There was much trumpeting as Denny’s restaurant chain opened its first ever Manhattan diner last August on Nassau Street, the gateway to New York’s Financial District.
At the time of the opening, Rahul Marwah, Denny’s franchisee and manager of Nassau 8793, LLC, stated:
“In seeking the prime location for Denny’s first entrance into New York, the financial capital of the world, Lower Manhattan seemed the perfect fit. We purposefully designed a restaurant that suits this vibrant and historic neighborhood, drawing inspiration from the unique charm, character and flair of legendary downtown New York eateries that locals have loved and cherished for decades. Of course, working side-by-side with the condominium board at 150 Nassau Street to see this vision come to life was imperative.”
Location is of course just one element to the ongoing success of one of America’s favourite eatery institutions, and the Denny’s brand, famed for its Grand Slam® breakfast and menu innovation, has evolved into one loved around the world.
“New York has long been considered the cultural melting pot of the world,” said Steve Henry, senior director of field marketing for Denny’s. “We’ve been so graciously welcomed into our new Manhattan home and look forward to becoming a neighborhood gathering place where local residents, visitors of this great city and our loyal guests from all over the country can always count on good service, a great atmosphere and, most importantly, delicious food.”
The company website captures the essence of what makes Denny’s such a popular destination for hungry diners:
“Denny’s is America’s diner. This is where Americans have come for over 60 years now to sit back, relax, and enjoy delicious, hearty meals 24/7, every day of the year. From breakfast anytime to satisfying lunches and dinners, if you’re in the mood for it, chances are we’re serving it. Denny’s is always open, always welcoming and always serving up hearty diner food along with a mug of fresh hot coffee. So come on in anytime, park yourself in a comfortable booth, take a seat at the counter, whatever you want, because it won’t take you long to understand why we’re truly America’s diner.”
Today Denny’s operates over 2,100 restaurants around the world, with franchises across America and in more than 11 other countries. All a far cry from 1953, when Harold Butler and Richard Jezak established the first Denny’s in Lakewood, California, under the name Danny’s Donuts.
The popularity of the two entrepreneurs’ offering had seen their business grow to 20 restaurants by 1959, when the company officially became Denny’s and 4 years later, the company established its first franchise agreement.
Business was brisk in those early years of the Sixties and by 1966, Denny’s had made its first public offering on the American Coast Stock Exchanges. Just a year later, Acapulco, Mexico, was chosen as the site for the company’s first overseas venture.
Of course 2013 marked the 60th anniversary of Denny’s and the company goes from strength to strength, with a mantra that states: “We aggressively pursue innovation to support long-term, sustainable goals.”
There is a big onus on franchisees to get it right operationally, and unsurprisingly, Denny’s provides a network of support at all stages, as John Miller, President and CEO explains: “As we focus on expanding throughout the world, we not only continue the endurance of the Denny’s brand, but the equity value for all our franchisees.
“Equally, our ability to remain a dominant brand relies on our commitment to fully supporting the success of our franchisees,this is why we are offering incentives to new domestic franchisees eager to start developing Denny’s.”
Denny’s has over the years won a plethora of awards. In 2014 it was voted #1 in the Family Restaurants rankings by Entrepreneur Magazine and made the list of the 50 Top Franchises for Minorities according to USA Today.
The company website suggests that listening to customers is at the heart of Denny’s continued success: “For over 60 years thereafter, Denny’s developed an adaptable business model that evolves with customer preferences and the economy. Today, the brand is an icon with more than 1,700 restaurants and nearly 100 per cent brand awareness, making Denny’s one of the world’s powerhouse family restaurant chains. And we intend to stay that way!”