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Denny's Business Overview

Quick Business Facts
Founded: 1953
Franchising Since: 1963
Corporate Office: 203 E. Main St.
Spartanburg, SC 29319
Industries: , , , , , , , , ,

About Denny's

Denny's is America's largest full-service family restaurant chain, consisting of 168 company-owned units and 1,692 franchised units, with operations in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, Guam, Mexico, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Netherlands Antilles.

Company History

The restaurant chain that we know as Denny's restaurants began in Lakewood, Calif. in 1953 with a dream and a donut stand called Danny's Donuts. The owner, Harold Butler, started his business with a solid commitment: "We're going to serve the best cup of coffee, make the best doughnuts, give the best service, keep everything spotless, offer the best value, and stay open 24 hours a day."

At the end of that first year, Danny's Donuts made $120,000—not exactly small change in 1953! The first year's profits led to more Danny's Donut shops. While customers were happy, they wanted sandwiches and other entrees that were as good as the coffee and donuts, and the menu grew. In 1954, Danny's Donuts became Danny's Coffee Shops.

Customers weren't the only people interested in Danny's Coffee Shops. Other entrepreneurs recognized the potential of the young chain and sought to become part of its growth through franchising. With an ambitious franchising program, the coffee shop chain grew quickly.

In 1959, Danny's was renamed Denny's to avoid confusion with another small chain in Southern California called "Coffee Dan's." Doughnuts were phased out and the menu grew to include sandwiches and other entrees.

In 1966, Denny's made its initial public offering on the American and Pacific Coast Stock Exchanges.

In the early years, Denny's concentrated its expansion on major highways and freeway exits, and hungry travelers grew familiar with the Denny's name. Denny's next set out to capture residential trade as well. In 1967, Denny's became an international company, opening its first restaurant in Acapulco, Mexico. The spirit of expansion that was to characterize Denny's growth in the 1960's had begun.

In 1968, with a total of 192 restaurants projected to be in operation by year's end, Denny's restaurants merged with the Sandy's Restaurants chain, acquired Pioneer Restaurants, and opened the first Mother Butler Pie Shop. Denny's was on the move and primed for eastward expansion.

To ensure each customer's total satisfaction, personalized service became the top priority. Guests were welcomed personally and service focused on their individual needs. Recognizing guests' needs, Denny's was the first major chain to offer non-smoking sections in every restaurant. Denny's also introduced special children and senior items on the menu. In 1977, Denny's introduced the Original Grand Slam Breakfast® which remains a best-selling menu item today.

All this special attention to customers paid off. In 1981, Denny's opened its 1,000th restaurant. During the 1980s, more company restaurants opened in major cities, while the franchise system also continued to expand.

Today, Denny's is America's largest full-service family restaurant chain and is part of the fabric of America with nearly-universal brand awareness of 97%. Denny’s uses innovative, brand building advertising on TV, the social web, radio and print to stay relevant and connected with today's diner. What hasn't changed is Denny's commitment to serve customers with the same emphasis as it did 60 years ago and to provide quality food, good value and friendly service in a pleasant atmosphere.

Social Reach:

This web page does not constitute a franchise offering or an offer to sell a franchise. A franchise offering can be made by us only in a state if we are first registered, excluded, exempted or otherwise qualified to offer franchises in that state, and only if we provide you with an appropriate franchise disclosure document.

Denny's »

Denny's is America's largest full-service family restaurant chain, consisting of 168 company-owned units and 1,692 franchised units, with operations in the United States, Canada, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guam, Honduras, Mexico...


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