Denny’s – the off-ramp diner to end all off-ramp diners – has gone through some changes throughout the years. Like any company that’s been pandering pancakes and slinging sausage for over half a century, it’s amassed its fair share of amusing and colorful tidbits.
So sit wherever you’d like and peruse this extensive list of juicy (and affordable) facts, we’ll be right with you.
1. The Grand Slam Is Named in Honor of Hank Aaron
The Hammer had more than a few fans in the Atlanta area, where he relocated with the formerly Milwaukee Braves and played from 1966-74. No surprise then when he retired in 1976 that an ATL Denny’s decided to name their signature combo in honor of the legend’s impact on the city and the team. To this day, the combo is still more exciting than the average home run hit.
2. Their Restaurants Didn’t Have Locks Until 1988
Why waste money on a lock if you’re never going to close? This ledger-line logic probably saved a few construction greenbacks for every corporate and franchised store, but eventually, the chain realized it wasn’t profitable to stay open on every single holiday.
So, they broke tradition by closing for Christmas Day 1988, causing many stores to install locks for the first time – while other stores had to scramble to find some copies of their long-lost keys.
3. Denny’s Served 2 Million Grand Slams for Free in a Single Day
Denny’s dared America to try them out in the boldest way imaginable: by airing an ad during Super Bowl XLIII offering an absolutely free Grand Slam to anyone that came in between 6 am and 2 pm the following Tuesday.
Two million Americans took the bait, and the company decided to run the ad again the following year. After that, though, they realized that it might be a better business model to sell their food for money year-round.
4. Their Highest Volume Store Is on the Las Vegas Strip
According to The Motley Fool, the highest volume company-owned restaurant cleared $7.9 million in sales in 2013. This number is over four times more than the average Denny’s (either franchised or company owned) made in 2010.
Could it possibly have something to do with people getting wasted 24 hours a day? Or maybe the fact that the Las Vegas Strip Denny’s also offers wedding licenses with a side of hashbrowns?
5. Kids Eat Free on Tuesday Nights
The company usually entices children with their animated movie tie-ins, but they’ve also been enticing parents with the Kids Eat Free offer for years. From 4-10 pm on Tuesday nights, any child accompanied by an adult can order anything from the Kids Menu free with the purchase of a regular entree.
Grown-ups who feel left out should also know that most locations will serve you a free build-your-own slam on your birthday.
6. Denny’s Has Moved Toward Cruelty-Free Products
Partnering with the Humane Society, Denny’s decided to switch over entirely to cage-free eggs back in 2008. Along those lines, the company has also sought to avoid using pigs raised in gestation crates since 2012. This push towards cruelty-free products means that eventually the only defenseless animals that will have to suffer are the people eating their food.
7. The Grand Cru Slam Costs $300
You know, we thought you couldn’t improve on the original Grand Slam, but then Denny’s paired it with a bottle of Dom Pérignon.
Yes, the first Manhattan location decided to cater to a more upscale clientele, releasing a value meal that is essentially $3 of food and $297 of Champagne. You’ll be happy to know this location also serves cocktails. Bring on the flapjacks.