Denny's Slams Back with New Better Burger That's Too Good to Eat on the Run

Five Better Burger creations feature new ingredients top to bottom, inside and out

SPARTANBURG, S.C., Oct 12, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Denny's (NASDAQ:DENN) is calling on all Americans to try its Better Burger that's too good to eat on the run. Denny's dispatched its chefs to discover the best of the best and built a thicker, juicier Better Burger, featuring new ingredients top to bottom, inside and out. The made-fresh-for you, hand-pattied Better Burger with cheese is available now in five varieties served with new wavy-cut fries and a Coke for a tempting starting price of $6.99.

Denny's knows America is hot and hungry for burgers so the company turned up the heat with a passion to slam the country's cravings again. Research shows that 21 percent of consumers claim they are eating more burgers.[1] The burger is by far the nation's favorite menu item chosen by 84 percent of those dining out[2]and is credited with more than 40 percent of all restaurant sandwiches consumed.[3] Even fine dining establishments and top chefs are following the trend creating upscale burgers to satisfy the desires and palates of their clientele leading to 30 percent growth in the segment over the past three years.[4]

"Burgers are a force to be reckoned with," said Nelson Marchioli, Denny's chief executive officer. "Just like Denny's, they are quintessentially American...the burger unites us, comforts us and is accessible to all of us. Denny's built a better burger that will be irreplaceable in the hearts, minds and bellies of American consumers...a burger that consumers will want to wrap their hands around and savor sitting down."

Denny's chefs tasted, tested and built a burger top to bottom, inside and out, never a heat lamp or single paper-wrapped patty in sight. Denny's Better Burger masterfully features the following ingredients: 100 percent seasoned beef, hand-pressed and grilled to juicy perfection, layered with the ideal amount of melted cheese, topped off with crisp shredded lettuce, crunchy, thick-cut pickles, fresh tomatoes and sliced red onion all cradled in a specially baked, just-right-size, toasted bun.

Simply put, Denny's built a Better Burger -

Better Bun: Perfectly sized*, perfectly toasted, perfectly delicious sesame seed bun replaces, less fitted sesame seed bun spread with margarine and toasted

*Burger to bun ratio 33 percent/66 percent replaces 25 percent/75 percent

Better Burger: 100 percent seasoned ground beef (.5 percent salt); hand-pattied with a flavor all its own replaces highly flavored ground beef with a mixture of five seasonings

Better Cheese: Thicker, creamier, perfectly melted slice replaces single thin slice

Better toppings: Cool, crisp, fresh shredded iceberg lettuce to improve texture and color replaces leaf lettuce, and is accompanied by crunchy, thick-cut pickles, fresh tomatoes and sliced red onion

"The burger is Denny's second most popular menu selection behind its hearty Grand Slam breakfasts and now we have rebuilt it to make an even better burger," said Mark Chmiel, Denny's chief marketing officer. "It's a burger that tastes way too good to eat on the run ... it deserves to be served, and it's easy on the pocketbook."

For those who prefer the convenience of take out, the Better Burger is available in customized Denny's Dome packaging which keeps food hot and fresh for up to 30 minutes providing the same table service-quality food for customers on the go.

Denny's new Better Burger menu includes:

Western Burger

Tangy steak sauce drizzled over onion crispers and melted Swiss cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato and red onions.

Double Cheeseburger

Two beef patties and two slices of cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onions.

Classic Cheeseburger

Choice of American, Swiss, cheddar, or pepper jack cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onions.

Mushroom Swiss Burger

Topped with melted Swiss cheese and mushrooms sautéed in garlic and herbs. Served with lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onions.

Bacon Cheddar Burger

A classic burger topped with crisp bacon and cheddar cheese. Served with lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onions.

About Denny's

Denny's is America's largest full-service family restaurant chain, with more than 1,500 locations. For more than 50 years, Denny's has been serving up real breakfast 24/7. Home of the famous Grand Slam(R) breakfasts, Denny's provides a variety of flavorful food and beverage choices.

  1. Technomic Information Services
  2. Restaurants and Institutions
  3. NPD National Eating Trends Research
  4. 4Datassential, Menutrends Direct


America's insatiable appetite for burgers

Fun Facts

  • Americans consume approximately 14 billion burgers each year.1
  • 41 percent of American consumers eat burgers at least once a week. 85 percent eat burgers at least once a month.2
  • 21 percent of consumers say they are eating more burgers today compared to two years ago. 2
  • Consumers rank quality/taste of meat, good portion size and fresh ingredients as the most appealing burger attributes. 2
  • Burgers are the most frequently ordered menu item, with 84 percent of consumers selecting a burger as the most frequently ordered menu item in 2007. 3
  • Burgers account for more than 40 percent of all restaurant sandwiches consumed throughout the country. 4
  • Though commonly thought of as fast food, burgers are, in fact, most highly penetrated on full-service menus. While 36.2 percent of QSR operators menu burgers, there is higher penetration at midscale (46.8 percent), casual (57.3 percent) and even fine dining (46.5 percent) restaurants.5
  • Only 8 percent of consumers report they like their burgers plain without
  • Fletcher "Old Dave" Davis from Athens, Texas is widely believed to have invented the burger which he sold as a ground beef patty sandwich at the St. Louis World's Fair Louisiana Purchase Exhibition in 1904.6
  • The Hamburger Hall of Fame is located in Seymour, Wisconsin.
  • The first restaurant chain to serve the burger was White Castle in Wichita, Kansas in 1921. 7
  • Burgers have enjoyed a 30 percent penetration growth in the fine dining segment over the past three years.5
  • Following the comfort food trend earlier in the decade, fine dining restaurants responded with revolutionary upscale burgers made from high quality, distinctive ingredients. This has carried over into other segments offering burgers of increasing sophistication.5
  • 63 percent of American consumers like to customize their burger condiments and toppings and 55 percent think restaurants should offer a variety of burger sizes. "Build-your-own burger" is one of the hottest trends in the burger industry. 2
  • Burgers become presidential in 2009. On May 5, President Obama puts burgers on the political radar when he makes an unannounced stop at Ray's Hell-Burger in Arlington, VA where he ordered a fresh grilled burger and dined-in for lunch.

References:


  1. Sysco Today, Summer 2007
  2. Technomic Information Services, The Burger Consumer Trend Report, 2007
  3. Restaurants and Institutions, Taste of America Study, 2007
  4. NPD National Eating Trends Research, 2007
  5. Datassential, Menutrends Direct, The Better Burger, 2008
  6. Tolbert, F. X. 1983. The Henderson County Hamburger. In Tolbert's Texas. Garden City, NY: Doubleday & Co
  7. 7Ingram, E.W., Sr. All This from a 5-cent Hamburger! The Story of the White Castle System. New York: The Newcomen Society, 1964



Top to bottom, inside and out Denny's new Better Burger is
Built better than ever
New Better Burger Retired Burger
100% seasoned beef (.5% salt) Flavored with a mixture of five seasonings resulting in an unnatural
A better burger experience taste
Hand-pressed on the grill Grilled from pre-formed patties resulting in a tighter, tougher
Natural, homemade texture, better flavor texture and significantly reduced juiciness
Customized press for perfect thickness
Thicker, creamier cheese Thin slices of cheese resulted in inconsistent melt and lack of
Better quality, better melt with increased presence and richer discernable cheese presence and mouthfeel
mouthfeel
Cool, crisp, fresh shredded iceberg lettuce Green leaf lettuce
Improved texture, color Wilts and turns black under heat
Holds up better to heat Lacks texture and crispness once heated
Adds loft to the build
Perfectly sized, perfectly toasted Spread with margarine and grilled
sesame seed bun Burger to bun ratio 25 percent/75 percent
Reduced calories (no margarine) Margarine caused the buns to become soggy
Better fit - burger to bun ratio
33 percent/66 percent
Dry-toasting results in a pleasant textural contrast while
preventing the bun from becoming soggy





SOURCE: Denny's

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