Monday, February 02, 2009

Denny's: It's Not Just For Drunk College Kids Anymore

Denny's wants to remind people that this is what breakfast is supposed to look like. It's not a muffin from Starbuck's. It's not a pair of greasy taquitos from 7-11. It's not a jelly-filled donut from Dunkin'. It's not a Pop-Tart, good as Pop-Tarts are. It's not last night's pizza, renamed "Italian Cheese Toast" so that you feel better about being a loser.

And Denny's wants to remind you that breakfast is a meal, the kind you sit down for, with a fork and everything. This is your grandpa's breakfast and it's cool again. Or should be. This is a farm breakfast, the kind that gets you fueled up and ready for a hard day of work sitting at your computer searching YouTube. So won't you please come into Dennys and at least give it a try?

Denny's will offer this breakfast free to everyone tomorrow from 6 am to 2 pm. That is a major promotion, but it's not really a gamble. Under the unspoken guise of "We're just looking out for you in these tough economic times" is a solid strategy. You'll also order coffee and juice and the cost of the meal will be covered. Denny's thinks you'll say to yourself, "Damn. Now that was a breakfast," and they hope you'll come back again.

It's not cool to like Denny's among a certain set. Denny's is considered white-trash and low-brow, where some junkie-cook with hepatitis is going to spit in your food and a surly, old, fat lady named Mabel will refill your coffee with a splash that suggests she once had a kid who looked like you and she's glad that kid is gone.

I don't mind a Denny's. I haven't been to one in a long time, but Denny's doesn't bother me. It's nice to know that if I want a classic breakfast at 11 pm on Christmas night, Denny's will serve it up. I hope their promotion tomorrow is a success and that people who've been eating on the run will rediscover the pleasure of making time for a morning meal. Sadly, what I think will happen is that Denny's will be overrun with bargain hunting vagabonds and bag ladies, scaring off the potential new customers as they drive by.

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  • I don't know about being overrun with riffraff, unless there were riffraff Super Bowl viewing parties. But we'll know tomorrow. I'd hit the one in my hood if they hadn't been chased out by my shifting demographics. One thing about that spot: I was laughing so hard at the gag I nearly missed the point. It was only on the third DVR viewing that I caught it. On the first I was wondering if the lead actor were Martin Scorcese. On the second I was calling the Wife Unit into the room.

    By Anonymous everysandwich, at February 2, 2009 at 11:03 AM  

  • I was sure that was Scorsese at first.

    I'm guessing, though I'm not sure, that Denny's locations will feature store signage alerting the bums to the promotion.

    By Blogger Jetpacks, at February 2, 2009 at 11:08 AM  

  • In Goodfellas, the guys would never consider going to a Denny's to discuss business. In fact, when they had a body in the trunk, they actually stopped off at Tommy DeVito's mother's home (played by Scorses's real mother) for a full-course meal. Don't know why I'm sharing any of this.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 2, 2009 at 5:52 PM  

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