Denny's gives away free Grand Slam b...

Denny's gives away free Grand Slam breakfasts

Posted in the Eureka Forum

Pig Chow

Alameda, CA

#1 Feb 3, 2009
Denny's gives away free Grand Slam breakfasts

By MICHELLE CHAPMAN, AP Business Writer

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

(02-03) 10:09 PST New York (AP)--

Competition among casual restaurant operators heated up Tuesday, as Denny's Corp. launched free Grand Slam breakfasts in an effort to reacquaint customers with its brand and showcase its meals as value-friendly options for cash-conscious consumers.

The restaurant chain is giving away the free Grand Slams, which include pancakes, eggs, bacon strips and sausage links, to any customer visiting its restaurants on Tuesday between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Denny's has promoted the freebie heavily, with a 30-second ad that aired during the third quarter of the Super Bowl on Sunday, another 15-second ad during the post-game show and a full page ad in USA Today's Monday editions. The company reported 14 million hits on its Web site between Sunday night and Monday morning the site read "service unavailable" at midday Tuesday.

With the promotion only under way a few hours, spokeswoman Cori Rice said restaurants in Miami, Washington D.C. and Los Angeles were reporting long lines and other locations said they were very busy but under control.

"From all reports, it's going extremely well," Rice said.

The Spartanburg, S.C.-based company anticipates up to 2 million people will take advantage of the deal, with Rice saying each restaurant will be able to churn out about 100 Grand Slams an hour.

Denny's, which has more than 1,500 locations, sells more than 12.5 million Grand Slam breakfasts a year.

Chris Oakley of Oxford, Pa. said he visited the Denny's at the Granite Run Mall outside of Aston, Pa. at 8 a.m. and waited on a line of more than 50 people for about 20 minutes before getting a counter seat.

While he visited the restaurant alone, the free breakfast was still a family affair, as Oakley said his father went to a Denny's in Florida at 6 a.m. and his brother headed to one in Buffalo, N.Y. before going to work.

Back in Pennsylvania, Oakley said customers remained surprisingly upbeat even though they stood in a line that included 32-degree weather and snow.

"It was almost like a fair atmosphere," Oakley said.

He admitted that his reason for heading in for the Grand Slam was simple: it was free.

With consumers continuing to pull back on spending amid the recession, the breakfast market has become increasingly focused on value meals in an attempt to grab those still willing to spend but looking to get the most bang for their buck.

Starbucks Corp. plans to offer "several breakfast pairings" at "attractive" prices, according to comments made by Chief Executive Howard Schultz last week. Others fighting for a piece of the pie include McDonald's Corp., which is offering new lower-priced specialty coffee drinks, and Dunkin' Donuts, which has value-minded deals.

Rice said Denny's recognized that customers enjoy its Grand Slam breakfast, but that they can choose among several options when looking to spend their money.

"We need to compete and be in the consideration set," Rice explained.

To that end, the company said it is trying to change customers' perceptions that Denny's is only a place for a sit-down breakfast that will take a lengthy period of time. It can provide breakfasts to go as well as have food prepared within 10 minutes if customers require fast service, according to Rice.

"We understand what the customer is wanting now," she said.

Free giveaways are not something new among food operators. In November Starbucks offered a free cup of brewed coffee to anyone who asked on Election Day, while Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. gave away star-shaped doughnuts. Ice cream maker Ben and Jerry's also offered a free scoop as part of a celebration of the election.

Shares of Denny's added 6 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $1.98 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a range of $1.18 to $4.10 over the past 52 weeks.
Darwin

Dublin, CA

#2 Feb 3, 2009
that place was packed this morning!
Stoney Bologna

Alameda, CA

#3 Feb 3, 2009
Packed? You mean all the old farts are stoned?
Darwin wrote:
that place was packed this morning!
Stumpy

Cazadero, CA

#4 Feb 3, 2009
Darwin wrote:
that place was packed this morning!
Fer Sure. Lines out the door
for a Free Plate of Grease...
GOLDENBEAR

Medford, OR

#5 Feb 3, 2009
shit still is packed I heard they RAN out of eggs and there was a RIOT
EUREKA GAL

Ferndale, CA

#6 Feb 3, 2009
LOOKED LIKE THE HOMELESS GOT THE WORD
GOLDENBEAR

Medford, OR

#7 Feb 3, 2009
WHITE TRASH TOO

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