Denny’s is overhauling kitchens and offering an augmented reality menu feature

Denny’s is modernizing its store environment, physically and virtually.

As part of an omnichannel brand refresh that the casual dining retailer is calling “It’s Diner Time,” Denny’s is investing more than $25 million to upgrade and improve its kitchen equipment. With these efforts, the retailer intends to drive the development of new and improved grocery offerings while increasing efficiencies and reducing food waste.

Denny’s is also introducing a new menu that will feature a custom augmented reality (AR) experience alongside a range of new dishes. Customers can activate AR functionality by scanning the menu with a smartphone, allowing them to take a virtual, interactive tour of each page. The AR experience includes access to exclusive offers and opportunities to learn more about Denny’s and its 70-year history

Other features of It’s Diner Time include new staff uniforms, new products available on Denny’s licensed e-commerce site and a new national TV campaign.

“Every element of ‘It’s Diner Time’ gets to the essence of who we are as a brand and what the Denny’s family is about,” said John Dillon, President of Denny’s. “For 70 years, Denny’s has been that enduring place that feels like home, a place where our guests can be their authentic selves and celebrate important moments. Our new menu feels like an extension of our guests, no matter which one As consumers land, it’s clear it’s always going to be Diner Time, so next time our guests fancy a delicious breakfast at a great price, a new twist on a classic diner favorite or just fancy an oven baked one want to have lasagna that really tastes good at home, we look forward to welcoming you to our stands.”

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As of March 1, 2023, Denny’s, based in Spartanburg, SC, had 1,602 franchised, licensed, and corporate restaurants. This includes 157 restaurants in Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guam, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Chipotle promotes wellness via AR

Another casual dining retailer, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., intends to assist customers with a popular augmented reality (AR) platform. Chipotle launched 2023 with a new menu of “Lifestyle Bowls” based on contemporary wellness habits. Lifestyle Bowls are digitally exclusive menu items available in the US and Canada.

As part of the New Year’s focus on customer health, Chipotle has also rolled out a wellness-inspired AR lens on Snapchat to encourage customers to maintain healthy habits. Lenses are virtual animations overlaid on a Snapchat photo. In partnership with Snapchat, the company has developed an AR lens designed to encourage customers to follow Chipotle-inspired exercises and meditation prompts with gamified rewards.