Big Rush for Denny’s Free Grand Slam Breakfast

The above SuperBowl commercial offered the country a free breakfast at Denny’s this morning. The free Grand Slam is available from 6am to 2pm. USA Today reports the America–at least the really hungry/college student contingent of it–is happily lapping up the free meal ($5 value):

Denny’s free ‘Grand Slam’ breakfast offer appears to be hitting it out of the park. The Dallas Morning News says 30 people were lined up at 6 a.m. at one Denny’s location in Big D to take advantage of the free breakfast of two eggs, two slices of bacon, two sausage links and two pancakes. The nationwide offer is good until 2 p.m. The newspaper quotes one customer, Francisco Flores, 53,, as saying he heard about it on the morning news and rushed over immediately. “I didn’t even shower,” says Flores.

The News quotes Nelson Marchioli, president and CEO of Denny’s, as saying he expects at least 2 million more customers today. “In this economy, people will respond to free,” he says.

Other sightings:

— WJXX radio in Jacksonville, Fla., says managers at one spot on Atlantic Boulevard report as much business as on Christmas Day. They expect more than 800 people to dive in. The radio reports that some students are skipping first hour of classes to grab the free meal.

— The Washington Examiner notes a little fine print from Denny’s Web site: offer is good as long as supplies last and beverage and tip are not included.

What is Denny’s trying to accomplish with the free food? High school and college students, late-night partiers, and budget-conscious people have and will continue to be the chain’s best customers. Who else could it attract, besides today’s opportunistic freebie lovers?

I don’t understand the business sense behind the move, but it is a friendly gesture.

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  • John

    “tip [is] not included”

    I hope people catch on here. Servers tend to be underpaid to begin with. When eating a free or discounted meal, you should tip on how much you would have paid.

    Idea for a follow-up article: tell us how Denny’s servers came out in tips from the “free” breakfast promotion.

  • Ben

    Personally, I think this is a smart idea by Denny’s management. Denny’s, much like McDonalds, is focused on providing value to its customers. This promotion, combined with the poor economy, is a great way to potentially make regular customers out of people who previously dined at their higher priced competitors.

    Of course, Denny’s will have to deliver a certain level of quality during this promotion in order to capitalize on the opportunity.

  • Jeez… I can’t believe I missed this one. I remember last time Baskin Robbins did the same thing.

  • “I don’t understand the business sense behind the move, but it is a friendly gesture.”

    The publicity and word of mouth that Denny’s are generating is something that most marketers only ever dream of…

    Gustafson – my job search notes

  • JoyfulC

    Makes sense to me. These free breakfasts probably cost them less than a big marketing campaign — and probably earned them a lot more recognition and goodwill than they could ever possibly hope to purchase.

    It looks good on them!

  • Didn’t even shower… That pretty much summed up the looks of the line I saw as I drove by one of our Denny’s. Looked like a local soup kitchen line. Wonder if this will turn into anything positive for Denny’s.