Denny’s

America’s Diner Continues to Grow: Denny’s focuses on the future

Denny’s, known as America’s Diner, is one of the most recognized brands in the business. “Our brand awareness is near 100 percent,” says Doug Wong, senior director of global franchise development at Denny’s. “We consistently outperform our peers as the leader in the family-dining category.” With more than 1,725 locations worldwide after more than 60 years as a company, Denny’s remains a powerhouse and continues to grow in new ways.

In 2016, Denny’s improved its pancake recipe to make the classic dish even better. “There was nothing wrong with our pancake,” Wong says. “We thought it could be better, so we made it 50 percent fluffier by adding whole buttermilk with a hint of vanilla. It’s really reinforced our all-day breakfast position to be the family-dining restaurant of choice.”

With over 93 percent of Denny’s owned and operated by franchisees, the company is committed to its support and growth. “Our franchisees believe in the concept,” Wong says. “They help us grow and build and develop new restaurants, and they always support the brand.” In 2016, Denny’s opened 50 new restaurants, which included 14 international locations. Franchisees with Denny’s receive field-based real estate advice, the help of a project manager in building their restaurant, and ongoing support in advertising and operations, as well as supply chain support.

For the past five years, Denny’s has offered incentives to new franchisees who commit to developing a minimum of two new restaurants in markets designated as “new and emerging.” Denny’s has a presence in all 50 states in the U.S., but most midwestern states and those east of the Mississippi River, are considered new and emerging markets. New franchisees who open two restaurants in these territories can save up to $334,500 in reduced rates and fees, and for those who open six restaurants, the savings can add up to as much as $1 million.

“Potential franchisees should examine the Denny’s brand, just as we will examine them,” Wong says. “We want to make sure there’s a good fit. We want people who are passionate about serving an entire family, who will put in the work 24/7, and who will be the local face of the brand in their communities.”

New franchisees and the managers they hire will attend 13 weeks of training, covering all aspects of operations and learning how a Denny’s restaurant works inside and out. A New Restaurant Opening (nro) team from Denny’s helps train employees and assists with other areas of operations. 

With such a long history, the key to Denny’s success has been its ability to adapt and stay relevant. Through new product development, commitment to local communities, and its award-winning Heritage design, the brand continues to grow. In addition, Denny’s successful digital campaigns have helped the company expand its reach and earned the brand a top 10 spot in Klout’s social media rankings for retail and restaurants, ensuring that the brand continues to reach young consumers.

“We are a 64-years-’young’ public company that will continue to grow,” Wong says. “We have the best brand awareness and relevancy in the market. We know our better days are still ahead of us.”

For more information about franchising opportunities with Denny’s, visit www.Dennys.com