Two Million People Swarm Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast

Posted by: Burth Helm on February 3, 2009

Denny’s hit, ahem, a grand slam with its Super Bowl promotion. On Sunday during its Super Bowl ad, Denny’s announced that it would serve a free “Grand Slam” breakfast (eggs, pancakes, sausage, and bacon) to anyone who wanted one this morning. So how did it go? A rep for the company just told me that two million people walked through the restaurant chains’ doors today, and that each Denny’s restaurant served an average of 130 Grand Slams per hour . Earlier today, “denny s locations” was #9 on Google Trends, which tracks fast-rising searches.

Ad Age sent four reporters out to brave the lines today. Once they got seated, it sounds like they were pleasantly surprised by the experience.

The ad that started it all:

Ahead of the Super Bowl, Denny’s Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer Mark Chmiel told me the idea was to get people to come in and re-evaluate Denny’s. “A lot of people have forgotten what Denny’s is, or they think they know, while we’ve come out with a whole lot of new products. We felt like we needed to jump start the brand.” Sounds like Chmiel and company knocked it out of the park today. We’ll see if it makes a dent in sales in the long run.

Reader Comments

Shambre Scammer

February 4, 2009 12:54 PM

I too went for the free breakfast and ended up throwing up the eggs all over the table because they were too runny. I then went bezerk and threw my bacon at a handicapped senior citizen. Coffee began shooting out of my nose so I started jumping around screaming "the space shuttle just exploded" all while munching on some tasty hash browns.

SHARON

February 4, 2009 1:52 PM

WE JUST RECENTLY ATE AT DENNYS AND THE FOOD WAS DELICIOUS. TYHE FOOD ARRIVED WITHOUT EXTENDED WAITING, BUT THE WAITRESS LEFT A LOT TO BE DESIRED. MAYBE WITH A LITTLE TRAINING OR DISMISSAL SERVICE WOULD GET BETTER. ORDERED A SALAD AS ADD ON FOR DINNER, NO SALAD AND WHEN WE ASKED THE WAITRESS SHE SAID ONE WAS NOT ORDERED. BUT IT WAS ON THE CHECK. THE MANAGER WAS VERY NICE AND CAME OVER TO CHECK OUR TABLE. ALSO WE WERE CHARGED 1.95 FOR A CHILDS COKE. A SMALL GLASS. AND HE HAD THE CHILDS PANCAKES. YES I WILL GO BACK TO THE LOCAL DENNYS IN KISSIMMEE, NOT FOR THE WAITRESS, BUT THE COOK

John Beckman

February 4, 2009 1:53 PM

Demny's Grand Slam Promotion was a stroke of genius. If the media coverage in Denver is any indication, Denny's received tens of millions of dollars worth of free positive publicity.
As a former Denny's executive, it makes me proud and optimistic.

Donna Tomasik

February 4, 2009 2:10 PM

are you going sever this every tusday.

D

February 4, 2009 2:27 PM

It looks like none of the patrons from Denny's know how to spell or turn off there caps lock. Unless
Sharon was shouting her comment. I sure can't wait to get over there and share a meal with these classy folks.

Ann

February 4, 2009 2:43 PM

I went on Tues. I went at 6:10 and was out of there by 7:20. It was a 40 minute wait for a table. The waitress took our order right away and the food came out fast about 10 min). The food was very good but the only thing is the should of had a few more waitresses or help to keep up that day. When I paid the bill Denny's also gave you a coupon book to come back at a later date.

Dave

February 4, 2009 4:27 PM

Amazing how people will complain about a FREE lunch. Stop picking at it. You got a free meal for cryin out loud. Probably stiffed the waitress too, ungrateful louts.

Chuck

February 4, 2009 7:01 PM

Went to the Denny's in St. Matthews, Kentucky (Louisville) It was run like a well oiled machine. The ONLY issue was waiting 25 minutes for a table, and that was only because the whole town was there. After we got seating, we got drinks fast and food even faster, hot and yummy! Including the wait time, in and out in under an hour, I'll take that for a meal I am paying for, on a free one, it was a "Grand Slam" Homerun!

Robert Hayes

February 4, 2009 10:14 PM

I have always liked Denny's, I didn't need to go in Tuesday morning to change my mind one way or another.

Nate

February 10, 2009 4:49 PM

I think this was a fantastic campaign by Denny's. However, the title of this article is the exact reason why I never even thought of going to Denny's for a free breakfast. I would rather pay for a nice quiet breakfast than have to deal with the madness of going to Denny's that morning. Great idea though.

Nate
http://nbrfeed.blogspot.com/

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News, opinions, inflammatory meanderings and occasional ravings about the world of advertising, marketing and media. By marketing editor Burt Helm, Innovation Editor Helen Walters, and senior correspondent Michael Arndt.

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