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10:51 a.m. - February 20, 2007
Denny's - Works For Me? Not Really...
The other day I was watching the Pro Bowler’s Tour on ESPN (OK, stop it RIGHT there…just STOP it. Bowling is actually intriguing to watch. I’ve watched it since I was a kid, as it was on right before Wide World Of Sports and I learned about Earl Anthony and Johnny Petraglia. Besides, Katie likes it, too!) and it’s now sponsored by Denny’s and Motel 6.

How apt, really. It rather much fits.

Now, you may scoff at bowlers making money by BOWLING, of all things, but let me just say this. They don’t really make that much money. They travel around from town to town, no doubt staying at Motel 6 (or Super 8 or perhaps a Red Roof if they’re flush with cash) and eating at Denny’s, and earning a small pittance. If you want to complain about something, complain about how much PGA tour golfers make for finishing 33rd.


Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah…

Well, because they’re sponsored by Denny’s, they had commercials for said eatery on the broadcast. Yes, I was drifting in and out of napitude (until Katie joined me in watching, then her piercing screams of delight when a strike was rolled made it impossible for me to half-nap) but I could not miss the Denny’s commercials.


Because of the slogan Denny’s now uses on its ads.

Are you ready???

Works For Me!

Oh….sweet Jesus. Denny’s has just given up.

To me, that slogan says, “Yeah, I suppose, if that’s all you got. I don’t want to rock the boat here if you really want a Grand Slam Breakfast”.

And with Denny’s new menu specials they’ve basically stopped any pretense of trying to be healthy. For $5.99 you can load up on meat and carbs and cholesterol. EKG not included, nor is orange juice.

But really, “Works For Me!”

Let’s think of what else Denny’s could have used:

“Hey, We’re Open. Right Now!”

“Our Waitrons Are Now 25% Less Surly!”

“When IHOP Is Too Rich For Your Blood!”

“When There’s Nothing Else Around!”

“Clogging Hearts Since 1953!”

“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell!”

“Oh, We Do Serve Lunch And Dinner, Too!”

“Walk In. Waddle Out!”

“Serving Drunks And Insomniacs 24 Hours A Day!”

“That’ll Do, Pig. That’ll Do!”

Is it wise for Denny’s to realize that they are the home for the cheap traveler and the drunken fool at 4AM?

Oh, I guess. I mean, you know you’re not eating at a four-star restaurant with a sampler platter cooked by Joel Robuchon. Maybe Joe Bob Robuchon is back there slinging the hash browns, who knows?

Denny’s has to compete with IHOP, Perkins, Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel (and the cheesy stores attached to them. They inherited the stock from Stuckey’s, I think), and countless Mom and Pop greasy spoons that give you MORE food for LESS money.

Steak ‘N’ Shake is open 24 hours as well, but you go there for steakburgers, chili and shakes, not breakfast. And sometimes, that’s doesn’t sit well after a night of Jagermeistering.

(Oh, a digression on Stuckey’s: Gone are the days where you can get “2 Eggs + Toast” for 99 cents, or 3 t-shirts for $10, I’m afraid. And those peppermint candies that were puffed up, and the pecan log rolls, and all…sniff…)

But Denny’s seems to be the only one with a cache of “yeah, I suppose.”

And I don’t think that slogan will help them break out of it.

Slogans are the life blood of restaurants and advertisting. Everyone remembers “You Deserve A Break Today”, or “Have It Your Way”, even to this day. (Of course, I recall “Breakfast at McDonald’s is served with a FLAIR”).

Steak N Shake’s main slogan is “In sight – It must be right.” That’s confusing, because it’s all about the fact that they make the burgers right on the grill, which if you are sitting at the counter you can see exactly what they are doing. But as a slogan? Nah.

I mean, what if some other fast-food type restaurants adopted the Denny’s style of slogans?

Hardees – “You May Be A Redneck…”

White Castle – “Excuse me. Where’s the john?”

KFC – “So we’re Kentucky FRIED CHICKEN again! Suck it, PETA!”

Long John Silver’s – “Come for the fish. Stay for those fried things at the bottom of the container…”

Tim Horton’s – “Good day, eh?”

Krispy Kreme – “You want another one. You NEED another one. This one has raspberry jam inside! This one has frosting and crème filling! Come on!”

Burger King – “Yeah, so the Quad Stacker can kill ya. You gotta die of somethin’!”

Wendy’s – “Our burgers are square, just like you!”

Dairy Queen – “Please, come to our store during the winter. Pretty please!”

McDonald’s – “You say you’re getting one of our healthy salads, but really you’re ordering a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. Admit it.”

Taco Bell – “How can we combine ground beef, lettuce, cheese, scallions, and sour cream into another combination and sell it at a huge markup?”

See, it’s not a very good trend is it?

So, Denny’s and it’s “Works For Me” slogan may indeed work for them, but I don’t see it. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to see where the nearest location is. A super Grand Slam would be just marvy right now.


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