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Denny’s debuts drive-thru unit

INDIANAPOLIS Denny’s has opened a drive-thru restaurant here, the first one for the 1,539-unit family-dining chain.

The drive-thru, located near Interstate 70 to attract commuters, is open from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. and serves three breakfast sandwiches, but PFC is considering adding lunch and dinner meals, according to a report in The Indianapolis Star.

The new restaurant, operated  by franchisee PFC Classic Dining, is seen by the chain as a test for determining the amount of sales a drive-thru could generate for the family restaurant concept, said a spokeswoman for franchisor Denny's Corp.

PFC owns all 19 Denny’s restaurants in the Indianapolis market.

In other news, Spartanburg, S.C.-based Denny’s Corp. received from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services an improved credit rating on its $350 million bank facility because of the restaurant company’s repayment throughout the year.

Denny’s bank debt now holds a still non-investment-grade rating of BB, two notches above the company’s corporate credit rating and up from the previous bank loan rating of BB-, according to a Nov. 28 S&P report. S&P credit analyst Diane Shand said the improved rating “reflects a meaningful repayment of the credit facility.”

Denny’s has repaid about $45.2 million of debt for the year through Sept. 26, on proceeds from sales of real estate assets and corporate restaurants to franchisees.

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