Oct 9, 2019 | Report Announcements, Uncategorized

Denny’s is uniquely positioned as an admired and loved “local” family chain serving classic American comfort food at a fair price around the clock for unpretentious, everyday occasions. The chain seeks to move its positioning beyond serving breakfast all-day towards an unpretentious diner with trusted burgers, salads, etc. (i.e. more credibility with the other dayparts). Its new “See You at Denny’s” messaging is designed to prompt consumers to check out the brand’s fresh makeover which includes: remodels at 84% of its stores, creating a more comfortable dining space; a menu overhaul using higher quality ingredients; and a new focus on diversity, equality & inclusion initiatives (we just don’t serve you, we see you) to better connect with its diverse customer base. The goal is to convert very high brand awareness into trial & frequency and multimedia marketing efforts include commercials targeting African-American & Hispanic diners across TV, Hulu, YouTube, Vevo, Facebook and Instagram. A simple menu positioning largely reflects the idea that consumers want to indulge when they dine out because they can stay at home for something plain & simple and the menu benefits from well-known signature items including its famous Original Grand Slam platter. A strong everyday value equation comes in the form of its $2468 menu platform, value promotions (including its $5.99 Slam offers), senior discounts and kids eat free deals. Comps have been positive for the last 8 calendar years and outperformed the segment average over the last 5 years with strong 2Q19 results. Going forward sales tailwinds include: off-premise growth that better positions the brand with a younger demo; remodeled stores; improved menu offerings; and a customer demo that benefits from increased employment & wage growth. All-the-same, today’s competitive operating environment requires an ongoing value emphasis which is difficult given ongoing labor cost pressures. Also, the chain’s challenge remains to drive repeat business beyond an occasional breakfast and to grow other dayparts without diminishing the brand’s very important breakfast business. Further, the chain must address its own reality as a 60+ year old system which includes older, underperforming stores. In conclusion, we expect Denny’s to continue gaining traction in a difficult operating environment as it focuses on making “America’s Diner” ever more relevant.

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