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What Are They Doing To My Denny’s?

As embarassing as it is to admit, I spent many of my teenage nights lounging at the shitty booths at my local Denny’s.

…then they remodeled, taking away the urine-stenched ambiance and general cheese ball nature of the restaurant.  But hey, it was still a nice late night place to eat poorly for cheap.

Over the years, my attendance twindled. But I still knew it as a fine place to eat late, or have a solid breakfast. Hell, I recently enjoyed a post-Iron Man slice of Apple Pie a la mode!

Despite this fact, I don’t want Denny’s catering directly to me.

According to the linked article from ChainLeader.com, Denny’s is now attempting to cater directly to the post-show, teenage-to-twenties late night crowd, with an exclusive menu served from 10pm to 5am.

Some of these new menu options?

  • Potachos – Freshly fried and seasoned kettle chips topped with crumbled sausage, bacon, bell pepper and onion mix, cheese sauce and shredded Cheddar cheese.
  • Sweet Ride Nachos – Freshly fried flour tortilla chips tossed in cinnamon sugar, then topped with strawberry topping, raspberry sauce, seasonal fruit, hot fudge, caramel, white chocolate chips and whipped cream.
  • Smokin’ Q Four Pack -Four mini burgers topped with sweet & tangy BBQ sauce, crispy onion rings, Cheddar cheese and bacon. Served with a double portion of onion rings.
  • Cheesy Four Pack – Four mini burgers with American cheese, ketchup, mustard, grilled onions and pickle chips. Served with a double portion of onion rings.
  • Value menu items, starting at $3.99, include a sweet & tangy BBQ bacon burger; crispy chicken sandwich; chicken strip and mozzarella sticks combo; and nacho cheese fries.

Sounds good, right? Oh, but then the marketers got involved.

Firstly, the standard Denny’s ambiance? GONE.  Lights will be dimmed for a “club like feel”, and Denny’s servers will swap their traditional uniforms for jeans and black “Get Your Crave On” t-shirts.  Restaurants will also play alternative rock music from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m.

Next up, to further that ultra important band cred, they’ve has asked groups including Taking Back Sunday, Plain White T’s, Eagles of Death Metal and The All-American Rejects to help the chain dream up new dishes for rollout later this summer.

Furthermore, they’re planning to feed emerging bands currently on tour through its new “Adopt-A-Band” program, available at www.dennysallnighter.com. Bands can enter to become a Denny’s Adopted Band through the site, and then attempt to win free meals and promotional support via fan vote.

…can’t they leave well enough alone?  I could be wrong, but don’t we visit Denny’s for Denny’s? Not bizarro hip-club-environment-eatery?  No matter how you disguise it, pandering is pandering…and this just reeks.

One Comment

  1. Brian Brian June 23, 2008

    I see your point, but Potachos need to be in my belly.

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