- Denny’s debuted a new menu Wednesday as part of the chain’s “It’s Diner Time” initiative, which launched last week as part of its 70th anniversary celebration.
- The menu includes augmented reality that allows guests to use their phones to take a virtual tour of the menu and access exclusive deals, as well as new menu items.
- The casual chain invested over $25 million to upgrade and improve kitchen equipment, develop new food offerings, increase efficiency and decrease food waste as part of the “It’s Diner Time” overhaul.
Denny’s menu update includes in-store touchpoints, as well. The chain redesigned its menu to showcase classic offerings, like Moons Over My Hammy and Build Your Own Burger, alongside new items, including the Mac N’ Brisket Sizzlin’ Skillet and Oven-Baked Lasagna. Denny’s will advertise these changes with a national TV campaign.
The company also rolled out new uniforms for employees as well as new customer merchandise, which is available at DinerDrip.com “to further cement the brand in diner culture and meet consumers where they are.”
Denny’s largely completed its kitchen modernization initiative, with fewer than 25 remodels to go as of February, CEO Kelli Valade said during the company’s year-end earnings call. The new equipment allowed for the company to better innovate its menu, Vallade said.
That kitchen overhaul, along with future upgrades to cloud-based technology, had an initial price tag of about $65 million. Denny’s will contribute roughly $10 million toward installation costs. Upgrades began in 2021 and include a high-tech oven that can bulk cook and free up space in the kitchen.
The chain’s next initiative will be to roll out new restaurant technology, including a cloud-based point-of-sales system, Valade said.
“We anticipate this technology deployment will enable an improved overall guest experience, greater operational excellence, anticipated labor efficiencies, and improve payment experience, and serve as a platform for future innovation,” Valade said.
A handful of other chains are in the midst of brand overhauls. Red Robin is updating restaurant equipment and improving food quality, among other upgrades. Restaurant Brands International is also investing $400 million in a marketing and remodeling program.