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Denny’s diners get free Grand Slam |

Denny’s diners get free Grand Slam

| Wednesday, February 4, 2009 12:00 a.m

Denny’s restaurant chain on Tuesday gave away thousands of its Grand Slam breakfasts, including pancakes, eggs, bacon strips and sausage links, to customer visiting its 1,500-plus locations between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The free food promotion was an effort to reacquaint customers with Denny’s and its budget-friendly fare, the Spartanburg, S.C.,-based chain said.

The free meal deal was first advertised Sunday evening, immediately following a Denny’s commercial during the Super Bowl. The 50-plus-year-old company estimates that up to two million customers took advantage of the deal.

“The Grand Slam has always been a Denny’s favorite,” CEO Nelson Marchioli said in a statement.

Marketing experts said it would be difficult to gauge how successful the Grand Slam really was. “They’re trying to increase their walk-in traffic, but will it become a habit• That’s difficult to determine,” said Gayle Marco, associate processor of marketing at Robert Morris University.

Marco said to be impactful, Denny’s should have begun running more commercials than just within the last two days, and that while in some markets it might get some local news coverage, odds were slim such coverage would occur in Pittsburgh, given that yesterday also was the Steelers’ Super Bowl parade.

The Denny’s on Steubenville Pike in Crafton during a one-hour period passed out 130 of the restaurant’s breakfasts, said manager Maribeth Rupert.

“We were hustling, it was great,” Rupert said. “People were lined up out the door and down the sidewalk beginning before 6.”

Rupert said on a normal day, her location would serve about 50 Grand Slams.

The chain has 16 restaurants in Southwest Pennsylvania.

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