Denny’s Corp. this week has deployed its mobile relief diner to Louisiana, which continues to suffer the devastation from last week’s Hurricane Ida.
The Spartanburg, S.C.-based family-dining brand rolled out its 53-foot, fully functional diner on wheels on Monday and will be serving meals to residents all week, a spokesperson said. Denny’s served nearly 1,500 hot meals to residents in La Place, La., on Labor Day, the company said.
“At Denny’s, we love to feed people – mind, bodies and souls,” said John Dillon, Denny’s chief brand officer, in a statement. “We see the devastation in local communities impacted by Hurricane Ida and the mobile relief diner allows us to do what we do best by going out into local communities to offer a hot and comforting meal during a time when they could really use it the most.”
Many parts of storm-damaged Louisiana continued to be without electrical service, and utility officials warned that it could take weeks for it to be restored after the hurricane crushed parts of the state’s power grid. Hurricane Ida’s path also caused fatal flooding in the Northeast.
Denny’s launched the mobile relief diner truck in 2017.
The company said the truck was specifically designed to travel anywhere in the United States during emergency situations to serve free, freshly cooked pancake breakfasts to those needing help.
The company said the mobile diner is deployed with consultation from local officials, disaster relief organizations and local franchisees and store operators to identify the areas and groups most in need. Since 2017, the diner has served more than 50,000 pancake breakfasts to support disaster relief.
“Just before heading to Louisiana to support the thousands of residents impacted by Hurricane Ida, Denny’s partnered with Health in the Hood, a local Miami not-for-profit organization that develops community gardens in food deserts to break barriers between low-income communities and healthy choices,” a spokesperson said.
At that event, Denny’s served more than 400 Opa Locka, Fla., residents Hearty Grain pancakes and turkey bacon and provided information for ordering better-for-you options from Denny’s Fit Fare Menu. Attendees also received fresh, locally grown produce and in-home grow kits of basil and mint.
In July, Denny’s repurposed its mobile relief diner for its America’s Diner Hiring Tour, giving the truck a special wrap aimed at enticing future employees. During the tour, Denny’s traveled to communities along U.S. 66 to drive awareness of the 20,000 available restaurant opportunities at its franchise-operated and company-owned restaurants across the country. The company said the week-long hiring tour resulted in 13,000 applications.
For the second quarter ended June 30, Denny’s narrowed its loss to $828,000, or 1 cent a share, from $23 million, or 41 cents a share, in the same period last year. Revenues increased to $106.2 million from $40.2 million in the prior-year quarter.
Denny's owns and franchises 1,645 restaurants, including 149 abroad.
Correction Sept. 8, 2021: This story has been edited to correct John Dillon's title.
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