Denny’s of USA is here, open 24/7 at Uptown!
It was like opening Pandora’s Box. But unlike in mythology, this has only delightful things to offer. And since it opened at the new Uptown Parade at BGC in early October, it promises never to close, not for an hour or a day. It’s Denny’s, the world’s largest full-service family dining chain, open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
“As our tagline says, ‘Always open 24/7’,” says Ronald “Jam” Olaes, director for operations of The Bistro Group, Denny’s exclusive franchise holder in the Philippines. “Once we open, we never close. The concept is breakfast all day,” Jam explains.
When you open the menu, the first thing you’ll notice is the wide variety of not only breakfast fare but also regular as well as special dishes, to break your fast any time of the day — morning, noon or night. You are spoiled for choice.
“Our menu has everything, from salads to steaks,” Jam remarks. Naturally, you have the typical American breakfast fare including pancakes and omelets, sandwiches, and melts. “We use a proprietary recipe for our pancakes. It’s a totally different experience,” Jam says.
Definitely, it’s a must-try.
If you are a big fan of burgers, you will not be disappointed with their Bourbon BBQ Bacon Burger — hand-pressed beef-patty topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, sautéed mushrooms, and onions served in a cheddar bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and a sweet Bourbon sauce. Or, if you prefer it hot, you can go for the Spicy Sriracha Burger, with its Sriracha seasoned, hand-pressed beef patty topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, pickled jalapenos, creamy Sriracha sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onions, served in a brioche bun with a side of fries.
Ninety percent of the menu is from the US while 10 percent consists of local favorites,” Jam points out.
Yes, they have Filipino all-time favorites such as arroz caldo, crispy bangus belly, Lucban longganisa and bistek Tagalog. “But we’ve made them premium, so we use tenderloin for our beef tapa, for example,” says Jam.
Every item on the menu is tested and undergoes US approval. “So you can be sure that everything is up to the highest standards,” Jam remarks.
While they have the liberty to add or remove items from the menu, a must-have are the Slams. The name is derived from the game or sports term for a complete or winning set, as in grand slam.
“It’s a composition of an all-day breakfast,” Jam explains. “You have pancake, Belgian waffle, French toast, and eggs. It can also be a sandwich.”
Original Grand Slam is composed of buttermilk pancakes, two bacon strips, two sausages, and two eggs. Jam’s personal favorite is the Lumberjack Slam. “You get full value out of it,” Jam says. “It’s a complete dish already. You get your sourdough bread, hash brown, ham, bacon strip, sausage, two eggs and pancakes. It’s a shareable dish.”
In fact, most items in the menu come in hearty servings that can be shared. Great for families with kids as well as barkadas and office warriors. The desserts, such as the Caramel Apple Pie Crisp and the Chocolate Lava Cake, are simply irresistible. And to wash it all down, Denny’s drinks such as cucumber orange celery or apple ginger.
“The big difference is the flavor,” Jam remarks. “The food is consistent. While we follow a certain standard, we also make sure that it tastes delicious.” This is what makes Denny’s different. “It boils down to two things,” Jam says. “First, the quality of the food, and second, excellent service.”
To prepare him for his job as director of operations, Jam trained in Chino, California, at one of Denny’s training centers. He also visited the headquarters in Spartanburg in South Carolina to meet his colleagues in the different departments. He observed their ways in terms of serving their guests. He noticed certain nuances.
“Here, it is important to have the personal touch,” he remarks. For example, in the US, a burger would simply be served on a plate, whereas here, it is served with flourish on a chopping board. Presentation is important. Small details — such as having the sugar and creamer in a caddy when serving coffee.
Denny’s at BGC is spacious at 300 sqms., including the kitchen. Total seating capacity is 168, including the outside which can seat about 28.
“My dream is to see Denny’s grow to be as strong as Friday’s, which is the first brand the Bistro group brought to the Philippines,” Jam says.
The goal is to open 10 stores within the next 10 years. Judging by the crowd of happy diners on its opening night, this should not be too hard to achieve. In fact, a second store is set to open in November in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.