Denny’s Corp. expects a rolling launch that begins in February of its two new virtual brands, The Burger Den and The Melt Down, according to company CEO John Miller.
The Spartanburg, S.C.-based family-dining brand sees “market-share opportunities” with the two virtual concepts, Miller said during a Monday presentation at the 23rd annual ICR Conference, which was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Miller expanded on the announcement earlier Monday of the virtual brand rollout, of which The Burger Den will be the first.
“This new concept allows us to focus on one of our strengths, great burgers, with new varieties using items already in our pantry,” Miller said. “Test results have been favorable and suggest a high degree of incremental transactions.”
Miller said about half of Denny’s more than 1,500 domestic locations have agreed to offer the virtual Burger Den brand in a rolling launch that will begin in February. ICR presentation slides indicated it will be available on DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats.
The Melt Down features sandwiches such as the Giddy-Up Melt, which features brisket burnt ends, sharp white cheddar cheese, creamy barbecue sauce and pickles on grilled artisan bread, and a turkey melt with turkey, bacon, tomatoes, provolone and creamy herb spread.
Test results, from a reported 23 locations, for Melt Down “have been similarly encouraging” to those for The Burger Den, Miller said, and more than half of the domestic locations are expected to debut the virtual brand in the spring. It will be available on DoorDash.
In the third quarter ended Sept. 23, Denny’s net income fell 86.8% to $6.5 million, or 10 cents a share, from $49.1 million, or 80 cents a share, in the same prior last year. Revenues fell 42.3%, to $71.6 million, from $124.3 million in the prior-year quarter.
Denny’s expects to release financial and operating results for its fourth quarter after the market closes on Feb. 16.
As of Dec. 30, Denny’s had 1,650 units systemwide.
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