Can the je ne sais quoi of a pancake be scientifically measured? Apparently yes, according to Denny’s. In an effort to come out ahead in the Breakfast Wars, the restaurant known for its Grand Slam breakfasts just rolled out a new formula for their buttermilk pancakes that they claim yields short stacks 50 percent fluffier than the old formula. (No word on whether the new recipe will prevent future pancake rage incidents from happening, though.)
The key lies in replacing the just-add-water powdered mix with fresh buttermilk, eggs, and a dash of vanilla, says Adweek. The change took three years to make, and will cost franchisees an additional $5 million. But hopefully, it will be worth it.
“Good isn’t good enough anymore for the average American,” Sharon Lykins, senior director of product innovation for Denny’s, told USA Today. “The customers liked (the pancakes) fine. But there wasn’t anything special about them that said, ‘I’ve gotta go to Denny’s to have pancakes.’”
Now, they’re hoping their new, pillowy-soft pancakes will change customers’ minds, in a time when restaurants — both sit-down and fast-food — are competing for the title of Best Breakfast. (And it’s serious: McDonald’s has its newly-expanded All-Day Breakfast menu, IHOP is throwing shade their way, and Taco Bell is over in the corner yelling “We’ve got breakfast, too!”) Currently, breakfast accounts for 24 percent of Denny’s average daily sales, but they’re hoping the new pancake formula will boost that number.
“We aren’t shy about saying that we are confident that Denny’s may have made the best pancake possible,” Denny’s chief marketing officer, John Dillon, said on Monday. He said the company is “welcoming everyone to see or taste for themselves.”
The best pancakes possible? As in, better than the pancakes we make at home? It’s definitely a huge claim, especially given that the company is up against the restaurants more notorious for pancakes, such as IHOP and Waffle House. But we wish them the best. Because, as every turtle knows, there’s really no better way to start the day than with a steaming stack of fluffy pancakes.
Check out one of the new ad spots Denny’s is running to promote its new pancakes below.