What happens when Denny's gives away a Grand Slam?

In case you missed the Super Bowl commercial and the announcement on WalletPop yesterday, Denny's has been giving away a free Grand Slam breakfast since 6 AM this morning and will continue to do so until 2 PM. Needless to say it is a busy day for the restaurant chain, in fact, there has been so much interest in the breakfast giveaway that Dennys.com is currently failing to load.

Coping With the Economy

    Denny's Super Bowl ad, announcing a free Grand Slam breakfast for a limited time, drew crowds early Tuesday morning, Feb. 3, 2009.

    Alex Slitz, The Saginaw News / AP

    Denny's gave away Grand Slam breakfasts for one day in its 1,152 restaurants nationwide.

    Alex Slitz, The Saginaw News / AP

    Salvage groceries are items that get returned to warehouses for some reason -- dented cans, over-ordering, use-by dates are getting close or items that don't sell well. This "remainders" business is getting hot in our bad economy.


    Many libraries across the country are experiencing an increase in patrons, especially job seekers who use the Internet to look for work and borrow DVDs for cheap entertainment. Even with budget cutbacks, some are thinking of buying more computer terminals and expanding wi-fi options.

    Pat Wellenbach, AP

    To try to spur tourism and help out local businesses, the state of Massachusetts is sponsoring a new program called MassValuePass which has coupons, special offers and huge discounts.


    You don't have to just let unwanted gifts sit around in your house, gathering dust. With belts tightening, you need to make use of all your assets, so a new site, barterquest.com has found a way to match up people and their stuff to barter.


    To deal with the rising cost of food, Royal Caribbean is adding a surcharge for steaks served in its dining rooms.


    Hybrids are one option for fuel-conscious drivers, of course, but many are now opting for even smaller vehicles: scooters. Sales are up 66 percent so far in 2008. Honda is releasing its 2009 model early to capture as many customers as possible.

    M. Spencer Green, AP

    Blaming inflation and rising food and energy prices, the 99 Cents Only discount store announced it was bumping its top price to 99.99 cents -- or one-hundredth of a cent less than a dollar -- the first price increase in the chain's 26-year history.

    Nick Ut, AP

    As economic troubles keep diners at home, restaurants are starting to cut back on portion sizes and are using cheaper ingredients -- even high-end hot spots. In New York, restaurant owners admit to shrinking lobsters, subbing shiitake mushrooms for morels and offering discount appetizers.

    Larry Crowe, AP

To gauge the experience at Denny's across the nation we went looking on Twitter, where Denny's and Grand Slam topped the conversations this morning, to see what was going on.

The best summary of the Grand Slam Giveaway comes from Patti Harvey in Wisconsin who tweeted, "Crazy madness at Denny's today." Her story did have a happy ending as it was the fastest meal she has had at a Denny's!

Richard Rivera in the LA area also had success scoring his free Grand Slam, which he shared, "along with a hundred or so people at 6am." These were just a few of the accounts from those who were lucky enough to make it into the restaurant. Numerous users have been posting snapshots of their free grand slam to popular Twitter photo sharing site Twitpic.com, including this one from Brittany Berry in Arizona.

Even though things are moving fast there are plenty of people who turned away as soon as they saw the line forming at their local Denny's. Joel Weiler shared his failed attempt to score a free breakfast in Portland Oregon, "Tried to go to Denny's for free Grand Slam... 60 people lined up outside. Think I will pass on the $4 breakfast." A line of 60 seems slim compared to T. Gerald Williams' account, "Went to Denny's on the way to work and the line was out the door, down the sidewalk, around the block...needless to say...No Grand Slam 4 me." Ultimately the lines proved too much for many people who, like Selene M. Bowbly of Florida, went to Bob Evan's instead.

With so many people waiting in lines across the country it's a shame Denny's didn't attempt to recreate the "Hands Across America" nation-long line form the 1980's. If the lines prove too long for you to wait, you can try and track down the manager who should have between 500 and 1,500 rainchecks to hand out for patrons who are in a hurry. If you go this route, be careful, cutting to the front of a line of hungry people is never a good idea!
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