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Feb 7, 2010 11:28 PM

Free breakfast at Denny's 2/9/10

Free grand slam breakfast at denny's tomorrow.

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  1. Only 'til 2 in the afternoon, I think. (checked: yes -- 6 am-2 p.). It must be worth it to them, as this is a repeat event.

    Still, I think of those people lining up to get free what they could get at any other time for about $5 without the hassle; of the freeloaders ordering just water, depriving the chain of at least a little income on the deal; and of course stiffing the server -- after all, it's "free", right?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Muskrat

      That is true about the freeloaders but then you shouldn't blame them, you should blame Denny's for making an offer like that. They ought to realize the chaos that will ensue.

      1. re: Muskrat

        If you want to avoid the line and score a complementary Grand Slam, it is free on your birthday ... unless your birthday was today which would mean standing in line.

        Well, this freeloader only had water but didn't stiff the server. Still I was surprised at the number of tables that didn't leave a tip.

        There was a sort of serindipity to this. On Sunday, I had considered going to Denny's on my own dime since I hadn't been in over five years. However, there are just too many better places nearby.

        I have fond memories of Denny's and the Grand Slam from my college days. Then it was $1.99 and the coffee was always promptly refilled. It was a satisfying weekend breakfast or 'dinner' with coworkers after the graveyard shift. Denny's never rushed anyone out and you could talk over breakfast for a while in a restaurant that was clean and neat.

        As to the Grand Slam today ... exactly as I remembered it. Nothing special but a decent, filling, no-frills breakfast. Everything tasted the same too ... sausages, pancakes, bacon, eggs.

        They have made a serving error, IMO. The pancakes come on a separate plaie. Two dishes make it look like a smaller breakfast. The eggs, bacon and sausage don't take that much room on a dinner plate. Also you miss the effect of the pancake syrup oozing over into the bacon and sausage.. Still I enjoyed the faux syrup poured over the pancakes right after the butter melts.

        The wait actually wasn't bad at under 15 minutes. There probably wouldn't have been any wait had the service been more on spot. For some reason, you sat at the table over 15 minutes until a server got to you.

        That was the main reason I didn't get the coffee. Refills weren't happening without a lot of arm waving and I wasn't paying $1.99 for a single cup of Denny's coffee.

        Denny's seems go have gone back to basic diner food with a simpler menu. Last time I was there it was way too ambitious, trying to cover every recent trend. That's really why I wanted to stop by Sunday. To see what was up these days.

        What did shock me was the prices. Other than the free Grand Slam day, Denny's seems to be out of touch with the current economy. Frankly, I can eat at some fine dining joints in the area for a lot less than what it costs at Denny's.

        The Grand Slam is now $6.99. That wasn't worth seven bucks. Most breakfasts range in the $8-$9 range. Pancakes alone were $5.99. Drinks are $2 - $2.50.

        Let me put that in perspective. One of the top restaurants in my area has a weekend brunch for $11. That includes a choice of entrees, a house-baked danish and coffee. For kids under 5, breakfast is free.

        Let's see $11 at this joint or paying even more at Denny's? Guess.

        Then there's the Jaimaican place a little further down the road where made-from scratch pancakes with sausage are $2.99 or a egg/bacon/hash brown/ toast breakfast is the same price. Decisions, decisions.

        I can buy a $7 - $9 sandwich at Denny's or stop by the French shop down the block where I can get a large $6 sandwich with a roll by the top bakery in the area that is filled with house-made mayo and fillings such as house-made smoked salmon, wild boar pate, rabbit rillets. I can buy a piece of $6 pie from Dennies or get a $3 chocolate tart at the French joint which brushes the roasted hazelnut on top with gold ... serously. Which should I choose?

        What is sad is that even without the freebie, there is usually a wait at Denny's where the Jamaican joint sits empty. Ditto for a lot of places in the area where the food is made with care and the prices are lower.

        Come to think of it, I probably haven't eaten at Denny's since I started reading Chowhound.

        Don't get me wrong. Despite my constant wailing over poor sotftware and decisiouns that seem not to take into account how people really use the site, it is nice that Chow has more or less left the forums alone.

        Still ... the insane, intense passion is gone here. There's no maniacal voice urging people to grab the ripest offerings from the branches ... to seek out excellence. It makes me sad that microphone has been turned off here and the voice gone.

        I feel sorry for the people standing in line at Denny's.on Sunday. I feel sorry for the Jamaican joint that sits empty with superiour food at half the price.

        To the tune of Mrs. Robinson ...

        Where have you gone, former top dog Leff. Our nation turns its hungry eyes to you ... woo, woo woo

        .... or someone like you ... there needs to be a voice crying in the dessert (sic) that we can eat better ... that we ain't no damn trend-following foodies ... we're Chowhounds. There's a difference.

      2. i feel bad for the servers because you just know they are getting majorly stiffed on the tips.

        1. I remember reading a story about a reporter who tried to hit multiple Denny's locations during this promo last year, and how sick he was after eating 6 breakfasts (well, DUH!). I just know that here in Wichita the lines mean a 2-hour wait for a slopped-together breakfast of negligible quality that could be made at home for less than what it costs in gas to drive to and from Denny's.
          So, basically - someone can have my place in line.

          1. i know it's freaky, but there is a Denny's in my neighborhood that makes the most amazing pancakes. especially on a late Sunday afternoon (that's when i often crave breakfast foods, so i hop down to the Denny's). whoever their Sunday cook is, he is a pancake savant. they are regularly light and fluffy and perfectly cooked.

            if this offer had been on a Sunday, i might have gone.

            i saw a pic on Twitter of a Denny's where people are literally lined up around the block today. that's insanity. (unless you are really broke, then it would be worth it.)

            1. I drove past the Denny's that's not too far from the Santa Clara University campus (Calif.) around 11:45am today and there were about 20 people waiting outside.

              10 Replies
              1. re: Melanie Wong


                I had to drive from LA to Fresno (CA) yesterday (Boo, snow is no fun). The I-5 is dotted with Denny's all along the way and as I got further into the netherlands the lines in heavily populated areas (LOTS of people milling arond outside) vanished and around 11:00 somewhere around Gorman or Lebec or one of those places I spotted a Denny's with no visible wait. Off the freeway I flew, walked right in and was served immediately. Given what I was eating it was a pleasure for free. I would have had a better meal of corned beef hash, etc. at one of the truck stops for the same price as a Grand Slam (I cheated and had my hash on the return trip, gladly paying for trencherman's portions and unlimited salad bar). I would have been pissed if I had to pay full price for the GS.

                1. re: TomSwift

                  Well, that's a grand strategy. Thanks for the report, and I hope you'll post on the California board about your other meals in Fresno and I-5.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong

                    "Well, that's a grand strategy."

                    Just lucky he didn't slide of the road and slam into a culvert... ;-D>

                    1. re: Servorg

                      I am lucky that I didn't slide into a culvert or worse. And I certainly wouldn't drive to Lebec for a free GS which I wouldn't even buy here in LA.

                      1. re: TomSwift

                        Tom, glad you made it okay. I was just playing along with Melanie (that sly girl) who got in the "grand" with her strategy phrase so I went for the "slam"( if you had accidentily slipped in the snow without chains).

                        One of these very early AM's when I am out and about on my bicycle I intend on visiting the one right under the 90 and 405 Freeway's on Jefferson in Culver City, and reacquainting myself with a Grand Slam breakfast - even if it's not free!

                        1. re: Servorg

                          I rarely confess, but I will here and will concede that I missed the "grand" and "slam" references... too clever for must be because my blood sugar level is too low. Better get a Tommy burger. If your "very early AM's" are early enough I'll drive over the hill and join you for a GS.

                          1. re: TomSwift

                            Probably in the 4 to 4:30 AM time frame (after finishing riding).

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Went this morning about 4:45 AM. I have to say, my local Norm's is just as good (if not better) and closer. So I guess if I want this type of breakfast I'll just hit Norm's on Pico Blvd. and call it a morning. The Denny's waitress did say that it was absolutely crazy at their location for the free breakfast. She said people were lined up around the restaurant and that a lot of people walked out after having their meal without paying for their drinks. Sounds like it may be a while before Denny's tries this again. lol

                              1. re: Servorg

                                They did it last year, so I'm guessing it may be a yearly event. It does get them a lot of free publicity for the price of a breakfast.

                                I'm guessing the built the drinks into the cost of this. No one was really checking at the register and so many people were milling around waiting to get in, walking out without paying for drinks would have probably been less of a hassle than trying to pay for the drink. It may be the reason they were slow on the uptake of filling drinks.

                                1. re: rworange

                                  A local high school principal did a raid at the local Denney's & rounded up 46 truant students.