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Tasty Travel: A Trip to the Denny’s HQ & Test Kitchen #DennysDiners – Frugal Novice

Tasty Travel: A Trip to the Denny’s HQ & Test Kitchen #DennysDiners

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Note: I am participating in a compensated campaign as a Denny’s Ambassador. All opinions in my posts are entirely honest and are my own.



I’ve always loved behind-the-scenes looks at things, so when I had the opportunity to travel to the Denny’s headquarters in Spartanburg, SC I was pretty excited. I’ve been eating at Denny’s since I was a kid, and I consider myself a quasi-foodie, so this was right up my alley!

You can see our awesome ambassador group in the photo above – it was great meeting the other bloggers that are a part of the Denny’s team! We were all treated to a great day, starting with a meeting in the Denny’s board room to hear about some of their marketing – both past and future – and hear from various members of the Denny’s team.  I love that they employ both traditional media and social media to really get their message out and connect with people (PS – If you’re not following them on Facebook and Twitter, you should be!).

After we finished in the board room, we got a tour of the new Denny’s test kitchen, led by Sharon Lykins, Sr. Director of Product Innovation.


She told us about all the smart details they put into the kitchen for storage and efficiency, and I was incredibly impressed at all the research and testing they put into each and every menu item. Sharon also told us about how they provide freshness  in Denny’s food – from the grapes in their chicken salad to bringing in fresh fruit and cutting it in-house, they put in a lot of effort to make the food great.

Speaking of chicken salad, we got to sample their chicken salad sandwich and it is SOO good. I definitely know what I’ll be ordering next time we go!


We also got to try their Alaska salmon filet, a great option on their Fit Fare menu:


I wish I could tell you about a few of the other things we tried that will be on the menu soon… I’ll have to wait, though! There’s one item in particular that I just couldn’t stop eating at the test kitchen, and I can’t wait to take the whole family to try. Trust me when I say it is scrumptiously delicious!

Thanks to Sharon and the Denny’s test kitchen chefs for an amazing meal!


We got to provide our feedback while we were at the test kitchen, too. It meant a lot to me that Denny’s really cares what consumers and moms think, and I’m glad I got to help contribute to the process!

One other thing we talked about while at the Denny’s HQ was their No Kid Hungry campaign,  a national movement aimed at ending childhood hunger by connecting kids with healthy food where they live, learn and play.


Did you know 1 in 5 kids struggle with hunger in the U.S.? Just text “Dennys” to 877877 to donate to No Kid Hungry and receive a coupon worth $5 off your next meal at Denny’s.

In addition, guests are invited to contribute to the cause via two alternative means this year, including making a monetary donation of their choice at dennys.com/nokidhungry; all who donate online will be e-mailed a coupon for $5 off their next $20 meal at Denny’s.

Customers can also pledge their support by purchasing one of three exclusive No Kid Hungry campaign t-shirts – designed by Denny’s team members in Texas, Nevada and Kentucky – for $10 each. T-shirts are produced by Booster, available at dennys.com/nokidhungry and a portion of all sales goes directly to No Kid Hungry.

Don’t forget, stay connected with Denny’s: Denny’s Site • Denny’s Facebook • Denny’s Twitter

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  • Robin (Masshole Mommy) September 10, 2014 at 9:33 am

    I love Denny’s, but sadly I don’t have one near me. I wish we did, though! We always stop there when we are traveling.

  • Janel September 10, 2014 at 10:55 am

    How cool to visit their test kitchen! I want to try their chicken salad sandwich now!! YUM!

  • Deborah A. September 10, 2014 at 11:22 am

    That’s so neat to get in inside look! I love their no kid goes hungry campaign. I definitely makes me want to support them.

  • susan September 10, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    What a great trip, it would be so cool to visit the test kitchens. !

  • Kelsey Apley September 10, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I have only had Dennys a few times, but each time it was great. I wish we lived close to one, it looks like they have added some great items to the menu! What a fun trip!

  • Dawn September 10, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    I love Denny’s. Their food is delicious! Now I have another reason to love them as well!

  • Stacey - Seattle Mom Blog September 10, 2014 at 1:56 pm

    Yay for Denny’s! I love that they’re sponsoring a program to help hungry children.

  • Jennifer September 10, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    We love Denny’s. Their food is really tasty, really affordable, and really fresh. Great place.

  • Ben @ Cheap is the New Classy September 10, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    Denny’s FTW! We have a Denny’s about a minute away from our house. We go there all the time.

  • Jenna Wood September 10, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    I knew Denny’s had a fit fare menu, but salmon? I am always the one eating lighter, or healthier, when we go out to eat, so that’s great for me!

  • Francine @ Teresa's Family Cleaning September 10, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    I love Dennys and we visit often.

  • Tammi @ My Organized Chaos September 10, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I had no idea the HQ was there, wow, that must have been a great visit. The food there is so good!

  • Daisy September 10, 2014 at 3:17 pm

    What a fun trip! We love Denny’s. Breakfast is a must in our family, so it’s nice to go out to Denny’s once in a while.

  • Jen Temcio @dapperhouse September 10, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    I am about to die on my diet because I want to eat out and am having a rough time finding things to eat. But this FIT FARE menu looks perfect! I can totally eat that salmon, veggies and rice. YAY!

    • Christi September 10, 2014 at 7:35 pm

      That’s great, Jen! I agree, it can be hard to find healthy things eating out – but it’s impressive how Denny’s offers a lot of healthy options!

  • Amy Desrosiers September 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm

    I really wish Denny’s would come back to my area. 15 years ago they left but we could really use it back!

  • Heather @ Kraus House Mom September 10, 2014 at 7:55 pm

    I would love to see a test kitchen, seeing how they come up with their ideas. That chicken salad looks delicious.

  • Shauna September 10, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    Wow, what a great experience… I love all the new items that they have been adding and really feel like they are making a new name for themselves.. :)

  • Brett September 10, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    it scares me how many kids go hungry in this country alone. it’s NOT ok!

  • April September 10, 2014 at 8:53 pm

    I’ve spent many an early morning at Denny’s. I’ve always felt it a good way to start the day! :D

  • Ann Bacciaglia September 10, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    The Alaska Salmon Fillet looks amazing. I will try it the next time I am at Denny’s. My kids like to go for breakfast.

  • Liz Mays September 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm

    Tasting all those dishes was just incredible! It’s going to be a treat for everyone in restaurants going forward.

  • kristin September 10, 2014 at 11:33 pm

    I had no idea all of these things. What a great way to get an inside look at a place we eat at with our family.

  • Debra September 11, 2014 at 12:28 am

    You know, I haven’t eaten at a Denny’s in quite a while….I just may have to check this out! The chicken sandwich looked yummy!

  • Tasha September 11, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Haven’t been to Denny’s in quite a while. Might have to go soon. That Chicken Salad Sandwich looks really good!

  • AImee Smith September 11, 2014 at 1:03 am

    This looks like so much fun! I love that they are teaming up for such a great cause!

  • Mama to 5 BLessings September 11, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Those meals look great! What an amazing experience to be a part of. Wish they did not close my local Denny’s.

  • Julie Wood September 13, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I had not eaten at Denny’s in years, but I went to eat breakfast at Denney’s last week and it was so delicious! I really liked my breakfast and the service was excellent. I would go back.

  • Stefani Tolson September 15, 2014 at 9:30 am

    Now this sounds like a real fun event. I would have had fun trying the different foods. Makes me want to take a trip to Dennys!