Chairman`s Message Inside this Forum
Greetings from the Denny’s Franchisee
Association Board of Directors! We hope
your summer is off to a fantastic start, with
strong sales and special family times
already underway. The first half of the year
has been busy as always, with substantive
focus on Denny’s fee ‘rebalancing’,
formation of the Supply Chain Oversight
Committee and our 12th annual Allied
As discussed in the system-wide communication, the change
to Denny’s fee structure was consistent with our alignment and
constant focus on improvement of restaurant level margins (in
this case by ½% of sales.) This change will benefit almost
50% of the Denny’s domestic restaurants over the next four
years. The amendment offered by Denny’s was the result of
collaboration between the DFA Board and Denny’s leadership
that was comprehensive in its review of multiple considerations
related to long term brand impact.
In conjunction with the amendment relative to fees, our Brand
now has more formalized oversight Committees around the
Brand Building Fund and strategic supply chain management.
Importantly, while franchisees (primarily through the DFA
Board) will have a prescribed role in managing the supply
chain, Denny’s will continue to fund procurement services
consistent with historical practice for the next seven years.
The DFA Board believes all these changes are beneficial to the
franchise community and support the long term health of our
As you will see on pages 8 through 9, our 12 th annual Allied
Partner Summit continues to be a
successful element for our Brand relative
to food, suppliers and supplier interaction.
For 2014, we hosted 100 Brand suppliers
and over 250 total attendees. Over the
course of one day, the suppliers made
presentations regarding existing and new
products or offerings to corporate and
This year, we
continued the evolution of our event
program and all panelists, (DFA Board,
franchisee guests and Denny’s leadership),
were able to sample offerings from over 20 suppliers during
our morning session.
We believe the event is truly beneficial to our Brand. We
appreciate the support of Denny’s leadership and the
sponsorship by MBM and Coca-Cola to make our event so
As always, we appreciate the support and
participation of our supplier partners. As the pictures
reflect, the event provides a valued time of networking with
peers and supplier companies along with joy of gathering
with folks who care so deeply about the Denny’s Brand.
We encourage you to register on-line for the DFA
convention which begins November 3rd in Phoenix at the
Arizona Biltmore. Our convention theme is “Uniquely
Designed for Success”, which as always, has multiple
meanings within our Brand.
From our facilities to our
menu and beyond, Denny’s is unique and must be to
compete in today’s fight for market share.
As you consider your plans, please (Continued on page 2)
Inside this Forum
Brand Advisory Council Updates …….…….….....3-5
Allied Partner Summit meeting……...........……..8-11
News to Know...................................................12-17
DFA Calendar ........................................................20
Board of Directors
Craig Barber, Chair
615-277-1212 - Phone
Sam Wilensky, Vice Chair
Dawn Lafreeda, Treasurer
210-694-0707 - Phone
Glenn Beattie, Secretary
480-722-9196 - Phone
877-206-0951 - Phone
740-586-2889 - Phone
Robert Duskin, CPA
602-248-8223 - Phone
919-303-3300 - Phone
register early, as after
registration is subject to fees approved by
the DFA Board as part of our financial
planning for the Association (details on page
20). We encourage our exhibitors to reserve
their booth for the trade show, as we are
more than half-full for that important time
during our convention.
(Continued from page 1)
Our keynote speaker for 2014 will be Connie
Podesta, who is a hall of fame keynote
speaker and award winning author along
with being a board certified therapist and
licensed professional counselor. Her latest
book “10 Ways to Stand Out from the
Crowd” contains real-life success strategies
that can help us all. Finally, we continue to
be pleased with the collaborative work with
Denny’s, Inc. leadership in support for this
important Brand gathering where we
Share in community,
Renew our commitments,
Align with clarity and
Hear important calls to action.
On pages 3 through 5, you will find
important updates from the Brand Advisory
Councils while page 6 provides key details
on a new supplier agreement with Ecolab.
All three Brand Advisory Councils continue
to meet regularly and continue to improve
the integration between the councils to
maintain the needed alignment and focus to
elevate Brand performance. We appreciate
the collaborative leadership with our franchisor
as key initiatives and challenges are reviewed,
discussed and adjusted.
As highlighted on page 18, we want to
recognize and welcome Stampede Meat and
CTI Foods as new sponsors of the DFA while
also thanking Dakota Provisions for their
upgrade in sponsorship. We hope you will
read the sponsor spotlight on a long term
partner for the Denny’s Brand – Basic
Page 19 includes our
heartfelt welcome to 17 new Allied Partners.
As always, it is an honor to serve you and
serve with the DFA Board. We appreciate
your support and your commitment to our
A final and important thought is my
encouragement for your participation in Share
Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. As a
Brand, our goal is to raise $1 million and have
participation by 100% of the restaurants in our
Brand. Over the first three years, we helped
provide 14 million meals for children in need.
Our efforts this year will continue that good
and worthy assistance to young people who
truly need our help.
480-829-5090 - Phone
615-277-1234 - Phone
Register at Dennys.org,
562-777-2249 - Phone
Do Not Miss The
303-601-1569 - Phone
DFA Management Office
Tiffany Danley, [email protected]
Bobi Magro, [email protected]
Rich Danley, [email protected]
36 Thorn Oak
Dove Canyon CA 2679
See page 20 for
Brand Advisory Council Updates
After closing a solid first quarter, which saw
us continue to drive positive sales, we head
into the heart of spring and into summer
with Module 2. With Module 2, we continue
to emphasize our connection with the consumer through our “Welcome to America’s
Diner” campaign, celebrating our authentic
diner heritage that our guests love so much. The new module
started on April 1 and is centered on the diner monthly specials,
featuring three “Monthly Features” media messages strategically
highlighting a specific value, core, or LTO product feature. The instore experience will consist of a free-standing menu featuring all
three of the monthly features while the in-store restaurant stanchion
posters will rotate each month, featuring the specific “Monthly Feature”. To achieve our objectives of sales with profitable traffic in
Module 2 we feature the following M2 monthly features:
April: Build Your Own French Toast
May: $4 Baja Quesadilla Burger
June: Avocado Season
We know that our guests love the ability to get exactly what they
want whenever they want it, so expanding on one of our key core
platforms of French Toast, coupled with our popular Build Your Own
umbrella platform, reinforces this critical guest benefit. Focusing
primarily on the breakfast day part with a bulls-eye target of families
with kids, this April media feature will certainly deliver on driving
sales and traffic into our restaurants. From an operations standpoint, this platform was built on existing BOH and FOH procedures
and requires only three new SKUs.
The May media feature, Baja Quesadilla Burger, will appeal to millennials and meets guest needs with a focus on lunch and late night
occasions. Being on the $2-4-6-8 menu at $4, the Baja Quesadilla
Burger delivers a new every day affordability message through media that also leverages our popular burger platform. It reinforces
how the $2-4-6-8 value menu extends into multiple day parts and
occasions with an ideal mix of price point and craveability for late
night guests. This feature dedicates media efforts to lunch and late
night day parts after four consecutive months of breakfast messaging. Having already been a part of the $2-4-6-8 menu, no new training needs and no new SKUs will also make this an operationally
friendly feature. Continuing with our strategy of driving in with hot
price points and upselling in the restaurant to higher margin items,
the $4 product will be line listed on the menu but not purposefully
not called out in other inside-the-four-walls merchandising.
Rounding out Module 2 in June, media will feature Avocado Season. This feature will appeal to all, with a skew toward young
adults, females, and has a very strong appeal among our Hispanic
guests. We know this feature has momentum within the industry, as
well as consumer momentum. The avocado was named as
“Ingredient of the Year” for 2014 by Nation’s Restaurant News and
consumers say they are more likely to order menu items made with
avocados since it is viewed as a healthy, satisfying, premium treat.
Avocados pair perfectly with a number of our favorite brand
platforms, allowing us to build recipes that promote operational
consistency, plus there are no new SKUs required. While there
is some level of regionality to avocadoes, we expected and
early results confirm, solid appeal in all regions across the
country. Additionally, the “Add Avocado” message throughout
all of M2 provides a strong opportunity for profitable upsell.
While the ‘Monthly Features’ menu features will be available in
the restaurant throughout the Second Quarter, our new breakthrough TV campaign will air a unique commercial each month
promoting the ‘Monthly Feature’ and encouraging “gotta get
there” behavior from our guests. The “Slice of Diner” TV campaign includes new :15 spots showcasing the energy of a diner
and the freshly prepared ‘Monthly Feature’, with an additional
new “4 for $4” $2-4-6-8 spot available for local DMA use and
mixed in as needed nationally. National media began April 7th
with a powerful broadcast programming lineup on late night,
syndicated, premium cable and cable sports. In addition to TV
support, a robust Hispanic, digital, mobile and social program
will continue to reinforce menu items and drive traffic.
M2 also kicks off some exciting initiatives like the partnership
with National Geographic and the new “Kids Adventure Menu”.
This provides us the opportunity to get families together at the
“Diner” table. The new Kids Adventure Menu is the centerpiece
of efforts to encourage interactivity around the table for families
with children dining at Denny’s. The initiative will highlight the
new BYO platform, respective products and National Geographic Kids signature activities designed to engage kids and
parents in meaningful conversation and interaction as they select and order menu items. Families and kids are important to
Denny’s, so this new partnership provides the channel to attract
not only our current guests, but lapsed users as well through
the wide voice of the National Geographic platforms, including
their digital and print properties (parents and kids).
All of our initiatives will continue to be supported with our industry-leading digital and social support, with particular focus socially on Facebook (both general market and our newly
launched Latino Facebook page), Twitter and Tumblr. Additionally, a new and improved mobile app is now available to guests
featuring a “Build Your Own” App format featuring familiar items
like menu and restaurant locator along with new and engaging
games and activities. Guests visiting the restaurant can scan a
QSR code on the placemat and directly download the free app.
Finally, focus on maximizing margin continues. Many of you
have heard details from us directly at your market-level DMA
meetings. Here we have discussed the M2 changes to the $2-4
-6-8 menu – three new cost-engineered dishes at $8, along with
the deletion of the “free” beverage at the $8 price point (with the
exception of Grand Slam Slugger, which will continue to include
juice and coffee), as well as the addition of the popular Eggs in
a Basket (formerly Hobbit Hole Breakfast) at $6. These
changes alone have lowered the $2-4-68 food cost by over a full point, with addi- (Continued on page 4)
Brand Advisory Council Updates
tional testing underway to make even more
of an impact on food cost – while still keeping the consumer appeal – of the $2-4-6-8 menu. Additionally,
we have discussed our heightened focus on LTO margin targets
and strong progress of joint marketing/operations efforts to core
menu optimization. We will share full details in our next communication before the M3 launch. In our future communications you will
also hear more about our upcoming August national print drop.
While at press time we do not yet have full analysis of the March
national drop, early returns are very encouraging and we are optimistic the vehicle has achieved its objective of delivering motivating news to our guests and compressing frequency into our restaurants. This approach of efficient national print combined with
targeted local print drops selected by DMAs/co-ops has proven to
be a solid formula, and we continue to analyze for future improvements. Profitable traffic is all of our focus, and we appreciate all
you do to bring an outstanding experience to each and every one
of your guests each day. Please reach out with questions or comments, and we’ll see you at America’s Diner! Contributor: John
(Continued from page 3 )
The Development BAC had its monthly call on April 7, 2014. Franchisees participating were Dawn Lafreeda, Bob Gentz, Rahul Marwah, Carl Ferland, Farooq Ghias, Robert Duskin, Adam Jacobs,
Doug Koch and our newest franchisee participant Adam Jacobs..
Company representatives were Steve Dunn, Tim Flemming, Mark
Burgess and Joe Giordano.
The MSIP enrollment deadline will be extended and announced.
Likewise, we will announce an extended deadline for Sunrise remodels which are due.
There are 31 franchise and 16 company remodels complete so far
in 2014. We expect 140-160 franchise and over 30 company remodels over the whole year.
Steve Dunn presented the Phase 3 scope for the Sunrise to Heritage. This is a concept and the detail is yet to be finalized. We
currently have 12 franchise stores participating in a test, which includes up to $10,000 towards carpet purchase and installation. We
Dillion VP Marketing, jdillion.dennys.com Marketing Chair- will define success criteria based on the investment cost.
man: Sam Wilensky, [email protected]
We looked at the latest results for all Heritage remodels. There is
a 5.2% lift and 8.6% comp sales improvement for the large group
of 58 restaurants, with better results in old image stores. We need
to send the list of Heritage restaurants so people can visit. Steve
talked about new food offerings at Flying J. Pilot has agreed to remove obstructions from the
Contributor: Tim Flemming, Denny’s Inc Senior
VP, [email protected] Co-Chair Robert
New Store Openings
Toronto, ON (CN)
New York, NY
Total Dennys Units
(Continued on page 5)
Brand Advisory Council Updates
The following represent just a few of the initiatives we are working on throughout 2014.
We welcome your feedback and comments.
2% Margin Improvement
We all know it’s a penny profit business and
rising costs are always a challenge each
year. We are working hard to identify specific Margin Improvement Opportunities to prioritize, address and attack at the restaurant level. One of the first areas of opportunity: 2013 food waste.
From the DINE system, we saw over $22M in opportunity that we
feel can be attacked. To help communicate some of these opportunities and recommendations, we have developed a WOW (War
on Waste) monthly newsletter. Look for the first edition the end of
May on the Day to Day Portal and your Denny’s Mailbag. We encourage all suggestions and recommendations from the field, and
can be submitted to the Margin Opportunity Committee, included
in the newsletter. We look forward to sharing some great savings
opportunities in the weeks and months to come.
The Operations BAC and Marketing BAC are working together
with Product Development to continue to Optimize our Menu offering. Most recently, the OPs BAC, John Miller and Lead Cooks
& General Managers met in the Orlando, FL market over two
days just to talk about Menu Optimization. The outcome was over
60 menu opportunities that needed to be addressed. Of those,
we have taken action on 34 of the items, launched by the July
core menu. Look for us to take the Menu Optimization meetings
on the road to continue to capture further recommendations and
suggestions from the field in our ongoing effort to maximize our
Restaurant Operations Simplification and Efficiency for Managers, Cooks and Servers is another focus the OPs BAC is working
on, designed to improve the execution of Shiftily, Daily and
Weekly Job functions & responsibilities, procedures and standards. One project underway is “Hold Time Families" to review
and implement more consistent hold times by product family. Another test is a Scoops test in Phoenix, shutting off the water to
the cook’s line dipper wells by placing a portioning device in
every product. Look for the work to continue in parallel path with
our Menu Optimization & Margin Opportunities projects.
Day 2 Day Communications Portal
We are in the final stages of launching the Day-2-Day Communications Portal to all restaurants in the US. Now the real challenge begins…the learning of a new routine. This is where above
restaurant management is needed to assist in coaching the new
behavior. Through multiple webinars, they have been equipped
with the knowledge and benefits of using the system so they can
help reinforce the use of the Portal. Operations will be supplying
regular weekly content to help drive managers to the site. We
are also looking at the possibility of a campaign that includes incentives for those who use the system consistently.
Denny’s Pride Restaurant Review
The Operations Coaches have gone live April 7 conducting
Pride Reviews. There have been over 75 restaurants visited
over the first four weeks with very positive comments from DFA
members that have gone through the process. Denny’s will continue the Introduction, Education & Training process across the
Brand with workshops, communications on the Day to Day Portal and Train
Brand Protection Update
Health Inspections Received:
Health Inspection Failures:
Jan. – Dec, 2012 -3408
Jan. - Dec, 2013 – 3177
Jan. – Mar. 16, 2014 - 532
Jan. – Dec, 2012 -153
Jan. - Dec, 2013 – 212
Jan. – Mar. 16, 2014 - 29
Jan. – Dec, 2012 – 196
Jan. – Dec, 2013 – 312
Jan. – Mar. 16, 2014 - 57
Guest Complaints Received
Jan. – Dec, 2012 – 9,876
Jan. – Dec, 2013— 13,222
Jan. – Mar. 16, 2014 – 1301
New Labor Model Project
OBJECTIVE – Improve labor deployment throughout the restaurant leading to improved Service Guest Execution and Frequency of Visit.
A Project Team of Kevin Coveney, Tom Rossetti & key General
Managers will be working with Denny’s Inc and Altametrics to
complete a Time in Motion study and Manning Level Table recommendations to better support in restaurant scheduling and
OBJECTIVE - To streamline formatting across the Brand
A more consistent P&L format will allow for Baselines & Comparisons that will in turn allow for faster discussion & review of
cost savings opportunities. We are working with Robert Duskin
& Denny’s Inc to partner with the formatting and will go hand-inhand with the 2% margin opportunity realization.
Contributor: Jeff Levy, Director, Operating Systems & Initiatives
[email protected] Glenn Beattie, Operations Co-Chairman
New Member in the
DFA Sponsors’ Club
DFA Operations Committee
Good News from Ecolab
Special report from an ‘Operations’ effort. Glenn Cox, Denny’s
Inc, assisted by franchisees Sam Wilensky, Craig Herman and
Bill Cox have renegotiated the new Ecolab chemical program
for the next 3 years. The new contract has reduced your dish
machine monthly lease expenses down to $0 for the first eighteen (18) months of the contract and in addition we now have a
"Cost Guarantee" (based on unit sales) provision contained in
the contract. The cost guarantee basically will rebate dollars,
up to a certain amount to those restaurants that use more than
the normal amount of dish machine detergent and specifically
identified cleaning chemicals.
In the effort to help this new “cost guarantee” process run as
smooth as possible , Denny’s Corporate has agreed to furnish
your quarterly sales information to Ecolab. Ecolab in turn will
calculate the chemical use as a percentage of sales amount for
each one of your restaurants. However, in order for the “cost
guarantee” to be applied to your restaurants you must have
completed the following two tasks:
1. Sign the new contract ~ New contract forms can be obtained
by contacting Scott Meltzer with Ecolab
Join with the DFA Board in ‘welcoming a new member’
to the DFA Sponsors’ Club. CTI Foods announced at
the Allied Partner Summit meeting last month that they
are joining Denny’s Franchisee Association as bronze
CTI is currently providing 100% of the soups and 70% of
the beef hamburger meat to the Denny’s brand.
CTI manufactures processed beef, pork, chicken, turkey,
soups, sauces and tacos for packaged food manufacturers and foodservice chains in North America.
Headquartered in Wilder, ID, CTI Foods is a culinarydriven company that offers a diverse range of custom
food solutions to the foodservice industry, including raw
and pre-cooked protein, soups and sauces and dehydrated beans. CTI Foods has seven state-of-the-art food
processing facilities and has over 1,000 employees at its
Idaho, California, Kentucky and Texas locations.
Submitted: Fred Moye 972.804.9899
2. Sign the “sales release” amendment in the new Ecolab contract ~ If you have already signed your new contract the “sales
release” amendment can be obtained by contacting Scott Meltzer with Ecolab
At the end of each quarter Ecolab will calculate your chemical
spend as a percentage of sales if you have completed the two
tasks mentioned above. If the restaurant has used more product than it should have, up to a specific amount you will receive
a rebate check from Ecolab.
This supplier agreement was negotiated in the effort to help
franchisees cap their detergent / cleaning supplies cost. Suppliers and Franchisees working together for the benefit of both.
Classically trained culinary and technical R & D professionals
Ecolab contact: Scott Meltzer
678.921.6614. Suppliers and Franchisees working together.
Testing, temperature controls & tracking provide safety assurances .
Register at dennys.org, click this icon
Allied Partner Summit Event ~
Meetings, Meetings and more Meetings
At this popular annual event there were 102 Allied Partner
companies in attendance and each had a separate ‘face to
face’ - ’top to top’ meeting. These meetings, (food sampling
and showcases), networking and a golf tournament were compressed into 2 1/2 days of high energy.
The Allied Partner Members Summit is an exclusive event for
current DFA Allied Partners! The purpose of the meeting is to
share information, ideas and goals to build our Brand and discuss issues and initiatives that are pertinent to this group.
Participants at this meeting are supplier members to Denny’s
restaurants, DFA Board of Directors, Denny’s Inc. Leadership
and special franchisee owners.
Thank you to all of Allied Partner Companies who invested
their time and energy to share their products and services with
us and our panelists: Denny’s Inc. Leadership, DFA Board and
the following franchisees:
In the next few following pages we have shared comments, observations and candid photos of this meeting.
“CTI Foods found the Allied Partners event to be a huge success. The format provided, allowed suppliers to have intimate conversations about our business plans and how strategic alliances can
be built between our two companies. We feel this allows for a true
partnership that leads to a “win win” for both companies. The interaction between the Franchisee’s and Denny’s Corporation is amazing. You can actually see the synergies between both groups working on parallel paths, to continue the promotion of the Denny’s
brand. We are truly excited about our partnership and long term
growth.”...Fred Moye, CTI Foods
“The roundtable format really allowed us to get to know everyone and
have a casual conversation. It really let us hone in on the major
points” Winsol Chen, Bill.com
“Best 25 minutes in the business” Ric Quinn, Clipper Corp.
“This event is excellent because we get quality face time and the format is different than most event I attend.” Bryan Taylor, ConAgra
“One of the best components is the interaction with the franchisee
owners and the corporate folks.” Jim Isenhour, Tiger Natural Gas
Save the date: 2015 Allied Partner Summit Meeting
Picture 1/2 Page
Allied Partner Summit Event ~
Allied Partner Summit Event ~
Allied Partner Event ~ Participating Members
Thank you to the following companies for your participation in the very successful 2014 Summit meeting.
Please see the ‘buyers’ guide’ at dennys.org for listings of all our partners who handle our restaurant
A-1 Restaurant Equipment
EveryWare Global Inc.
National Franchise Sales
Fair Oaks Farms LLC
Old Seville Expense Reduction
American Tax Credits Group
Fairmont Sign Company
Pacific Premier Franchise Capital
Atlantic Micro Systems
First Franchise Capital Corp.
FM Facility Maintenance
Basic American Foods
Franklin Machine Products
Pay1 Payroll Services
Food Service Concepts
Bruce Foods Corp.
Franchise Signs International
Pinnacle Commercial Capital
California Milk Advisory Board
Precision Services, Inc.
Genesis Baking Company
RBS Citizens Restaurant Finance
CF Sauer Foods
Red Mountain Lighting
Cholula Food Company
Haliburton International Foods
Restaurant Technologies, Inc.
Roses Southwest Papers
S & D Coffee, Inc.
Kerry Ingredients & Flavours
Sara Lee Foodservice
Kraft Foods Group
Schreiber Foods, Inc.
Daily's Premium Meats
Lamb Weston / ConAgra Foods
The Leavitt Group
Shoes For Crews
Dart Container Corporation
Lewis, Thomason, King, et al
David Miller Holdings, LLC
Design Team Sign Company
Little Insurance Group
Superior Uniform Group
Maniaci Insurance Services
Direct Capital Franchise Group
Diversified Foods & Seasonings
TCF Franchise Finance
Domino Foods Inc.
Tiger Natural Gas, Inc.
Trident Seafoods Corporation
Dr Pepper Snapple Group
Tundra Restaurant Supply
Duskin & Duskin CPAs
The Miniat Companies
ENCOTECH Services, Inc.
National Entertainment Network
News to Know ~ From Allied Partners
Extender Legislation 2014
On April 1st (No April Fool’s
Joke), the Senate Finance
Committee publicly noted
that they would begin working on the “Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform
& Efficiency” Act, to be
known as the “EXPIRE” Act.
This is the legislation that
would/will address certain
provisions of the tax code that are near and dear to
our hearts (and wallets, for that matter). The three
major provisions being considered for extension are
1. Bonus Depreciation
2. Sec. 179 expensing of capital assets
3. Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
As of January 1, 2014, Bonus Depreciation completely sunsetted, as did the WOTC. Further, the
ability to expense Sec. 179 property was reduced to
$25,000 for a company that does not purchase more
than $200,000 of capital assets in one year. If this
legislation was to pass in its current form, it would restore the limits as they were in 2013. Thus, Bonus
Depreciation would be 50% of the cost of “First Use”
assets. Sec. 179 expensing would be increased to
$500,000 on $2,000,000 of capital assets purchased
in one year. Finally, WOTC would be calculated
based on the same formulas we have used for the
past seven years, including a 40% credit on the first
$6,000 of wages paid to a qualifying individual.
I will keep you apprised on what I consider to be very
important legislation for our Brand
and our industry. Submitted:
Robert Duskin, CPA 602.248.8223
Register at Dennys.org, click this icon
News to Know ~ From Allied Partners
Heritage Remodel Update!
Heritage remodels are in full swing throughout
the Denny’s system with many of the projects financed by Direct Capital. Denny’s has partnered with the direct lender to provide a franchise financing program specifically tailored for
Denny’s franchisees growing their businesses.
The program is simple, fast and cost effective,
giving single and multi-unit operators the ability
to access funds quickly and efficiently. Remodel
projects financed through Direct Capital enjoy
terms from 12-84 months, 100% financing for all
costs associated with the project, and deferred
Franchisees interested in securing up to
$300,000 without a financial review for remodels and other projects, or larger amounts with
an expedited financial review, can log in to the
dedicated Denny’s financing portal at Dennys.LendEdge.com. There, they will be approved instantly, and appreciate a convenient
electronic documentation process. *All financing
subject to approval by Direct Capital.
Contact: Matt Goyette 888.501.6846 or 603.433.9415 [email protected]
the requirements mandated under the ACA.
Low- Cost Alternative Benefit
Solution to the Affordable Care Act
Your employees are your first customers. They are the first point
of contact with your restaurant, so their satisfaction is also important to your business. Benefits also have a positive impact on one
of the biggest employment-related issues facing restaurants: employee turnover. When turnover rates are high, it can also affect
workers’ compensation rates, state unemployment rates, and
overhead costs. High turnover also affects your employees, who
may have to take additional time to train and establish a new
workable relationship with the new hire. Thus, keeping employees
happy and loyal to your restaurant is good for your business and
your bottom line!
The cost of creating the planned documents is relatively inexpensive, and the benefits are numerous. For
one thing, you, as the employer, are complying with the
ACA mandate. Your employees will appreciate you running their healthcare coverage plan through your payroll system. Your employees will save money on taxes.
Your company will save money on taxes.
Payroll will likely become more complicated for Denny’s
Restaurants beginning next year as a result of the Affordable Care Act.
Pay1 Payroll Services will be conducting a webinar
in August exclusively for Denny’s Restaurants. For
more information, please contact Yasmin Ismail,
There are a variety of employee benefits that can be offered at lit- [email protected]
tle cost, and even some at no cost, and in previous issues we
have outlined several options. Another one of the low-cost soluAlongside payroll processing, Pay1 Payroll Services oftions Pay1 has found effective for restaurants is creating a taxfers Human Resources and Benefits Solutions for reseffective strategy to provide and implement the mandates of the
taurants. Pay1 can help both with the administrative
Affordable Care Act (ACA). Once employee coverage becomes a
tasks of hiring employees, as well as provide resources
requirement under the ACA, employers will be responsible for offor retaining, rewarding, and appreciating your workfering healthcare coverage. Many Denny’s restaurants will fall unforce.
der this mandate.
Pay1 has researched and reviewed several compliance strategies
for Denny’s Restaurants, and one opportunity to save employer
contributions to employee plans. One low-cost way to save is by
creating a planned document within the business that allows employees to save on FICA taxes, and employers to save on their
matching contributions. Run through your company’s payroll, employees and employers can save money on taxes while meeting
See what customized solutions we can offer for your
restaurant: visit us at ww.Pay1online.com
or call 1-888-700-Pay1 (7291).
Submitted: Yasmin Ismail 404.919.1616
News to Know ~ From Allied Partners
Straight Facts About
Low & No Calorie Sweeteners
Red Mountain Lighting
Opens East Coast Office
Are your guests asking questions about low- and no-calorie sweeteners and health? Here are some straight facts that may enable
you to respond with confidence.
Red Mountain Lighting, a long time Allied Partner of the DFA
announced today that it will be opening a new east coast sales
office and distribution center in Orlando, FL. effective June 1,
2014. Company owners are expected to see this sales and
distribution center fully operational by June 1st with inventory
and energy managers ready to assist customers.
Should Consumers Care About Low & No-Calorie Sweeteners?
Preference for sweetness is innate among humans. But, as most
health professionals would agree, managing this preference wisely
This expanded division of Red Mountain Lighting will be run
and operated by founder Bruce Sweeny. Mr. Sweeny has over
20 years’ experience in the lighting and energy industry. When
asked about this expansion, Mr. Sweeny stated, “I am extremely excited to announce this new branch for Red Mountain
Lighting. This will give us an opportunity to better service our
customers in a quicker fashion. As well, this will cut down
freight costs to both the business and our customers.”
All foods and drinks can fit into a healthy, active lifestyle that includes a sensible, balanced diet and regular physical activity. But
for many, striking a healthy balance (managing both calories in and
calories out) to maintain a healthy weight can be a challenge. Fortunately, this is where low- and no-calorie sweeteners can help.
Most low- and no-calorie sweeteners are several hundred times
sweeter than sugar, which means their sweet taste comes with few,
if any, calories. It’s also good to know that the Academy of Nutrition
and Dietetics has reviewed the research and concluded that lowand no-calorie sweeteners do not increase appetite or promote
The east coast division will immediately create new jobs with
hopes to increase each year. Red Mountain Lighting’s home
office will remain in Phoenix, AZ. however, this new east coast
division will provide a direct cost savings to every customer
east of the Mississippi river.
Low and no-calorie sweeteners are safe. In fact, they are among
the most studied food ingredients in the world and underwent extensive testing and safety evaluations before being permitted for
use in foods and beverages. Experts ranging from the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. National Cancer Institute and
others have found aspartame and other sweeteners do not cause
cancer or other adverse health outcomes.
About Red Mountain Lighting
Red Mountain Lighting opened its doors in 1998 in Phoenix,
AZ. RML is owned by Peter Barovich and Bruce Sweeny.
RML has enjoyed 16 years as an independent company.
Red Mountain Lighting will continue to uphold its promise to
stimulate the local economy. Known for its green solutions
through efficient lighting, the company also intends to maintain
its commitment to environmentally friendly business practices.
Submitted: Bruce Sweeny
Specifics About Aspartame
Because many of the low & no calorie beverages in Coca-Cola
Company’s portfolio contain aspartame, your customers may appreciate knowing the facts about this commonly used sweetener:
Totally Green in Mokena
Joey Terrell, a past DFA
Board member and a long
time Denny’s franchisee has
recently received word that
their unit 6505 (in Mokena,
Illinois) is now an officially
LEED (Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design)
Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC),
LEED is intended to help building owners and operators
be environmentally responsible and use resources efficiently.
Aspartame does not increase hunger. Studies show that the
impact of aspartame-sweetened drinks on appetite is the
same as water.
Aspartame does not increase intake of sweet foods or promote overeating.
Aspartame’s safety is supported by more than 200 scientific
Aspartame never enters the bloodstream and thus cannot
build up in body tissues. Upon digestion, aspartame is broken
down into food components that are found naturally, and in
much greater amounts, in everyday foods like chicken, milk
and orange and tomato juices.
Aspartame is approved for use in more than 100 countries.
Aspartame does not raise blood glucose levels.
People do not over consume aspartame. Studies show that
aspartame intakes, even among the heaviest users, are far
below the safety limits set by regulatory experts.
Want to Know More?
For more information and additional resources, visit beverageinstitute.org. The Coca-Cola Company Beverage Institute for Health &
Wellness is part of our ongoing commitment to advance scientific
knowledge, awareness and understanding of
beverages. Submitted: Heather Trotter
404.676.4130 [email protected]
If you are considering updating and ‘greening’ your unit
contact Joey Terrell and he will be happy to steer you in
the right direction. Several of our Allied Partners are environmentally certified suppliers. Joey Terrell
708.478.6064 [email protected]
News to Know ~ From Allied Partners
Coca-Cola is making changes
within our customer marketing organization to align our resources
with the needs of our customers. With this, Abbe Kantor who is
celebrating 25 years with Coke, will
be transitioning off of our Denny’s
team to work on other areas of the
business. A big thank you to Abbe
for her great work on Denny’s over
the past 3 years! She will continue
to work on the projects which are
in progress as we transition.
Dan Redler will join the Denny’s Coca-Cola Team in the
role of Senior Customer Marketing Manager. Dan has
over 24 years’ experience in brand, customer and consumer marketing. He has been with Coca-Cola for 13
years and during this time has worked across channels
including FSR, QSR, Education, Military, Travel, Retail,
and Cruise Lines to name a few. Needless to say, like
Abbe, Dan has extensive knowledge of the Coca-Cola
System, Brands, Packages, Equipment, Assets and
New Innovation and he is in position to fully leverage our resources for Denny’s. In addition, Dan
has a strong emphasis on strategy and long term
planning. I know you all will enjoy working with
Dan as much as we do.
Dan has lived
in Georgia for
23 years, he
has a beautiful
wife Dara, who
also works at
he is the father
of 3 boys. You
can find Dan
cheering for the Nebraska Corn Huskers or the
Kansas Jay-Hawks when he’s not drinking an ice
Thank you for welcoming Dan to the Denny’s
News to Know ~ From Allied Partners
Hidden Costs ~
Workers Comp Claims
As a business owner you are always aware of
the hard cost of workers compensation insurance. However, there are hidden costs that are
so obvious. Over time, these costs can take their toll on a
business. Most restaurant schedules already run lean and
not too many businesses could afford to have a valued team
member off the schedule due to an injury. This article discusses some of the hidden costs of workers compensation
Time is Money
When an employee is injured in the workplace, there are a
variety of responsibilities you must take care of that all require your time and attention. Immediately after an injury has
occurred, you must investigate what caused the incident and
identify what corrective action must be taken to ensure it
doesn't occur again. In addition to filling out the paperwork
necessary to process an injury, you must document your findings of the investigation, get witness statements (if applicable), and follow up on the care of the injured employee. After
the cause of the injury is found, your options may include replacing a piece of equipment, changing a procedure, or even
training or re-training employees on new procedures or on
how to safely use new equipment.
To Hire or Not to Hire
If it is determined that your employee will be off your sched-
ule for a period of time, you may have to decide if you will
need to hire another person to cover the absent employee. There can be costs associated with advertising
the position, not to mention the time taken to interview
several candidates for the position. After a candidate is
selected, a trainer will need to be assigned to oversee the
training of the new employee in addition to completing
their normal job tasks. Once the injured employee is
cleared to return to work, what do you do with the person
you hired to cover those shifts?
Should you decide that you will not hire a new person to
cover or replace the injured employee, you may incur
overtime to pay for employees to work additional shifts or
hours. Having people cover until the employee returns to
work can cause undue stress to team members as they
may not be used to working extra hours or handling other
duties. This can often lead to compromising the level of
service given to customers. Over the long run, inadequate service eventually results in diminished sales. Generally customers who receive substandard service do not
say anything – they just do not return.
When a restaurant is missing a valued team player, it can
change the dynamics of a team. If the injured person was
key in the leadership of your employees, your employees
can feel the absence and deal with it in many
ways. Sometimes it shows in producing sub-quality menu
items, taking shortcuts to pick up the slack of the missing
News to Know ~ From Allied Partners
person, developing bad habits, and experiencing undue
stress. Overall productivity can be affected when a key person is missing from the team. This can happen whether or not
you hire someone to take the injured employee's place.
If not properly handled, a different type of morale issue can be
occurring with the injured employee while recovering at
home. They will be worried about many things, "How am I going to pay my bills? What about groceries and rent? Do I still
have a job? Will they replace me with someone else? If I
come back, will I still get the same hours that I had before I
was injured?" Unfortunately, while recovering, the injured employee may get ideas from friends, family, or even television
commercials that they might do well by suing the business. This alone can result in thousands of dollars in possible
What can be done to minimize the damage from these and
other effects of hidden costs? It would be simple to say "Just
don't have injuries!" That, however, is not realistic. The following are a few suggestions to help minimize the hidden
costs of workers compensation claims:
Hire the right people: Hire the most qualified people for the
job. When hiring, look for potential employees who are keenly
aware of their surroundings and already prone to work in a
Cross-train your employees: It is business smart to cross
train your employees in the event of the sudden loss of a team
member or even to cover vacations and sick leave. Employ-
ees often view learning duties outside of their primary job
as adding value to their worth and an indication that they
are trusted by management. Doing so will ensure that
productivity and service will not be as affected when one
of your team members is out, either due to injury or simply vacation time.
Follow-up often with the injured employee: Show
genuine concern and interest in how your employee’s recovery is going. Note when their medical appointments
are scheduled so that you can call afterwards to ask how
they are feeling, how they are progressing, and what the
doctors are recommending. Try to belay any concerns
they may have about losing their job and remind them
that their only concern at this moment is to focus on getting well.
Your premium rests on several variables, so develop an
improving three-year history.
The time to start is
NOW! Reduce frequency and severity of claims by managing a clean and safe operation, training employees to
respond to hazards immediately, and continuing ongoing
safety training with the monthly safety calendar training. Make staying safe a part of your existing culture. Give it the same importance as service and food
quality. Being safe is just good business!
Charlie Page 770.734.1516
News to Know ~ Sponsors’ Spotlight
Basic American Foods
In 1933, brothers Jack and Bill Hume set up a
modest dehydration processing plant in Vacaville, California, using a technology that was
later applied to potatoes. This was the beginning
of Basic American Foods.
In the mid 1950s, Basic American Foods established a potato processing plant in Blackfoot,
Idaho, where the first instant potato product that
could be rehydrated with boiling water was developed. This led to a series of innovative potato
products for the foodservice industry that includes the brands Potato Pearls®, Golden
Grill®, Classic Casserole® and Savory Series™. As the company grew, additional plants
were built in Idaho and Washington.
In response to a customer need for labor saving
quick-prep beans, Basic American Foods introduced Santiago® Refried Beans in 1986. The
technology that created this authentic-tasting
bean product is now being applied to Santiago®
Black Beans and Santiago® Quick-Start® Chili.
Today, Basic American Foods is led by Jack's
sons, George and Jerry. With nearly 40 patents
to its credit, Basic American Foods is an acknowledged leader in research and development, earning universal respect for innovation,
quality and customer service.
The company continues to grow, staying focused on its customers and looks to the future
with confidence. Their convenient potato and
bean products are made from 100% USA grown
potatoes and beans. They are cooked, dried
and packaged utilizing our proprietary technology and stringent quality specifications to lock in
flavor and texture for that "from scratch" taste in
Today, Basic American Foods supplies Denny’s
Restaurants with Denny’s Hashbrown Potatoes,
Denny's Chili Denny's Custom Mashed Potatoes. Submitted:
Randy Young 402-210-7783 [email protected]
These new sponsors are joining with the
current members of the
DFA Sponsors’ Club
Albertville Quality Foods ConAgra / Lamb Weston
Bruce Foods Corp
Fair Oaks Farms
S & D Coffee, Inc
Travel Media Group
Leavitt Insurance Group
Register at Dennys.org, click this icon
Please view and use all of your Allied Partner suppliers who
have invested in the Brand. Their support enables the
Denny’s franchisee free registration to the annual convention.
or Dennys.org and view ‘find suppliers’.
Important: Do Not Miss The Free
DFA Board of Director Meetings
registrations per paid restaurant unit. To qualify for
Las Vegas, NV
Nov 2 & 6
Franchisee Registration Opportunity!
Franchisee Members still receive two (2) free badge
Your 2014-2015 dues must be paid by Oct 1,
2014 for all your units according to the DFA bylaws and,
You must register all your attendees for the con-
Allied Partner Suppliers ~ Mark the Date
vention by Sun, Sept. 14th.
Deadline to Qualify: Sun, Sept. 14th
As of Mon, Sept. 15th registration is as follows.
Sept. 15-30: $150 Per Person
1-28: $300 Per Person
28: Online registration closes
2015 Allied Partner Summit Meeting
Tuesday, April 28 ~ Thursday, April 30
Exhibitors and Suppliers
Register at Dennys.org, click this icon
The DFA does not use any third party agencies
or bureaus for your convention housing. It has
been brought to our attention that there are
scammers calling and emailing prospective attendees, representing themselves as the DFA
and Denny’s to ‘sell’ you hotel rooms at a lower
rate. They do not represent the DFA, Denny’s
or the Arizona Biltmore resort. If you have any
questions or have used their service please
contact the DFA office using [email protected]