Denny’s Corporation, franchisor and operator of one of America’s largest franchised full-service restaurant chains, reported preliminary results for domestic same-store sales and restaurant openings and closings for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 28.

Denny’s fourth quarter domestic system-wide same-store sales increased 0.5 percent, including a 0.6 percent increase at domestic franchised restaurants and a 0.1 percent increase at company restaurants.  Fiscal year domestic system-wide same-store sales grew 0.9 percent, including 0.8 percent growth at domestic franchised restaurants and 1.1 percent growth at company restaurants. On a two-year basis, this represents 6.7 percent domestic system growth, comprised of 6.6 percent growth at domestic franchised restaurants and 7.6 percent growth at company restaurants.

In 2016, Denny’s opened 50 restaurants, including 14 international locations, bringing the total restaurant count to 1,733.  This is the eighth consecutive year of positive net system growth for the brand.  In addition, 240 remodels were completed during fiscal year 2016, including 27 at company restaurants.

John Miller, Denny’s president and chief executive officer stated, “We continued to successfully execute our brand revitalization strategy and delivered 23 net unit openings in 2016. This was our strongest year of unit expansion in the past five years. Our same store sales were not as strong as anticipated due to traffic pressure we experienced as we moved through the fourth quarter. However, given the ongoing and pervasive challenges within the industry, we are pleased that our team’s efforts resulted in strong cash flow.”

Miller continues, “Moving forward, we recognize that the environment will most likely remain challenged for the foreseeable future and we are committed to delivering profitable system sales growth as the industry and consumer expectations evolve. At Denny’s, we are focused on further elevating the guest experience, consistently growing same-store sales, and expanding the brand across the globe, leading to value creation for all franchisees and shareholders.” 

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