Denny’s Corp. has committed to cage-free sources for all eggs at its U.S. restaurants by 2026, the company said Thursday.
The Spartanburg, S.C.-based family-dining operator said it serves more than 400 million eggs at its 1,700 restaurants each year in its signature Grand Slam, omelets and other menu items.
"We believe our guests care about how their food is sourced and so do we,” John Miller, Denny's president and CEO, said in a statement. “The humane treatment of animals remains an important part of our brand's sourcing strategy, and our commitment to this transition underscores our confidence in the ethical evolution of supplier capabilities.”
Denny’s said the cage-free egg commitment was part of a larger shift toward premium ingredients on its menu, which includes USDA Select beef, wild-caught and sustainable salmon, fresh-cut seasonal fruit and vegetables, and seven-grain bread options.
Greg Linford, Denny’s vice president of procurement, said cage-free eggs also fit into changes in supply-chain sourcing.
“This shift toward a more humane method of egg production is just another step in ethical sourcing at Denny's, adding to our requirements for ethical turkey, beef and pork treatment as well,” Linford said.
A number of restaurant brands have set varied timetables for transitioning to cage-free eggs.
Irvine, Calif.-based Taco Bell Corp. pledged in November that only cage-free eggs would be served across it 6,000 domestic units by the end of 2016.
Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc. in December committed to acquiring all of the eggs served on its domestic Dunkin’ Donuts menus from cage-free sources by 2025.
Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s Corp. said in September that it plans to start using cage-free eggs at its 16,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada over the next 10 years, citing consumers’ changing opinions about animal welfare. McDonald’s uses more than 2 billion eggs annually for breakfast items in the U.S. and Canada.
St. Louis-based Panera Bread Co. said in November that it was working toward a goal of offering only cage-free eggs in domestic units by 2020.
Burger King was among the first national restaurants chains to move toward cage-free eggs, in 2012, with a goal of having its supplies cage-free by 2017. Starbucks Corp. has set a goal of all cage-free eggs by 2020.
Denny’s made its egg commitment for domestic restaurants. It also has franchised units in Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico, Honduras, Guam, Curaçao, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Chile, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.