Denny’s Super Bowl free ‘Grand Slam Breakfast’ brings 2 million diners

Friday, February 6, 2009

Denny’s 1,600 chain restaurants across North America, Puerto Rico and Canada, were slammed for eight hours Tuesday with hungry patrons standing on sidewalks for nearly two hours to take advantage of the $5.99 “Grand Slam Breakfast” giveaway.

Denny’s, a dining chain with annual revenue of about $900 million, has advertised in a TV commercial Sunday during the Super Bowl XLIII that it would give away its signature breakfast from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. local time Tuesday, at all its restaurants in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, while supplies lasted.

Denny’s Diner has promoted the iconic dish giveaway heavily, with a bold 30-second appeal ad that aired during the third quarter of the Super Bowl 43 on Sunday, plus another 15-second ad during the post-game show, offering a free breakfast to some 90 million viewers. In addition, it has placed a full-page ad in USA Today‘s Monday edition. The promotion was further announced on The Today Show and notices were also sent out to the chain’s “Denny’s Breakfast Club” members.

The NBC ad, which was bought to unveil a new promotion for customers squeezed by the recession, may have cost as much as $3 million, said Nelson Marchioli, CEO of Denny’s Corp. Super Bowl XLIII’s 30-second commercial time slot costs $2.4 million–$3 million for the airtime alone, excluding production and talent costs.

The game was televised live by the US NBC Sunday Night Football and Canada’s CTV Television Network. BayTSP has reported that, “as of 10 a.m. Wednesday, commercials that initially aired during NBC’s Super Bowl XLIII broadcast subsequently had been watched online more than 28 million times.”

“The promotion has a total cost of $5 million U.S., which includes $3 million for the commercial on NBC,” said a Denny’s spokesman, noting also that the company received about $50 million in news coverage, most of which was positive. According to a Denny’s representative, two million people walked through the restaurant chains’ doors Tuesday, and each Denny’s restaurant served an average of 130 Grand Slams per hour.

With the “Denny’s Feeds America” promotion, the company has reported 14 million hits on its Web site between Sunday night and Monday morning. Denny’s shares rose 6 cents, or 3.1 percent, to $1.98 in afternoon trading. The stock has traded in a range of $1.18 to $4.10 over the past 52 weeks.

“Denny’s free Grand Slam” has ranked in the top 10 Google searches early Tuesday and fell to No. 18 by the end of the promotion, while “denny s locations” was #9 on Google Trends, which tracks fast-rising searches. It has also held spots No. 1 (Denny’s) and 7 (Grand Slam) on Twitter‘s trending topics. It has generated much chat on Twitter, garnering 1,700 tweets on Tuesday, compared with its average of 59. Doritos, winner of the USA TODAY survey for best Super Bowl spot ad, had 933 mentions after reaching a peak of almost 3,300.

The idea of the TV ad was to get people to come in and re-evaluate Denny’s Diner. “A lot of people have forgotten what Denny’s is, or they think they know, while we’ve come out with a whole lot of new products. We felt like we needed to jump start the brand,” Denny’s Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer Mark Chmiel said.

“We’re celebrating the Grand Slam this year,” Chmiel said. According to the company’s financial data, on January 15 Denny’s reported systemwide comparable-store sales for the fourth quarter were down 6.1 percent, compared to a 0.2 percent decline from the same period in 2007.

According to Robert Gonzalez, public relations company Hill & Knowlton spokesman, Denny’s has expected at least 2 million people to eat a free Grand Slam by the end of the promotion. “Every restaurant is packed with people and lines,” Gonzalez said. “Everything today is about fast. People are on the go, and they’re eating fast food. It’s cutting into sit-down dining,” he added.

“Each of the more than 1,500 Denny’s were planning to make about 100 Grand Slams an hour,” Denny’s spokeswoman Cori Rice said. It had predicted it will have served about 1,400 people per location, more than five times the normal volume. “Grand Slam Breakfast” is a four-item option on its menu, consisting of two pancakes, two eggs, two strips of bacon and two sausage links. It weighs in at 44 grams of fat, 56 carbohydrates and 770 calories.

Nationwide, Denny’s expected to sell about 2 million Grand Slams — about 15 percent of the annual tally. According to Mark Chmiel, chief marketing operator and executive vice president, the diner chain has reported approximately 2 million meals worth more than $12 million were given away nationwide and each Denny’s restaurant served an average of 130 Grand Slams per hour. It estimated it has earned about $50 million worth of public relations following the free Grand Slam campaign, Chmiel said.

The company is also experimenting with a Grand Slam Burrito and also has introduced for this year, a Grand Slamwich, which includes eggs, bacon, sausage and cheese between two slices of bread, with a teaspoon serving. “It already has shown strong consumer appeal,” said Chmiel. The company has received flood of e-mails and letters proving the positive impact of the Grand Slam campaign and commercials on its customers.

Chmiel also announced he’s planning a third major promotion in this year’s third quarter, which happens to include another major sporting event, the World Series. “That’s one we’re definitely looking at,” he said.

Jobless Paris Winslow of downtown San Francisco, California has joined the long line which stretched from the front door on Mission Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets, to the corner of Fourth and up the block. “The economy is getting kind of scary. This line looks like those pictures of soup kitchen lines during the 1929 Great Depression,” Winslow said.

“I came all the way from San Francisco for a free $6 meal, Isn’t that pathetic? A year ago, I never would have done this. These days I’m willing to put my ego on the back burner,” said Stephen Weller, a jobless contractor who waited with his dog, Emmett. California Denny’s restaurant managers have issued rain checks (for free chilled meals, as security backed by actual bacon) to anyone who failed to get in by the 2 p.m. deadline.

A big eater could also “Slam It Up” by adding any two additional items for 99 cents each to their meal. Customers on Tuesday were also handed “bounceback” coupon books that include offers for additional free menu items with purchases. Chicago Tribune reporter Kevin Pang has eaten five free Grand Slams on Tuesday at five different Denny’s Diners in four hours. He claims to have consumed 4,100 calories at Harwood Heights, 5:36 a.m, at Schiller Park, 6:22 a.m., at Franklin Park, 7:08 a.m., at Melrose Park, 7:41 a.m. and at Grand Slam No. 5 Oak Park, 8:57 a.m.

“The Grand Slam has always been a Denny’s favorite. This free offer is our way of reacquainting America with Denny’s real breakfast and with the Denny’s brand,” Denny’s CEO Nelson Marchioli said in a statement. In 1977s, the Grand Slam started as a baseball-related promotion in Atlanta, Georgia. Its normal price averages around $5.99. Marchioli said the event was also a way to kick-off its “Year of the Grand Slam” promotion. Denny’s claimed it has sold 12.5 million Grand Slams a year.

“The economy’s tough and people are jumping all the way to fast food to try to figure it out. We all use fast food, whether it’s for time or convenience or for money. But you can go to Denny’s and you don’t have to give up a real breakfast and that was the whole focus of our commercial,” Marchioli explained. McDonald’s (MCD, Fortune 500) has done well during this economic meltdown since the global recession pushes people toward less expensive dining options.

McDonald’s has announced plans Wednesday to open 175 new restaurants in China this year despite the global economic crisis, thereby increasing the number of outlets in China by 17 percent, from 1,050 currently. Last month, McDonald’s 2008 net profit has risen 80 percent from 2007 to 4.3 billion dollars.

Marchioli has also introduced Denny’s $4 Weekday Express Slam, which is a streamlined version of the Grand Slam. “I want to take back share. For too long, we have allowed others to take share, whether it was Starbucks or McDonald’s. They’re fine competitors and I don’t expect to take all their business from them, but I’d like a little bit back,” Marchioli noted.

According to Rafi Mohammed, author of “The Art of Pricing,” people love free. “It triggers a Pavlovian response in people,” said Mohammed. If Pavlov’s dogs salivate when a bell rings, Denny’s free Grand Slam breakfast has attracted 2 million hungry customers. “I believe free maximizes trial and doesn’t devalue a product as long as it is a rare event. Aside from the cost, the major downside is that it attracts customers who truly have no intention of coming back,” he added.

According to University of Portland consumer psychology professor Deana Julka, people flock to free promotions amid just a few dollars saving because there’s nothing in life for free. “So when there’s something out there that costs nothing, it creates a psychological rush. Especially in these times when people feel overtaxed or overburden, there’s an internal reward people feel by getting something for free,” she said. “It’s being thrifty and feeling like you beat the system. Free really hits the spot for a lot of people,” Julka added.

“Free is an emotional hot button. When free is concerned, there is no downside – or, at least, we don’t see the downside immediately. So we overvalue everything that is free. People love free stuff, particularly when money’s tight,” said Dan Ariely, a business professor at Duke University, author of “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions.”

Experts, however, explained these moves need to be done sparingly, since giveaways can teeter in the balance between desperation and a well designed marketing ploy. “Giving your product away for free is not worth it because it undermines your brand value,” said branding expert Rob Frankel, saying people are attached to the idea of it being free, than the actual product itself.

Free giveaways are not anything new in the food industry. “It just feels good when you can get something for free and not have to worry about it coming out of your wallet,” Frankel noted. Dunkin’ Donuts and Panera Bread all have had free coffee and food promos last year. “In November, Starbucks gave away free cup of coffee to anyone who came in on Election Day. Have you taken a look at how Starbucks is doing now?” Last week it has announced it would shut down 300 stores, in addition to the 600 it already planned to close.

On February 24, IHOP will be offering a free shortstack to every customer to encourage donations (in place of the cost) for Childrens Miracle Network. The International House of Pancakes (IHOP) is a United States-based restaurant chain that specializes in breakfast foods and is owned by DineEquity. The chain had more than 1950 restaurants in all 50 states, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada and Mexico. Since 2006, IHOP’s National Pancake Day celebration has raised over $1.85 million. In 2008, over 1.5 million pancakes (12 miles high if they were stacked) were given to customers for donations.

Denny’s (“Denny’s Diner”) is a full-service diner/family restaurant chain in the United States. It operates over 2,500 restaurants in the United States (including Puerto Rico), Canada, Curaçao, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Japan, Mexico, and New Zealand). The resto chain is known for always being open, serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert around the clock.

Today, Denny’s operates about 1,600 restaurants in all 50 U.S. states, Canada and Mexico. There are also about 578 Denny’s restaurants in Japan operated under a license by a subsidiary of Seven & I Holdings, seven Denny’s locations in New Zealand, and approximately 38 Denny’s diners in the United States. Denny’s headquarters is now located in Spartanburg, South Carolina, headquarters of the parent company Trans World Corporation that acquired Denny’s in 1987.

Denny’s was historically notable for offering a free meal to anyone on their birthday. The offer included a limited number of meal options from a special birthday menu. The promotional ritual ceased in 1993, though occasionally individual franchises will continue the tradition.

In 2008, Denny’s has ceased to be in the ranks among the top diner chains in the $83 billion breakfast market, whose top five firms — McDonald’s, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King and IHOP — accounted for 22 percent of the volume. “A lot of consumers have written Denny’s off their let’s-go-there list,” said Ron Paul, president of Technomic, a consulting firm.

Super Bowl XLIII was an American football game between the American Football Conference champion Pittsburgh Steelers (15–4) and the National Football Conference champion Arizona Cardinals (12–8) to decide the National Football League (NFL) champion for the 2008 NFL season. It was played on February 1, 2009, at Raymond James Stadiumin Tampa, Florida. It has an attendance of 70,774 and 98.7 million viewers. Pittsburgh earned its sixth Super Bowl win, thus securing sole possession of the record for most Super Bowl wins.

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Wikinews interviews World Wide Web co-inventor Robert Cailliau

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The name Robert Cailliau may not ring a bell to the general public, but his invention is the reason why you are reading this: Dr. Cailliau together with his colleague Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, making the internet accessible so it could grow from an academic tool to a mass communication medium. Last January Dr. Cailliau retired from CERN, the European particle physics lab where the WWW emerged.

Wikinews offered the engineer a virtual beer from his native country Belgium, and conducted an e-mail interview with him (which started about three weeks ago) about the history and the future of the web and his life and work.

Wikinews: At the start of this interview, we would like to offer you a fresh pint on a terrace, but since this is an e-mail interview, we will limit ourselves to a virtual beer, which you can enjoy here.

Robert Cailliau: Yes, I myself once (at the 2nd international WWW Conference, Chicago) said that there is no such thing as a virtual beer: people will still want to sit together. Anyway, here we go.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Libertarian candidate Mark Scott, Toronto—Danforth

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mark Scott is running for the Libertarian in the Ontario provincial election, in the Toronto—Danforth riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed his regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Bruce Haines, Bramalea-Gore-Malton

Monday, September 24, 2007

Bruce Haines is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Bramalea-Gore-Malton riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Bodybuilding Products

Berberine: Make A Positive Change In Your Wellbeing

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Colombian military spy plane crashes

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

According to media reports, a Colombian air force AC-47 (registration FAC1670) spy plane carrying five people has crashed near the Colombian city of La Dorada, in the department of Caldas.

All on board the plane are believed to have been killed, according to Colombia Reports. Among the dead, according to Monsters and Critics, are two technicians, a major and two second lieutenants. ABS-CBN News reports that the dead included three high ranking officials and two lower ranking ones.

Jorge Ballesteros, a Colombian air force official, says that the plane took off from an air force base in the city of Puerto Salgar and was on an exercise mission when it crashed. He also states that although it was on a training exercise, the plane was carrying bombs and machine guns.

A military team has been dispatched to the area to investigate the incident, but they have already put the blame on mechanical failure. Ballestero noted that investigators have ruled out a rebel attack and terrorism as possible causes.

AC-47’s have been used by the Colombian air force for nearly 20 years, most of which were donated from the United States. They were provided to the country in an attempt to fight the illegal drug market and to defend citizens and the military against rebel attacks. They are also used to gather intelligence and come equipped with a state-of-the-art communications system, radar and infrared detection systems.

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Oklahoma trooper on leave after altercation with ambulance personnel

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

An Oklahoma police officer is on paid administrative leave, following an altercation with ambulance personnel while they were transporting a patient to the hospital. Trooper Daniel Martin, a member of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP), was caught on video by his police vehicle’s dashboard-camera in a physical struggle with paramedic Maurice White, Jr. after Martin pulled the ambulance over. Martin had previously passed the ambulance while en route to another call, but came back and pulled over the ambulance. The incident occurred on May 24, and footage from the police dash-cam was released following a tort claim filed by paramedic White.

It has also been suggested that the previous call had in-fact been to pick up his wife from a police station who was then present in the car during the incident between Martin and the ambulance.

Footage by the OHP released Friday shows the ambulance personnel repeatedly informing Trooper Martin that they have a patient in the back of the ambulance that they are in the midst of transporting to the hospital. Martin yells at the ambulance driver for making what he claims was an obscene gesture – the ambulance driver asserts he raised both hands signalling confusion at the police officer’s actions. Trooper Martin can be heard telling the ambulance driver “I’m going to give you a ticket for failure to yield, and when I go by you saying ‘What’s going on?’ you don’t need to give me no hand gestures now, I ain’t going to put up with that [expletive], do you understand me?”

The video from the police dash-cam is eight minutes long, and paramedic White can be seen twice being pushed up against his ambulance by Trooper Martin. In one instance, Martin shoves White up against the ambulance while gripping his neck tightly with his other hand. In a written statement, paramedic White described the hold placed on him by the Trooper, stating “he engaged my trachea in a claw-like grip digging his nail into my neck while partially shutting off my air supply.”

[Paramedic Maurice White, Jr.] never once became aggressive to that trooper.

The sister of the patient in the ambulance, Clara Harper, was following the ambulance and witnessed the incident. Harper later viewed the footage from the police dash-cam, and she stated to Tulsa World paramedic White “never once became aggressive to that trooper.” She asserted that “He did nothing wrong.” After the ambulance was allowed to continue transporting the patient to the hospital, Harper got into the ambulance to be with her sister. “She was scared, and I was trying to calm her down and telling her everything was going to be all right,” said Harper.

My biggest concern was for the patient. If there’s any nightmare from this, it’s because of what that mother, that patient, had to go through.

Paramedic White was interviewed by KOKI-TV, and recounted his thoughts as the incident was taking place. He stated his main concern was for his ambulance patient: “It was surrealistic because I’ve never had such an experience. My biggest concern was for the patient. If there’s any nightmare from this, it’s because of what that mother, that patient, had to go through.” White’s attorney told KOKI-TV that if White deemed the arrest to be unlawful, he had the right to resist it. White is a paramedic for Creek Nation Emergency Medical Services in Oklahoma. He told FOX News he was surprised at the actions of the police trooper. “He’s taken an oath, just as I have, to protect and serve. I could not believe that this was happening,” said White.

The Oklahoma Department of Public Safety decided to release the police dash-cam video publicly after amateur video of the incident was posted to the video-sharing website YouTube. Captain Chris West, spokesman for the OHP, explained why the video was not released earlier. “We’ve been well aware of the fact that this incident has drawn enormous attention, but made the decision to protect the integrity of the investigation, any and all relevant evidence, as well as the rights of the department employees,” said West. Prior to the release of the dash-cam video, a relative of the patient had posted video of the incident to YouTube. The son of the ambulance patient can be seen in a video stating to the camera “Highway patrolman pulled over my mom’s ambulance because he’s mad we didn’t pull over, and he tried to arrest … the EMT from taking my mother to the hospital.”

One man is there protecting a patient and one man is there abusing his authority and throwing his weight around.

Richard O’Carroll, the lawyer for paramedic White, said that Trooper Martin abused his authority as a police officer. “Everything on this needs to relate back to why are we here? One man is there protecting a patient and one man is there abusing his authority and throwing his weight around,” said O’Carroll. White’s attorney filed a tort claim on behalf of his client in order to get the video of the police vehicle’s dash-cam released. Trooper Martin’s lawyer says he did not realize a patient was in the ambulance at the time of the incident.

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O’Carroll explained the decision of paramedic White not to use sirens while transporting his patient to the hospital: “There was a reason he wasn’t running sirens. There was a suggestion of chest pains and a heart condition and sirens aggravate these conditions by increasing the blood pressure.” However the attorney for Trooper Martin, Gary James, said that the ambulance was not exempt from regulations because it did not have its sirens on. “If they’re not running their sirens or lights, they don’t get afforded any emergency vehicle exemptions,” said James. The OHP chief is handling an internal review into the incident. As of June 1, Trooper Martin has been on paid administrative leave.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marion Schaffer, Oakville

Monday, September 24, 2007

Marion Schaffer is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Oakville riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Sports

Genuine Leather Bridge Handbags Make A Great Purchase

Genuine Leather Bridge Handbags Make A Great Purchase

by

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Bags are available in large, small, steward, clutch or classic bags. Luxury leather bags such as a Bridge handbag are always an investment in any women clothing and accessory collection. When accessorising some believe simplicity is the key to elegance, others simply believe bigger, bolder, crazier is the way to go.

When choosing an accessory it must match the individuals personality and style. It will be the main point of attraction to any outfit regardless of the situation or occasion. Whether its a elegant clutch bag for a formal evening out or a crazy tote bag for a day of fun, it must accentuate the wearers style.

Men don’t understand the need for a closet full of bags, women can not stop comparing or commenting on them. From the runways in Milan to the street corner cafe, they are a discussion amongst women everywhere. The range in colour and design is so wide it will satisfy the need of any woman, anywhere around the globe. Cowhide, lambskin and patch leather are a few types used for bags.

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Cowhide leather is made from the skin of cows. This is more expensive but is longer lasting. It is used on more durable household items like sofas and couches, but does not exclude a fashion item or two. Cowhide makes great accessories.

Not so robust as cowhide, lambskin is very soft and smooth to touch. As the name indicates its made from lamb skin. It will scratch and tear easily, but could still be expensive even though it is not as durable.

Artificial leather also known as Faux, looks as good as a quality item, but experts can normally tell the difference by merely touching the item. Unlike animal products artificial products do not show abnormalities. Cow or sheep might get a scrape during their lifetime and this shows in the processed product. Patch leather is another type and is made from left over pieces of skin. These items are durable but are a lot cheaper.

Luxury goods can be damaged by water; mold and humidity, keeping the item supple and strong increase the life of a luxury item whilst keeping it easy on the eye. Cleaning and maintaining goods should include wiping all dust of the bag with a soft cloth. Applying saddle soap in a circular motion, remember to always test for discoloration before applying to bag. Wipe the excess soap away with a damp cloth. Drying the item immediately after it got wet, will prevent mildew and mold growth. When the bag starts feeling hard apply some conditioner to improve flexibility.

Cow skin wins the popularity contest in the durability division, whilst lambskin is the clear winner in soft and luxurious feel. It does not matter which type is more to your liking, the investment of luxury goods such as a Bridge bag, is a must for every wardrobe. Taking care of your item is important in expanding the life of the goods. Keeping the item in dry, cool place will not only protect but also keep it safe for the next fashion season. This accessory is usable in any season. Whether summer or winter, luxury leather item bags are timeless.

Acquiring a luxury leather hand bag such as The Bridge Handbag, is definitely a step forward in maintaining your mark, fashion wise.

Bob writes for The Leather Shop, based in York UK who are specialist providers of genuine leather bags including

Bridge Handbags

. Visit their website to order your new

Bridge Bag

.

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Genuine Leather Bridge Handbags Make A Great Purchase