💡Brand Bites (3 min): How Denny’s Diner feeds its fans through scroll-stopping content

⌛3 minute read

You can’t miss Denny’s Diner’s weird social media content, the ‘chill teenager’ tone of voice and ‘WTF’ photos on Instagram.


Denny’s Diner originally opened as a donut stand in 1953. Today that donut stand is a restaurant chain with over 1,700 locations. It has a reputation of offering the best value and being open 24-hours a day.

In this article – you will learn:

  • How Denny’s promotes its food in a bizarre and scroll-stopping way.
  • How Denny’s has mastered the ‘chill teenager’ Tone of Voice.
  • Why tapping into timely trends has proven so successful.

This is the kind of content you can expect on Denny’s Instagram:

Hint: ‘Steak Out.’
  • Denny’s Diner has 270k followers on Instagram but unlike similar restaurant chains, Denny’s has chosen to follow no-one.
  • The feed is packed full of weird, ridiculous and ‘WTF’ images of food – from a bacon riding a horse in the style of Braveheart to a family portrait with ‘breakfast heads.’
  • They have become renowned for this distinct style of content with users able to identify the brand through the images alone.

Denny’s pre-creative Instagram post:

I scrolled so you don’t have to:

  • The below shows one of Denny’s earlier Instagram posts published in 2013. An odd-angled, unappealing breakfast photo leaves the user feeling underwhelmed – the lack of creativity makes it forgettable. Thank god for the adoption of the standard flat-lay style.

Denny’s bizarre Instagram feed:

  • Denny’s have come a long way since their boring posts in 2013. The below is a taste of what you can now expect on its strangely wonderful Instagram feed:

The teenage Tone of Voice:

  • The Tone of Voice on Twitter (479.9K Followers) replicates that of a ‘chill teenager’ an approachable, chatty and welcoming teen tweeting their random inner-thoughts.
  • What stood out was the lack of emoji use – making the stream appear casual and spontaneous.
  • The Tone of Voice on Instagram is more balanced, it’s clear and concise. The images may be bizarre, the text is just informative.

When did Denny’s turned into a pop-culture brand?

  • The transformation happened in 2013 when agency, Erwin Penland took the reigns. They flipped Denny’s from a drab breakfast spot to a cool ‘internet joke.’ They describe the ‘new’ Denny’s persona as: “The kind of person you can literally sit down next to at a diner and have a conversation with.”
  • The brand achieves this voice and personality by ensuring they hire people from creative fields.

The key ingredient:

  • Denny’s is culturally relevant and always timely with their tweets. They can also put their off-beat humour to one side when they need to communicate an important message:

Over on Facebook – it’s a lot calmer:

  • Denny’s use of Facebook is more calm and conventional. Targeting the older audience who may be more interested in its deals, menu offerings and updates on its social responsibility ethos to feed people.

Denny’s Diner is one to keep an eye on – they not only feed people physically but do a great job at feeding them emotionally through their social media content. Their social media strategy ties into their mission statement – sitting in a booth and having memorable random conversations. Well played Denny’s!

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