Cooking up business at Denny’s

Did you eat at Denny’s yesterday? I tried to, together with three of my coworkers, but the lines were too long.  For those of you who might have missed the ads during the Super Bowl and also the full page ad in USA Today, Denny’s was offering a free Grand Slam breakfast to everyone who stopped by any Denny’s location between 6:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. yesterday.  Over two million people did exactly that.


I can’t say that any of us were surprised when we saw the full parking lot and the line out the door when we drove by our local Denny’s at eleven-thirty thinking we would beat the lunchtime crowd. We ended up eating at another restaurant down the street—which was also packed. (A scene that was probably played out near many Denny’s restaurants yesterday—a thank you note for the spike in business is probably in order.)


Even though I didn’t get a chance to enjoy a free breakfast at Denny’s I still want to compliment the senior leadership at Denny’s for taking a proactive stance in a tough economy.  It’s great to see an organization moving forward, building enthusiasm for their brand, instead of sitting back hoping that people will still come in as usual.  It’s something we can all probably learn from.  Think about what they accomplished yesterday.


  • A great goodwill gesture that generated a lot of buzz and press coverage.
  • Getting folks reacquainted with the store—many people stopped by for the first time in years.
  • A chance to sample the product—“This Grand Slam breakfast is good, and it’s normally $5.99 for two eggs, two pancakes, and two strips of bacon or sausage, that’s still a good deal.”

 What can you be doing to shake things up in your organization?  (You can be sure that I’m thinking about it.)  And you can bet that I am still hungry for that breakfast now that Denny’s has planted it in my mind.

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