Denny’s Corp. is preparing to relaunch its Heritage 2.0 design program when the pandemic eases, company CEO John Miller said this week.
Spartanburg, S.C.-based family dining brand debuted its original Heritage design is 2014, Miller said during his virtual ICR Conference presentation, and it yielded mid-single-digit sales lifts.
Prior to the pandemic, which was declared in March 2020, Denny’s had started to roll out its next remodel phase, but COVID-19 crisis put a halt to the program.
“The new prototype, which we are calling Heritage 2.0, was developed based on the consumer research and it features more attention-grabbing exterior elements,” Miller said Monday. “It features relaxing, neutral colors with vibrant accents, modernized booths and community tables.”
Miller noted that the amount of investment and related returns on the Heritage 2.0 remodel package are similar to the original Heritage program.
“The Heritage 2.0 prototype is ready to go,” Miller added, “and it will be a significant tail wind for our brand in the years to come as we relaunch the program on the other side of pandemic.”
Robert Verostek, Denny’s chief financial officer, said in a third-quarter investors call in October that the company and its franchisees had been “on the cusp” of launching Heritage 2.0 when the coronavirus hit.
Verostek the company delayed franchisee requirements for remodels into 2022 because of the pandemic. But, he added, “We are very bullish on the results from our Heritage 2.0.”
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 period last year. Revenues fell 42.3%, to $71.6 million, from $124.3 million in the prior-year quarter.
As of Sept. 23, Denny’s had 1,664 franchised, licensed and company restaurants around the world including 145 restaurants abroad.
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