John Dillon

John Dillon of Denny’s: 64 pct. of our Customers Will Be Multicultural by 2024

Manuela Walfenzao, San Diego|11 de noviembre de 2019

Today diversity is key at Denny’s – that was the message left by John Dillon, SVP and CBO of the diner-style restaurant chain, during the closure of the 2019 Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, while speaking about the brand´s evolution in its communications  with the U.S. multicultural market.

“Denny’s had certain discrimination problems in the 1990’s that almost killed the brand. By 2010, sales had dropped by 15 percent because we hadn´t managed to recover from that problem. But now we’ve had nine years of growing sales once we saw that being the ‘diner of America’ meant it had to expand in the multicultural market. We understood that the American family had changed a great deal and are proud to celebrate it at Denny’s,” he said.

The strategy began by attacking the barriers holding the brand back. “We improved and remodeled our restaurants, changed the menu, offered home delivery and began to live up to the brand’s purpose: We Love to Feed People," Dillon added. Today, 68 percent of his team are minorities, 52 percent of the managers are multicultural, while 49 percent of the franchise owners and 44 percent of the Board of Directors are studies in diversity.

“We also have an ethnically diverse menu. We are not a Hispanic restaurant but do have Latin inspiration in our recipes. Fluent360, Conill, Blue 449 and EP+Cº have helped us develop the multicultural Denny’s campaigns that have been a great success. Our majority today is multicultural - 53 percent of our customers are minorities, 27.8 percent are Hispanic. Some 68 percent of our fans are multicultural and 56 percent are Millennials and Gen Z, which is quite a young audience.”

Dillon went on to cite forecasts that 64 percent of Denny’s customers will be multicultural by 2024 - today they constitute 53 percent. “We want our restaurant chain to be the country’s barometer of flavors and multiculturalism,” Dillon said.