Denny's make a play for singles

Denny's - home of the Grand Slam and a notably graying group of customers - looks to attract Millenials with their new Den concept.

OK. Okay. It's Denny's.

There hasn't exactly been a lot of cutting-edge news out of the Spartanburg, SC company. But Denny's new college-only concept ("The Den") is an attempt to woo students Millenials and is probably worth a quick once-over.


Currently with locations at 8 universities, The Den by Dennys features a few twists meant to better suit student Millenials. Denny's own copy sums it up nicely:

Burgers for breakfast? Check. Man cave chic meats counter-service? Check. Breakfast flavors all day? Check.

Some other The Den facts:

• It features an abbreviated menu with 6 sections, with a total item count of 34.

• Denny's does away with what they term "daypart oppression". Simply, the entire menu is available during all service hours. So breakfast for dinner or burgers for breakfast are always an option.

• Given the short menu, a large part (10 items) is given over to low-prep 'snack' items that are very grab-and-go.

• For a fast-food menu, the flavor profile is more interesting than one might expect. Most prominent is a slant towards Tex-Mex flavors and a variety of cheeses that have acutal names.

• Yes, you can still order a Grand Slam at The Den

Describing their newest location at the University of Alabama, Greg Powell, vice-president for concept innovation for The Den commented about the lack of day-parting, "For college students, that gets all blurred because of their schedules. We know they love our burgers. We know they love breakfast. We did craft this menu with Millennials in mind."

The fact that The Den has a limited expansion (and only on college campuses) seems to indicate that Denny's sees it as a hot-house way to groom products or operational details that might one day filter down and strengthen Denny's appeal to Millenials.

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