Denny’s Franchise Cost and Information

Franchise: Denny’s

Franchising Since: 1963

Headquarters: Spartanburg, S.C.

Estimated Number of Units: 1,700

About the Franchise

In 1963, Denny’s embarked on franchise growth from coast to coast. In its 60 years since, Denny’s developed an adaptable business model that evolves with customer preferences and the economy. Today, the brand is an icon with more than 1,700 restaurants and nearly 100 percent brand awareness, making Denny’s one of the world’s powerhouse family restaurant chains.


Denny’s understands that cutting-edge strategies are key to remaining competitive, and Denny’s innovative systems have set franchisees up for sustainable growth and success. With 90 percent of restaurants franchised, Denny’s dominance relies on franchisees. That’s why they launched their New & Emerging Markets Incentive Program, which encourages long-term franchise growth by saving qualified franchisees up to $1 million in expenses and royalties.

Whether you are opening your first store or your 50th, you can depend on Denny’s for support.

Financial Assistance

Denny’s does not generally accept notes or other instruments from franchisees and, accordingly, have not in the past sold, assigned, or discounted to a third party, in whole or in part, any note, contract, or other instrument executed by a franchisee. Denny’s has no present intent to sell, assign, or discount notes or instruments in the future to a third party. Neither Denny’s nor its affiliates receive revenue or other benefits from any person or entity for the placement of financing. Denny’s typically will not finance the purchase price or the initial franchise fee. In limited circumstances, Denny’s may finance a portion of the purchase price of a former company restaurant.

Term of Agreement and Renewal

The length of the franchise term is the lesser of 20 years or the lease term. There is no renewal option.

Breakdown of Costs

The following information is compiled from the Franchise Disclosure Document of Denny’s (2015). The FDD will provide you with in-depth information regarding the costs and expenses you can plan to incur when developing a 2015 franchise.

Initial Franchise Fee: $0 to $40,000

Building and Improvements: $650,000 to $1,400,000

The new Heritage prototype will be approximately 3,500 to 4,500 square feet with 25 to 70 seats. Heritage requires roughly 1 acre of real estate with 50 to 80 automobile parks. The interior uses Denny’s new Heritage design image.

Architectural Design: $13,000 to $40,000

Equipment, Fixtures and Furnishings: $350,000 to $450,000

Signs: $15,000 to $90,000

D.I.N.E. POS Systems: $20,000 to $40,000

Includes cost of installation and training.

Opening Inventory and Supplies: $17,000 to $28,000

Opening Advertising: $3,000 to $5,000

Opening Menus: $493 to $803 

Opening Gift Cards: $115.50

Gift Cards and Gift Card Carriers are packaged in boxes of 250 cards. The current cost is $115.50 per box. The cost of shipping is extra.

New Restaurant Opening Training Team: $0 to $17,500

Management training is provided for franchisees, their Managing Owner or Designated Operator, if applicable, and their managers. For restaurants 1 through 4, franchisees are instructed to schedule the New Restaurant Opening (NRO) training crew for the opening of their Restaurant. For all subjects, the Franchisee, Managing Owner, and Designated Operator must attend. Restaurant managers must attend: Franchisee Manager-in-Training and Food Safety Training and Certification. All Persons-in-Charge must attend Food Safety Training and Certification, and all employees must attend Welcome to Denny’s Core Values Video Training.

Security Deposits: $10,000 to $15,000

Insurance: $15,000 to $20,000

Permits: $5,000 to $100,000

Additional Funds: $80,000 to $150,000

You will need capital to support ongoing expenses, such as payroll and utilities, to the extent that these costs are not covered by sales revenue.

TOTAL ESTIMATED INITIAL INVESTMENT (Exclusive of Land): $1,178,608.50 to $2,396,418.50

Denny’s relied upon over 50 years of experience in the restaurant business to compile these estimates.