UPDATE: Denny’s cuts 50 jobs in restructuring

SPARTANBURG S.C. Denny’s Corp. has eliminated 50 staff positions as part of a restructuring that reflects the company’s increasing emphasis on franchising rather than operating restaurants, headquarters said Thursday afternoon.

Among those whose jobs are being eliminated are Rhonda J. Parish, the company's executive vice president, chief legal officer and secretary, who is retiring as of June 30; and Samuel M. Wilensky, senior vice president of sales and franchise operations.

As part of the reorganization, the company said it has created four regional operations posts, each to be filled with a vice president responsible for both franchised and corporate restaurants.

In April, Denny’s realigned its senior executive ranks to have three “C”-level officers reporting to chief executive officer and president Nelson Marchioli.

The job cuts announced today are in addition to the elimination disclosed last summer of more than 80 positions.  

Denny’s said it would take a $5 million charge for the second quarter to cover severance and other expenses related to the restructuring. It indicated that the severance would be payed out during the next 12 months.

It projected annualized savings in general and administrative expenses of $6 million to $8 million.

“In our quest to become a franchisor of choice in the restaurant industry, we must continue to evolve our corporate structure and mission,” Marchioli said. He noted that 76 percent of the Denny’s chain is now franchised.