Denny's Unveils A New Augmented Reality Menu Experience (Plus New Items)

Initially named Danny's Donuts, Denny's first opened its doors in 1953 in Lakewood, California. Now, 70 years later, the iconic diner has more than 1,400 locations across the United States and serves a whole lot more than just donuts. 

The brand is largely known for its Grand Slam burgers and its punny Moons Over My Hammy egg sandwich. But through its new platform "It's Diner Time," Denny's hopes to attract diners with its remodeled restaurants, upgraded menu offerings, and the use of augmented reality (AR). 

In 2013, Denny's introduced AR to its diners via placements that accompanied a limited-time menu that was inspired by "The Hobbit." Several years later, the company offered a "Shrek the Halls"-inspired AR experience on its children's menus. Users were able to see three-dimensional characters and even take pictures with them.

Now, diners at Denny's can partake in the company's most immersive AR experience yet, according to a March 15 press release. Using their smartphones, diners can scan the colorful new menu, allowing them to interact, read about the brand's storied history, and gain access to deals only available through the AR experience.

What else is new at Denny's?

In addition to the AR experience, Denny's diners can also find new items on the menu under the "Diner Classics Plus" and "Savory Diners Spotlight" categories. The former highlights reimagined versions of classic dishes, while the latter features dishes intended to inspire nostalgia.

Savory highlights on the new menu include a spicy version of Moons Over My Hammy with spicy chorizo and pickled jalapeños, hearty beef lasagna, and oven-baked mac and cheese topped with brisket, onion rings, and barbecue sauce. On the sweet side, Denny's is now serving a creamy strawberry cheesecake milkshake, as well as Strawberry Pancake Puppies — miniature pancakes with strawberries, white chocolate chips, powdered sugar, and cream cheese icing.

Denny's President, John Dillon, said in a statement that the restaurant's changes are intended to continue the tradition of making diners feel comfortable and want to return to its locations.