioned Grand Slam Breakfast. Denny's also serves standard American fare (burgers, sandwiches, steak) for lunch and dinner. 

Consumer Profile

Meet The Smith’s

As the Americana family, the Smith’s are married, most likely with children ages 6-18+. One of their children may be a college student who still lives at home and participates in family dinners at Denny’s, but also stops by after class or late night with his friends. Mr. Smith works as a mid-level manager, while Mrs. Smith is a homemaker. Mr. Smith enjoys cycling, golf and tennis, and Mrs. Smith spends her time purchasing Mr. Smith’s corporate attire, baby products and weight loss supplements. The Smith’s are around 40 years old and most likely live in the Midwest or Northeast.  

Consumer Philanthropic Affinities

Charitable Focus & Programs

Denny's is hungry to serve the communities where it does business. As a neighborhood diner, Denny’s is committed to giving back to local communities through many programs, including No Kid Hungry, Hungry for Education, the United Way and countless local programs all aimed at making the world a better place. Denny’s team members get involved in their communities by volunteering their time, making charitable contributions, serving food to those in need and helping raise money for local schools, churches, hospitals and athletic teams, to name a few.

Key Initiatives

Cage-Free Eggs

America’s Diner is proud to announce a pledge to source and serve cage-free eggs in all U.S. restaurants by 2026. They’ve been committed to quality food and a true diner experience for over 60 years and this is just another way of honoring that commitment.

As the original home of all-day breakfast, Denny’s serves more than 400 million eggs each year, including classic breakfast items such as the signature Build Your Own Grand Slam, omelettes and delicious skillets.

This commitment is in conjunction with the evolution of supplier capabilities and part of a larger shift as Denny’s continues its focus on food quality in 2016, offering guests more premium ingredients and enhanced flavors with each new season. Denny’s has improved various menu items to offer guests higher-quality diner favorites including USDA Select beef, wild-caught and sustainable salmon, fresh-cut seasonal fruit and vegetables, 7-grain bread options and many healthier breakfast alternatives such as gluten free english muffins and hearty wheat pancakes.

Greg Linford, Vice President of Procurement for Denny’s added, “As America’s Diner, we’re proud to do our part to move the industry toward more humane sourcing practices. This shift towards a more humane method of egg production is just another step in ethical sourcing at Denny’s, adding to our requirements for ethical turkey, beef and pork treatment as well. We look forward to working closely with our suppliers to promote responsible sourcing, and refining our strategies as information, availability and supply chain capabilities evolve.”

Denny’s Hungry for Education

Since 2011, Denny’s has developed Hungry for Education, a scholarship program designed to recognize academic achievement. Today, nine leading non-profit minority advocacy organizations help launch the program in Denny's restaurant areas. In 2016, the program will award more than $500,000 in scholarships to elementary, high school and college students for their ideas to help Denny’s fight childhood hunger. Learn more here.

Notable Nonprofit Partners

No Kid Hungry

The team members at Denny's love to feed people, so it is hard for them to imagine kids not getting enough food each day. So, Denny's partnered with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program to make ending childhood hunger one of their main philanthropic causes. Every September, Denny’s locations across America participate in Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry, a national fundraising event that brings together thousands of restaurants and millions of consumers to help make sure that no child in America grows up hungry.

Key message = “Turn $1 into 10 Meals”.

Denny’s has helped connect hungry children with more than 33 million meals in the last five years.

United Way

Giving Back with the United Way of the Piedmont.

United Way of the Piedmont is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Union counties of South Carolina. Volunteers review agency programs and initiatives and invest in those that positively impact the most critical needs of the community. Funds are raised in the annual campaign and distributed to help those who need it most.

Cookies for Kids' Cancer

Since 2010, Denny’s has supported Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a non-profit agency in New York and Arizona, committed to raising funds and awareness for pediatric cancer.

To date, Denny’s has raised more than $400,000 for the cause.

Ella's Tea Party

Since 2011, Denny's has partnered with Ella's Tea Party in Arizona to support the fight against pediatric cancer. Children face incredible challenges during cancer treatment; the organization’s mission is to help fund safe and effective treatments, so researchers can increase the odds for success and offer new hope for the future.

In 2011 and 2012, Denny’s raised more than $66,000 for the cause.

Tour de Force

Each February, Denny’s launches a month-long annual fundraising campaign for Tour de Force, a Miami-based organization. It provides much-needed financial support to the families of Florida law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.

To date, Denny’s has raised nearly $100,000 for the cause.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this Prospect Research Profile has been provided by Catalist based upon curated information from hundreds of public sources.  Catalist fact checkers and analysts have verified the information contained in this report, but is not held responsible for unknown inaccuracies or false claims by the company profiled.