Denny's Targets TikTok Crowd With New 'Diner Drip' Merch Collection
Being "America's Diner" and all, Denny's could just keep things traditional and timeless. But that's not the world we live in anymore, where restaurants need to stay on the cutting edge of promotional marketing with capsule drops, celebrity endorsements and influencer collaborations.
That's why Denny's partnered with TikTok stars earlier this year for new menu items, and now just introduced the next step of that plan with the "Diner Drip" merchandise collection.
Yes, "Diner Drip" is a pun because of drip coffee, and, you know, "drip" as in cool clothes.
The Diner Drip collection uses themes of fluffiness (a reference to pancakes, of course) for items like sweatshirts, hats and sweatpants; retro vibes for things like a rope hat and patches; "Social Stars" for TikTok-influenced items like a clear umbrella and lapel pins; and "The Classics," with items sporting the modern Denny's logo on things like hoodies, a denim jacket, a polo and a diner mug.
"We love to feed people—bodies, minds and souls—and launching a new merch store is another way for us to feed the love that our guests have for the Denny's brand," John Dillon, chief brand officer for Denny's, said in a press release. "The first four collections celebrate the food and heritage that makes us America's Diner and represent a range of ages, backgrounds and lifestyles that appeal to the diversity of our guests tastes—on and off the menu."
Proceeds from the product sales will benefit the Denny's Hungry for Education Scholarship program, which aims to fight childhood hunger and promote education for K-12 students in the U.S.
There's a lot of creativity on display here, like the cohesive themes for each product category and how they relate to Denny's food. And it's interesting how some of the merchandise downplays the standard Denny's logo with smaller placement on several items and a logo variation (with a smiley face inside the normal outline) on others.
Some of the designs are legitimately cool, like the Vintage Polaroid T-shirt—a white tee with a left-chest graphic featuring a Polaroid of an old Denny's location—and a rolling pin that rolls out Denny's logos all over your dough. And the Levi's jacket, which you can load up with branded patches, is classic.
Denny's isn't exactly a brand we'd associate with being "cool." And that's exactly the point of this collection. The brand is looking to reinvent itself and stay relevant in a world of ruthless restaurant competition. Going after the elusive TikTok audience is a good way to start.