By Monday evening my RSS feed snagger was sizzling like bacon in the frying pan. All over an offer of a free breakfast from Denny’s.
I don’t know where they got the idea or how much this stunt cost them, but Denny’s across America offered a free Grand Slam breakfast to anyone coming into their establishments on Tuesday from 6AM-2PM.
Now how do you go wrong? Two eggs, two pancakes, two links of sausage, and two pieces of bacon. The breakfast of Americans! Denny’s first started serving the Grand Slam in the late 70’s and sells more than twelve million a year.
Well, it’s free food. I decided to take my boys. Why not?
What I did not know was apparently they advertised this during that game on Sunday. Yeah, the one no one watches. Well the one I don’t watch, at any rate. I didn’t even know the game was on until way after it ended.
My tweetstream showed many attempting to take advantage of a free breakfast in their area. With the knowledge that many Denny’s had waits of an hour or more I went prepared.
We snagged some twizzlers (healthy, right?) and hopped in the van. My town has two Denny’s. There’s the one at the mall that I hate (but ate breakfast at after Prom) and then there’s the one over at 4-mile Fork that is actually fairly decent.
I needed to make a trip to a store so I went ahead and drove by the Denny’s in front of the mall and saw the line was out the door, and into the parking lot which didn’t have any slots open.
So, I hopped onto 95 and headed south. A quick shot north on 1 for like half a mile and I turned into the good Denny’s. The line was not out the door, yay!
In we went and we jostled through the crowd and after fifteen minutes a hostess took our name and added us to the queue. We then jostled our way to find a sunny seat to wait.
I told you I was prepared. We brought gameboys!
Joram had to run to the van to get his, but he also played.
We weren’t the only ones that were smart enough to bring something to do. Check out this hat someone worked on while waiting!
The wait wouldn’t have been so bad, except I think the hostess was on on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Denny’s, if you do this again might I suggest some Ativan for your employees?
The hostess not with the mostest couldn’t cope with the fact that apparently the crowds rolled in at 6AM and didn’t stop. At 1:45 I was still waiting for a table and people were still coming in.
It turns out after 2 PM the computers that figure out your bill wouldn’t accept the free breakfast after 2. See, this is what is wrong with today’s society. We can’t add up the cost of a few glasses of milk or OJ and give someone a total and count back change. I guess there was no manager override? (There’s always a manager override isn’t there?) What really got me was if you couldn’t wait, there were rainchecks available. So Denny’s corporate wanted to make sure everyone who wanted free food got free food.
So I’m not sure what the issue was. Other than Hostess not with the Mostest was having a nervous breakdown.
I noticed our location was having trouble keeping up with other things as well. Tables remained empty for ten minutes, though they were seating singletons, the bar was empty almost the entire time. If the nervous breakdown could have been saved till later, maybe the hostess could have seated people quicker?
I don’t know.
We were called at 1:59. E-gads. We were there with plenty of time, we just got stuck waiting. Would we get free food?
Our waitress came and asked if we wanted the free meal and we said yes at which point she informed us she had 5 minutes to input our order. No prob, we all ordered our eggs scrambled and sat back.
Our food came after 40 minutes. Woah. But, it was good. Our waitress took great care of us.
When I left shortly after 3 with my boys, Denny’s had emptied out. The poor staff looked frazzled beyond belief and I am sure there were a great many Denny’s employees across the nation looking forward to clocking out that day!
As I paid, I wasn’t sure what to tip. All we had to pay for were our three drinks. (Two milks for the boys and a lemonade for me.) I went ahead and tipped based on what I should have paid. So my 4.80 bill turned into 8.80. That’s right, nearly a 100% tip based on my actual bill. But that waitress still did the same work as did the kitchen staff. Plus, most people are cheap and wouldn’t do that. I thought that, but kept it to myself. As I was walking out the door I heard the reaction of the staff over my tip. Let’s just say it was incredulous. I’m figuring I am probably not the only one to be generous, but they were just far to busy earlier to notice.
Denny’s gave me free food, the least I could do was be generous back.
It was exciting and fun to take part in something happening across the nation.
Thank you for breakfast, Denny’s! It really helped give me strength to hit the pants sale at Khol’s!
A view of the crowd waiting for their free Grand Slam Breakfast from my Denny’s on February 3, 2009.