Denny's opening 30 new restaurants for casual diners all over MENA

Denny's opened its second restaurant in Dubai on Wednesday. (Wikipedia)

Denny’s opened its second restaurant in Dubai on Wednesday.

Denny’s, a US-based casual dining chain, plans to expand aggressively in the Middle East and North Africa after opening its second location in the region in Dubai on Wednesday.

Denny’s, which was founded in California in 1953, is a popular chain in the US. It is open 24 hours a day and sells everything from hamburgers and fish and chips to pancakes and milkshakes.

With over 1,700 locations worldwide, Denny’s now plans to have 30 restaurants open in the region (the Gulf, Levant and Egypt) over the next 10 years, said John Miller, its president and chief executive, in an interview on Wednesday. It has already opened the first two of the planned 30 in Dubai — one in Al Ghurair Centre in September and another on Al Manara Street, off Shaikh Zayed Road — on Wednesday. The new locations are owned by Denny’s regional franchise partner, Dubai-based Advance Investment.

Next year, the company will open up to four restaurants in the region, with two in the UAE, including one in Abu Dhabi Mall in the first quarter, and two in Saudi Arabia, with Jeddah and Riyadh as possible locations, according to Miller. Advance Investment declined to give the investment figure for the expansion.

On why Denny’s is expanding in the region, Miller said: “There’s a young population in the region that loves to eat out. [With Denny’s], consumers in the region will have an option they haven’t had before.”

“Denny’s has survived 11 recessions and is now performing strongly. We don’t see a reason to slow down based on temporary setbacks in the global economy,” he added.

According to him, the company will compete on price in the UAE, which already has a number of American casual dining chains, such as IHop, Texas Roadhouse and Fuddruckers. The average price of a meal at Denny’s costs $10, he said.

“We have a number of traditional home cooked meals like spaghetti and meatballs that are not available [in the UAE] at this price,” he said.

Denny’s global outlets have a combined sales of $2.7 billion (Dh9.9 billion).


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