Wednesday, February 4, 2009

What did Denny's get for its giveaway?

Denny's ended one of the more extraordinary giveaways in the history of the restaurant business--a free Grand Slam breakfast to anyone who showed up at any store, albeit within a set timeframe--by divulging enough stats to choke a fantasy football league.

The cost: $5 million, including the outlay for the Super Bowl spot trumpeting the freebie. The traffic: 130 free breakfasts an hour per store for the eight hours of the offer. Average wait time for a table during that window: An hour, with tables turned every 20 minutes. Every store was filled to capacity, according to the home office.

All in all, Denny's said, about 2 million of the breakfasts were given away today (though other numbers suggest it might've been closer to 1.5 million, or 130 meals per hour X 8 hours X 1500 stores).

And the lasting effects? Two of my esteemed former colleagues at Nation's Restaurant News spoke with customers about the giveaway's impression on theme. It's food for thought.

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