There are many ways to thank veterans and active duty military personnel for guarding our freedoms at home and abroad.
Denny’s, the chain of diners with locations throughout the country, usually shows its appreciation with a big, hearty breakfast on or around Veterans Day, Nov. 11. The 2018 Denny’s Veterans Day celebration will be on Nov. 12, 2018, from 5 am – noon.
Dieticians say breakfast is the most important meal of any day, but we don’t know quite yet which day veterans can get free breakfast at Denny’s.
What we do know is that Denny’s is one restaurant that loves serving free meals to veterans each Veterans Day. While not every location is guaranteed to participate, most typically do. Just call ahead to be sure.
The Grand Slam: Not Just Any Breakfast
Denny’s announces their Veterans Day offer each year in early November. We’ll share the date and time when it becomes available, or you can find it on Denny’s corporate Web site.
We do know, however, that Denny’s goes all out with its breakfast choices. Though the Spartanburg, S.C.-based company serves food 24 hours a day and offers a wide range of menu options, its breakfast still gets people out of bed early.
Last year Denny’s gave veterans a complimentary Build Your Own Grand Slam breakfast on the day of the promotion.
The Build Your Own Grand Slam is the classic breakfast combo at Denny’s. Here’s what is included:
- Two pancakes
- Two eggs
- Two bacon strips or hash browns
(Incidentally, Denny’s also offers a free Build Your Own Grand Slam on your birthday.)
Never Been to Denny’s? Here’s What to Expect
Denny’s traces its 65-year history to a doughnut stand called Danny’s in Lakewood, California.
Like a lot of small businesses, the establishment underwent several changes in its first decade, including a name change to Denny’s, and an expansion into a complete breakfast menu and all-day service.
Customers liked the food and the expanded hours. By 1981 Denny’s had about 1,000 locations, and now you can find about 1,700 locations in the United States, the Caribbean, Central America, the Middle East, South America, and southeast Asia.
Denny’s locations usually stay open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekends in most markets.
They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts, and they serve breakfast throughout the day, though the Veterans Day special usually is not available after noon.
Expect table service, a traditional diner environment, and an old-fashioned lunch counter at some locations.
And don’t be surprised if you have to wait for a table, especially during the busy breakfast hours.
How to Prove You’re a Veteran
As you might expect, your local Denny’s restaurant will want to check your status as a veteran before giving you a free breakfast.
So be sure to take proof of your service. Options include:
- Military ID Card
- Veterans ID Card
- Drivers License with Veterans Designation
- Membership cards in veterans organization such as American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars
- A copy of your DD214 discharge form.
When Can Veterans Get Their Free Breakfast?
Usually, the restaurant offers veterans and active duty service men and women a free Build Your Own Grand Slam Breakfast between the hours of 5 am and noon on the designated day – this year it is Nov. 12, 2018.
You should also check with local Denny’s management team before arriving to make sure it will participate in this year’s offer since not all of the company’s 1,700 locations participate.
It’s no fun to show up expecting a free breakfast and be given the bill.
Limitations to Denny’s Free Breakfast Offer
Like most other Veterans Day offers at restaurants and retailers, Denny’s limits its free breakfast to veterans and active duty military members who can prove their service.
The offer does not extend to everyone at the table, even family members of veterans or even officers currently serving. People in your party who have not served should expect to pay full price.
The offer is valid for dine-in customers only, and it does not include drinks. If you can’t have eggs without coffee, be sure to bring money for your beverage. Bring money to tip your wait staff, too, since the offer does not include gratuity.
Denny’s won’t let you combine the free Veterans Day meal with other promotions, and add-ons will cost the regular menu price.
Other Ways Denny’s Serves its Communities
Denny’s annual free breakfast for military members and veterans on Veterans Day is part of a larger community-focused approach promoted by the chain’s corporate headquarters.
It might interest veterans to know about Denny’s Mobile Relief Diner which offers free breakfasts to people affected by natural disasters and to first responders who help in the aftermath of disasters.
Each year, Denny’s also runs a fundraising campaign in February for Miami-based Tour de Force, which goes towards providing financial assistance to the family members of law enforcement officers in Florida killed on the job. Denny’s has raised over $200,000 for Tour de Force.
Lots of Choices, But Breakfast is a Grand Slam
Free meals and discounted meals have become more common on and around Veterans Day in recent years as businesses graciously express their gratitude with military discounts.
They’re popular because restaurant owners enjoy serving veterans and current military members who have sacrificed so much.
Restaurant owners also like an opportunity to show off their establishments and fill up their tables and booths since a good meal well served often earns a return visit from customers.
So check Denny’s site for this year’s details, find the right day and time for your location, and get there early so you can start your Veterans Day observance with a quality breakfast.