Order up: Denny’s serves free breakfast food to those affected by Hurricane Florence

Photo: Denny’s

Denny’s deployed its Mobile Relief Diner to the Carolinas to assist those affected by Hurricane Florence this week. The 53-foot restaurant on wheels not only provides nourishment for those who may be running low on supplies, it also provides the comfort of a hot breakfast to local residents, first responders and volunteers.

The mobile diner is specifically designed to travel across the U.S. in the aftermath of various natural disasters and emergency situations. It is equipped to serve hot pancakes, bacon, coffee and other drinks. Meals are provided free-of-charge.

Denny’s rolled out a temporary version of the Mobile Relief Diner in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma last year, but today’s version of the diner is brand new and fully customized. It is also permanent.

“The initial concept of the Mobile Relief Diner was created to serve as a quick, but temporary solution that we could get on the road in a timely manner,” Denny’s Chief Marketing Officer John Dillon said. “Over the course of two weeks, we were able to serve over 14,000 meals and seeing the impact that we had in those communities made us realize that the Mobile Relief Diner is the perfect embodiment of our brand. After retiring our truck last fall, we immediately began planning on how to make a better–and permanent– version of the Mobile Relief Diner to help as many people as we can.”.

Creating the diner from a Class 8 truck made sense for the company’s mission, according to Denny’s Public Relations Account Supervisor Scott Moody.

“Having a truck that size enables Denny’s to keep operation of the Mobile Relief Diner completely self-contained, with the kitchen, food, cooking supplies and other resources all being stored and transported inside of the trailer. While logistics and navigating a truck of that size can pose a few challenges—which are certainly amplified in the aftermath of a natural disaster—Denny’s works closely with local officials and agencies to determine the safest and most effective location for each stop,” Moody said. “Denny’s and drivers of the Mobile Relief Diner also strictly follow all national and statewide regulations regarding operation of the truck while working diligently to reach those areas most in need as quickly as they can.”

The diner’s stint in the Carolinas comes after a recent test run in Northern California to assist those affected by wildfires.

“At Denny’s, our brand purpose is rooted in the fact that we love to feed people—and have ever since our company was founded in 1953,” Dillon said. “While we deliver on that brand purpose every day inside of our restaurants, the Mobile Relief Diner allows us do what we do best by going out into local communities to offer a hot and comforting meal during a time when they could really use it the most. And knowing the devastation that Hurricane Florence has created and will continue to create in the Southeast, it is very important for us to deploy the Mobile Relief Diner straight into those communities to help the displaced as they work to get back on their feet.”

Moody described the response to the truck as “incredible,” emphasizing that Denny’s is driven by a love of feeding people and supporting communities.

Denny’s Mobile Relief Diner was stationed in Wilmington, North Carolina Friday. Real-time information about where the diner is, and where it’s headed next, can be found on the Mobile Relief Diner’s Twitter account @DennysMRD.

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Ashley Coker, Staff Writer

Ashley is interested in the opportunities and issues that arise at the intersection of law and technology. She is the primary contributor to the news site content. She studied journalism at Middle Tennessee State University and worked as an editor and reporter at two daily newspapers before joining FreightWaves. Ashley spends her free time at the dog park with her beagle, Ruth, or scouring the internet for last minute flight deals.