14 Pros and Cons of Working for Denny’s

Did you know that Denny’s iconic Grand Slam breakfast was named in honor of baseball legend Hank Aaron?

In 1976, the Atlanta franchise named the world’s largest breakfast after the famous slugger to honor his retirement and contributions to the city.

The well-known off-ramp restaurant franchise was founded in 1953 in Lakewood, California.

It was originally a 24/7 doughnut shop.

Today, there are over 1,700 franchises across the United States and other countries.

In addition to their big and affordable breakfast platters, Denny’s is known for never closing.

 Located near highway exits, bars, and rest stops, they have been a go-to favorite for late-night munchies, travelers, and teens.

Let’s not forget the families that enjoy having their kids eat free each Tuesday and the free birthday meal for everyone.

So what’s it like for the over 3,100 employees that work at Denny’s?

We scoured reviews from employment sites like Indeed and Glassdoor, and even perused Tiktok to find honest employee reviews.

Keep in mind that these pros and cons do not necessarily reflect all Denny’s restaurants, as they are all individually owned and operated.

But it does give a general idea as to the overall working conditions.

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Pros Of Working At Denny’s

1. Tips

Employees across the board all seem to agree on one thing: the tips at Denny’s are pretty awesome.

Even though the restaurant is known for its inexpensive menu, most customers tip really well.

Many servers report making anywhere from $100 to $175 per shift, sometimes more.

This includes cash tips left at the table as well as credit card tips that are cashed out at the end of the night.

More than one Tiktok video was posted to show employees counting their stack of bills at the end of the night.

Not too shabby for a chain restaurant.

2. Discounts/Freebies

All Denny’s employees can enjoy one free meal per shift and a discount of up to 50% on any additional food at any time.

The chain also offers up to $2,000 per year in tuition reimbursement for employees wishing to further their education.

Corporate also has several, free, personal enrichment courses and workshops, so that workers can hone their skills and move up the company ladder.

3. Co-Workers

The employees at many locations really enjoy a sense of comradery with their fellow workers.

They find each other to be fun, entertaining, helpful, and kind.

 Many become friends outside of work and attend social functions together.

It’s always a big plus to work with good people.

It can mean the difference between a good day and a horrible one.

4. Learning Valuable Skills

A lot of Denny’s employees say that they appreciate the professional and life skills they learn while working there.

Things like managing stress, multitasking, interpersonal skills, and communication skills are just a few examples of what workers say they are able to practice and perfect during their shifts.

They state that these skills help them with school, home, and other aspects of their lives.

5. Great Customers

One of the truly great parts of working at Denny’s, according to many employees, are the customers.

Many are regulars, so the servers have a good relationship with them and know what they like.

In turn, the customers are friendly and make small talk, and tip very well.

They aren’t too picky or have unreasonable expectations, because, well, it’s Denny’s, and they are happy with servers who have a nice personality and simply fulfill their orders as requested.

Some servers report that their regular customers even give them bonus tips and gifts during the holiday season.

It’s always nice to feel appreciated at work.

6. Daily Pay Out

Another really good part about working at Denny’s is the daily payout with tips.

You’ll never be without some cash in your pocket if you’ve worked a shift.

It’s great if you need to grocery shop after work, or just buy some snacks.

There’s also a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment when you sit down to count out your large stack of bills at the end of each night.

It can immediately make a not-so-great day, into a day that was worth it.

7. Flexible Schedules

Since a lot of Denny’s employees are high school and college students, the flexible schedule is really a huge pro for them.

They are able to work shifts around classes and study time.

Even if you’re not a student, being able to choose your own hours is often a lifesaver for parents and other caregivers. 

Cons Of Working At Denny’s

1. Managers

It’s a common complaint in retail and food service; the managers are awful.

Though it’s certainly not all Denny’s franchises, many employees say that managers don’t care about the employees or the bigger issues like inventory and customer satisfaction.

Instead, they micromanage employees, don’t pay attention to customers’ needs, play favorites, and can be vindictive.

The employees say there’s no use in complaining because the owners themselves don’t care, never visit the store, and are only interested in their money.

2. Demanding

Working at Denny’s can be a great experience, and the tips are good, but that does come with a cost.

Some workers say that they are asked to do the job of 3 people during their shifts.

This is due to staff shortages.

Often, servers must work twice as many tables, help prepare food, and even clean messes all at the same time.

This can be very stressful and emotionally draining.

3. Disorganized

Some of the franchises have been accused of being extremely disorganized and even unsanitary.

This is due again to poor management, according to employees.

Disorganized inventory and cluttered conditions make it difficult for servers and kitchen staff to do their jobs properly.

4. No Benefits

Denny’s website will say they offer benefits to employees, which is not a lie, but that does not  include servers, hosts, or kitchen staff.

This is a big drawback to working there, if you need medical insurance.

Many people work just for insurance, so if that’s something you require, Denny’s is not for you.

5. Physically Exhausting

Though the average shift at Denny’s is 8 hours, some workers report working more like 12-13 hours.

While this means more money, it also means more physical activity, with little time to rest.

Some workers say breaks can be as short as 10 to 15 minutes.

Servers and kitchen staff are constantly on their feet, walking around, bending, lifting, and reaching.

This can take its toll on even the youngest and in shape person.

Many workers say they are so tired by the end of their shifts, they go right home and go to sleep.

6. Work-Life Balance

Though Denny’s does offer flexibility in their work schedules, they are often short-staffed.

This leaves the remaining employees to pick up the slack.

Some report having to work double shifts, weekends, and holidays.

Others even report having to be on call in case they are needed to come in.

This does not allow workers to make plans or go out with family and friends.

The stress of possibly being called in to work is always looming over their heads.

7. Absent/Uncaring Owners

Denny’s locations are independently owned and operated.

The owners also have an “absentee agreement ” with the corporation, which means the owners do not need to be on site.

While this is good for the owners, it’s not always good for the employees.

Some say this is part of the overall problem with some managers.

They act like they own the place and are on a power trip.

Also, they don’t care about the physical building and often let general maintenance issues go unsolved.

Things are broken and stay broken, things look old and worn out and don’t get replaced.

This leads to employees having to work even harder, deal with customer complaints, and leads to poor employee morale.

14 Pros and Cons of Working for Denny’s – Summary Table

Pros Of Working At Denny'sCons Of Working At Denny's
1. Tips1. Managers
2. Discounts/Freebies2. Demanding
3. Co-Workers3. Disorganized
4. Learning Valuable Skills4. No Benefits
5. Great Customers5. Physically Exhausting
6. Daily Pay Out6. Work-Life Balance
7. Flexible Schedules7. Absent/Uncaring Owners

Should You Work At Denny’s?

If you’re looking for an entry-level customer service job that has flexible hours and immediate payouts, then Denny’s could be a good fit.

You are guaranteed cash at the end of each shift, which is great.

You can choose when to work, so it doesn’t interfere with school or family obligations.

Most of your co-workers and customers are pretty great and treat you well.

So, if you can deal with some uncaring managers, strenuous labor, some disorganization, then working at Denny’s could be a good place to start. 

Jamie Willis
Career Specialist at BecomeopediaHi, my name is Jamie Willis, and I have been helping students find their perfect internships and education paths for the last ten years. It is a passion of mine, and there really is nothing better than seeing students of mine succeed with further studies.

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