On today’s Bullseye –Denny’s wants to be ‘the” diner for a new generation. The chain has spent over $25 million to upgrade its kitchens and along with that has redesigned its menu offerings. Technology is playing a key role in the form of augmented reality that is designed to bring “the brand to life”. The idea is to create a journey as we turn the pages of their menu – just scan with your phone and there are interactive games as well as exclusive deals. Not to be outdone by other foodservice chains you can also – of course – go to dinerdrip.com to buy Denny’s merchandise: a rolling pin, hats, t-shirts, tote bags, playing cards, loungewear, a sleep mask and even an original Levi’s trucker jacket. Anything you can imagine – except the food. For food you have to go to Dennys.com. I do wonder that if this is all about building the brand – why don’t they call the website DennysDiner.com? DinerDrip just doesn’t make it for me. The Denny’s team also gets a uniform refresh. Denny’s is clearly out to get our dinner time meals and expand their image beyond a place for breakfast or lunch. It’s a smart strategy especially as the cost of eating out is more affordable than making dinner at home these days. The menu features two new sections – Dinner Classics Plus and Savory Diners Spotlight. So what’s on the menu? According to their press release:
Denny’s Instagram page has 271,000 followers – that’s great – but only 253 posts. Facebook over 1.4 million followers, on Twitter over 433,000, TikTok not so robust with only 32,000 followers. If in fact Denny’s wants to expand their customer base – they need to have a stronger social media presence. On most of their pages they only post about once a week. They set up a great promotion in New York City for daylight savings time – a bottomless free coffee on tap bar from 6am to 2pm. Their YouTube video only has 455 views. Don’t get me wrong – I like Denny’s – especially their cheese omelets – they are doing a lot right – but if they are going to be successful for dinner – especially with Millennials and Gen Z – they are going to have to do more. A lot more. On social media and on their dinner menu offerings. Timing is right with the economy forget about selling Denny’s merch and focus on the food.