Deluded Denny's Now Calling Itself "America's Diner"


Here is sample of the new ad campaign from Denny's in which it rebrands itself "America's Diner":

In case you can't watch the ad, it features various customers sharing the diner-esque nicknames given to them by the Denny's server. The tagline: "America's Diner is always open."

The New York Times reported yesterday that Denny's will spend between $50 million and $60 million on this campaign.
"People think of the brand as a diner, with great comfort food at a great price, and they feel that incredible warmth and incredible connection to the servers," [Denny's chief marketing officer Frances] Allen said. "There's a soul to a diner that is very authentic, very warm, very accepting."
To all of which Gut Check says, simply, "Bullcrap."

First of all, as Gut Check never tires of pointing out, Denny's isn't even "always open." When we stopped by the location on Hampton Avenue for our investigation of 24-hour restaurants, we were shocked -- shocked! -- to find the place closed. Several months later, a man enraged by this very same situation (allegedly) tried to break into that Denny's!

Second, there is nothing "authentic" about Denny's except that each of its 1,600 locations is more or less identical to the rest.

Finally, next time that you're in Denny's at say 2 a.m. -- assuming it's open, of course -- observe how the clientele is behaving and then look deep into your server's eyes. Now, imagine what nicknames that server would like to bestow -- or, out of earshot, has bestowed -- on his or her customers. "Sugar britches" and "hon" are likely near the bottom of the list.

What's hilarious is that this isn't the first time Denny's has tried this gambit. From the Times article:
In the late 1990s, it adopted the slogan "America's original breakfast diner," and encouraged franchisees to remodel restaurants with stainless steel exteriors, chrome interiors, neon lighting and checkerboard tile floors.

When many balked at the cost of such renovations, the company suggested a less expensive option with flourishes like jukeboxes and outfitting servers in bowling shirts.
Because nothing says authentic diner like a bowling shirt.


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